It Takes A School

It Takes A School

The Extraordinary Story of An American School in the World's #1 Failed State

Book - 2016 | First edition
Rate this:
Baker & Taylor
An American hedge fund manager describes how he founded a unique school in Somaliland and overcame profound cultural differences, broken promises, and threats to his safety to create a school whose students, against all odds, have come to achieve extraordinary success.

McMillan Palgrave

A story of David and Goliath proportions, how an American hedge fund manager created a unique school in Somaliland whose students, against all odds, have come to achieve success beyond anyone’s wildest dreams

Jonathan Starr, once a cutthroat hedge fund manager, is not your traditional do-gooder, and in 2009, when he decided to found Abaarso, a secondary school in Somaliland, the choice seemed crazy to even his closest friends. “Why,” they wondered, “would he turn down a life of relative luxury to relocate to an armed compound in a breakaway region of the world’s #1 failed state?” To achieve his mission, Starr would have to overcome profound cultural differences, broken promises, and threats to his safety and that of his staff.

It Takes a School is the story of how an abstract vision became a transformative reality, as Starr set out to build a school in a place forgotten by the world. It is the story of a skeptical and clan-based society learning to give way to trust. And it’s the story of the students themselves, including a boy from a family of nomads who took off on his own in search of an education and a girl who waged a hunger strike in order to convince her strict parents to send her to Abaarso.

Abaarso has placed forty graduates and counting in American universities, from Harvard to MIT, and sends Somaliland a clear message: its children can compete with anyone in the world. Now the initial question Starr was asked demands another: “If such a success can happen in an unrecognized breakaway region of Somalia, can it not happen anywhere?”

& Taylor

A hedge fund manager-turned-founder of a secondary school in Somaliland describes the profound cultural differences, broken promises and safety threats that challenged the school's mission, sharing the stories of remarkable students who made difficult sacrifices to pursue their educations, including a nomad boy who left his family and a girl who waged a hunger strike.

Publisher: New York : Henry Holt & Co., 2016
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781250113467
Branch Call Number: 373.0967 STARR
Characteristics: xvi, 250 pages ; 24 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

There are no comments for this title yet.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number

Subject Headings


Find it at PACL

To Top