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The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation
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The Sea Is So Wide and My Boat Is So Small: Charting a Course for the Next Generation

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  103 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
In America today, the gap between the rich and the poor is the greatest ever recorded--larger than any other industrialized nation. It has become far too easy to ignore the hardships of millions of children plagued by poverty, poor health, illiteracy, violence, adult hypocrisy, and injustice. As founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund, Marian Wright Edelman ...more
Hardcover, 176 pages
Published September 23rd 2008 by Hachette Books (first published September 10th 2008)
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Feb 12, 2010 Alana rated it liked it
This book would send a conservative run screaming for the describes the plight of children in the U.S. and around the world using some very sad statistics, then persuasively argues that the answer comes through each individual approaching the sins of poverty and neglect in our world with a moral and religious commitment to economic justice, child welfare and education, and healthcare - linking the messages of Christ to the acts of these moral commitments. I loved her calling out those ...more
Mar 20, 2009 Cam rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2009
I was really inspired by this book, and would go as far to call it a "must read." This was a great follow-up to "Three Cups of Tea", because it talks about how we can each do our part to change the world. This book made me want to be a better mother, neighbor, leader, and person. It gave me renewed excitement about my church calling and the opportunity that I have to work with youth and help them realize how beautiful, wonderful and important they are. It validated my role as a mother. It helped ...more
Apr 23, 2016 Jemilia rated it it was amazing
Edelman writes this text to inspire, anger, motivate, and educate any and all who will listen. She reaches out to the individual and groups who can plant the seed for change. I found myself thinking of the overlapping roles i may have in the community and how my one voice could really mean something if I vow to do the little I can. I liked the way she broke down the biggest movements in history into small actions of change on the individual level. While throughout the book, I kept thinking about ...more
Feb 02, 2009 Megan rated it really liked it
This book is not an entirely original book in the sense that none of the ideas are necessarily new--in fact, some of it could come across as platitudinous, were it not for the fact that Marion Wright Edelman is the founder of the Children's Defense Fund and works everyday with underprivileged children, trying to make a different, better world. She knows firsthand what the real plight of our children is, and what we must do to bridge the gap between our actions and our ideals. In this sense, I ...more
Jan 03, 2009 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Liberal thinkers
This is an Ultra-liberal book that is written by the founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund. She is insightful, thoughtful, caring and urges all people to act on behalf of all needy children, our nation's future. She proposes to pay for it all by eliminating tax cuts for the rich and cutting military spending. Idealistic, but she might have an easier time getting all the people of the world to hold hands and sing "Cumbayah." I think she's got a good heart and I tried to take as ...more
Mar 29, 2009 Erika rated it liked it
Read that someone talked about this book being great for parents (I think it was Jennifer Garner, Reese Witherspoon, you get the idea??)Decided it was a short little book and I could use some inspiration!

Different than what I expected--lots of prayers and letters to people like teens, parents, politicians, but definitely made me think. The statistics of poverty and children dying were astonishing and made me really open my eyes!
Dec 21, 2009 Dana rated it really liked it
This book reads like a casual letter to a friend, but in a way, that makes it more powerful. The premise: as a society, we are abandoning our children. Edelman argues we have to look after and protect all children - not just our own. When she argues how little it would cost to insure all children in America, right now, it's truly heartbreaking.
Oct 30, 2009 Kady24 rated it it was ok
Honestly, I was a little disappointed...while the facts in the book are shocking and sad, I felt like it was lacking a course of action. It never tells an individual what they can do to help. Plus I felt like it could have been a 10 page book since it just reiterated the same facts again and again. Worth a quick skim, could have been better.
Apr 23, 2009 Amy rated it it was ok
Shelves: raising-kids
There's nothing groundbreaking here, but the book is an easily digested series of short letters (to grandchildren, parents, teachers, leaders, and citizens, for example). Edelman reminds readers to serve in the world around us, expect the best from children and support them in every way, live intentionally, and to be courageous, grateful, and passionate about life.
Jul 19, 2016 Maribel rated it it was amazing
I'm rereading this book it's so good. Everyone should read especially during these troubled times in which there is no end in sight without employing most of the changes mentioned in this book. It is life changing.
Jul 04, 2009 Lynn rated it it was amazing
I am currently reading this one. Marian Edelman is an amazing woman. Her writing is a tad preachy but you learn so much about what is happening within the community regarding the impoverished and what can be done about it..its worth bearing her intense opinions....
Beth Quick
Dec 31, 2015 Beth Quick rated it really liked it
I thought I might use this with one of my research groups, and went another direction, but I read this anyway. An easy read, and deep, inspiring, if not life-changing thoughts/poems/essays from Maria Wright Edelman.
Jun 22, 2011 Heather rated it it was ok
This was not what I expected, which was a big letdown since I had been looking forward to reading it for so long.
Apr 28, 2009 Chrissy rated it really liked it
Although I didn't finish the book before it was due back at the library, I thought it was a good reminder about what is really important in life... people, not "things"
Sep 16, 2008 Kaeli marked it as to-read
Written by the founder of the Children's Defense Fund on its 35th anniversary. She urges Americans to "reclaim our children, families, communities and our nation".
Tara Jefferson
Mar 10, 2014 Tara Jefferson rated it really liked it
Lots of information about the Cradle-to-Prison pipelines. Eye-opening facts about poverty in America.
Barbara rated it really liked it
Mar 05, 2010
Laura rated it it was ok
May 05, 2009
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Jessica rated it really liked it
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Sep 22, 2011
Kim Nazi
Kim Nazi rated it it was ok
Aug 30, 2016
Jan 29, 2009 Lori rated it really liked it
Marian Wright Edelman is one of my heroes, and I wish every world leader would read this book.
Chris rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2009
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Oct 11, 2008
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