Sunday, August 30, 2009

Review: "Three Cups of Tea"

Published in 2006, "Three Cups of Tea" is the kind of book most likely everyone's heard about because they knew someone who read and recommended it to them. It's the story of Greg Mortenson who had to literally lose his way in order to find his purpose in life. At first, fueled only by the desire to repay the people who saved his life, the building of that one school in the small village of Korphe would be the beginning of something big. It would lead to more schools in remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan- where children, especially girls, can get the education they deserve. And by doing so, Mortenson (and the Central Asia Institute, which he co-founded) is helping "promote peace one school at a time"- as the subtitle goes. David Oliver Relin helps tell Mortenson's struggles and adventures. This has definitely inspired me to do my part in creating a much safer, more united world.

Because "Three Cups of Tea" has struck such a chord with everyone who's read the book, it's no surprise there is a Young Reader's Edition and picture book version. The latter (which I also read) is entitled "Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and 'Three Cups of Tea'"- told through the perspective of Korphe's school children. Susan L. Roth shares writing credits and did the collages using "found" materials in her studio- inspired herself by the resourcefulness of the people of that village. The Young Reader's Edition was adapted by Sarah Thomson with a foreword by Jane Goodall, a new introduction by Mortenson, and even an interview with his twelve-year-old daughter, Amira, who is apparently following in her father's footsteps. It also includes new maps and pictures, a timeline, glossary, who's who, and a reading group discussion guide. The audio book has the original song "Three Cups of Tea" sung by Jeni Fleming and Amira Mortenson. What I like about these versions of the original story is that it teaches kids they can contribute to and participate in bringing peace to the world.

I highly recommend "Three Cups of Tea" and encourage others to share it if they feel the same way. Greg Mortenson continues his story in "Stones Into Schools"- available December 1, 2009.

Books I've read in this post:
Three Cups of Tea- Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
Listen to the Wind- Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth

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