A nurse finds kindness traveling through a small Pakistani village and thanks them by helping to build a school for the children.
The New York Times
In 1993, while climbing one of the world's most difficult peaks, Mortenson became lost and ill, and eventually found aid in the tiny Pakistani village of Korphe. He vowed to repay his generous hosts by building a school; his efforts have grown into the Central Asia Institute, which has since provided education for 25,000 children. Retold for middle readers, the story remains inspirational and compelling. Solid pacing and the authors' skill at giving very personal identities to people of a different country, religion and culture help Mortenson deliver his message without sounding preachy; he encourages readers to put aside prejudice and politics, and to remember that the majority of people are good. An interview with Mortenson's 12-year-old daughter, who has traveled with her father to Pakistan, offers another accessible window onto this far-away and underlines Mortenson's sacrifice and courage. Illustrated throughout with b&w photos, it also contains two eight-page insets of color photos.
The picture book, while close in content to the longer books, is written in the voice of Korphe's children rather than providing Mortenson's view, making it easier for American kids to enter the story. Roth (Leon's Story) pairs the words with her signature mixed-media collage work, this time using scraps of cloth along with a variety of papers. Her work has a welcoming, tactile dimension-readers would want to touch the fabric headscarves, for example. A detailed scrapbook featuring photos from Three Cups of Tea and an artist's note firmly ground the book in fact. A portion of the authors' royalties will benefit the Central Asia Institute. (Jan.)Copyright © ReedBusiness Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Holding true to the original title for adults, Three Cups of Tea (Viking, 2006), this moving story will amaze and inspire young readers. After getting lost while climbing the world's second tallest mountain, the K2 in the Baltistan region of Pakistan, Mortenson, a nurse, stumbled into a small village and learned of the dire circumstances in which local people lived. While recovering, Dr. Greg met the children of Korphe, who were eager to learn but were forced to write their lessons with sticks on the ground. Wanting to do something special for the village, he was encouraged by wise man Haji Ali to "listen to the wind." Dr. Greg listened, heard the eager voices of students at their lessons, and promised to return to build a school. The remarkable account of this quest, which involved constructing a bridge and manually carrying supplies to the building site, is magnificently enhanced by Roth's colorful collages. As explained in an artist's note, she incorporated fabric, bits of paper, and other fibers into the scenery in appreciation of the Balti people's aesthetic use of scraps. "A Korphe Scrapbook" follows the story, displaying photographs of the events, the village's inhabitants, and the librarian who helped to fill this school and the 57 more schools that have since been built in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Readers are informed that it is easy to make a difference by donating pennies to support education in impoverished countries. This truly exceptional and moving title should not be missed.-Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA
Meet the Author
Greg Mortenson is the director of the Central Asia Institute. A resident of Montana, he spends several months of the year in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
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