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Three Cups of Tea, Young Reader's Edition: One Man's Journey to Change the World...One Child at a Time

Three Cups of Tea, Young Reader's Edition: One Man's Journey to Change the World...One Child at a Time

3.9 211
by Greg Mortenson

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This young readers edition of the worldwide bestseller Three Cups of Tea has been specially adapted for younger readers and updated by Greg Mortenson to bring his remarkable story of humanitarianism up to date for the present. Includes new photos and illustrations, as well as a special interview by Greg’s twelve-year-old daughter, Amira, who has traveled


This young readers edition of the worldwide bestseller Three Cups of Tea has been specially adapted for younger readers and updated by Greg Mortenson to bring his remarkable story of humanitarianism up to date for the present. Includes new photos and illustrations, as well as a special interview by Greg’s twelve-year-old daughter, Amira, who has traveled with her father as an advocate for the Pennies for Peace program for children.

Editorial Reviews

On the afternoon of September 2, 1993, Greg Mortenson realized that he had failed in his attempt to climb K2, the world's second-highest mountain. But disappointment was the least of his problems. Emaciated, exhausted, thoroughly disoriented, and suffering from edema, his grip on life was loosening. He was taken in and nursed back to health by the impoverished populace of a remote Pakistani village. Grateful, he promised to return someday to build them a school. Three Cups of Tea is the story of that promise and the story of how one man changed the world, one school at a time.
Publishers Weekly

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.
Children's Literature - Jody J. Little
This memoir by Greg Mortenson begins in 1993 with his failure to reach the summit of K2, the world's second tallest mountain. Disoriented from the high altitude and discouraged by his failure, Greg gets lost and stumbles into the remote Pakistani village of Korphe. It is in Korphe, through the friendships he develops with the locals, that Greg discovers his next calling in life. He wants to build a school for the children of Korphe. He returns to the U.S. to raise money but realizes that he has no idea how to do this. Some good fortune brings him a benefactor, a man named Jean Hoerni, who is intrigued by Greg's idea and offers him the money to build a school. Thrilled, Greg returns to Korphe with money and supplies only to learn that the villagers have a more immediate need—a bridge. Greg helps build their bridge and then three years later, in 1996, the Korphe School is finally finished. Greg next turns his attention to other villages needing schools. With the help of his friend and benefactor, Hoerni, a foundation called Central Asia Institute (CAI) is formed to help Greg continue his work. During the next 12 years, Greg helps build more than 60 schools for the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan despite many frightening moments including a kidnapping, illness and even death threats. To assist teachers and parents, this young reader's edition includes a question and answer chapter with Greg's daughter, Amira, a glossary of terms, a timeline and a reader's guide. Reviewer: Jody J. Little
VOYA - Sophie Brookover
This young readers' version of the wildly successful book about Greg Mortenson, founder of the nonprofit Central Asia Institute, is good for what it is-a younger adaptation of a successful book for adults. The subject matter-Mortenson's serendipitous discovery of his calling to build schools for children in impoverished, remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan-should certainly be of interest, and Thompson does a serviceable job of keeping the story appropriate for upper elementary and middle school students. Thomson addresses potentially disturbing issues like Mortenson's kidnapping and various near-death experiences with sensitivity and clearly depicts the people Mortenson works with and for as fully human, in just a few deft strokes. Overall, though, the narrative here is best characterized as medicinal reading, colored by the occasional inspiring flash, which is the opposite of the style and effect of the book written for adults. By far the most engaging part of the book is the interview with Mortenson's twelve-year-old daughter Amira, whose enthusiastic, earnest, and warmly expressed views on the privilege of education and its power to lift people of every race and creed out of poverty and hopelessness is the clarion call the book as a whole wants but fails to be. Maps, photos, a time line, and the glossary round out this title's usefulness and classroom readiness. Thomson deserves an A+ for effort and a B- for execution and youthful appeal. Reviewer: Sophie Brookover
Melanie Hundley
"Greg Mortenson was lost. He didn't know it yet." So begins Greg Mortenson's inspirational story. He attempted to climb K2, the world's second tallest mountain, but he never made it to the top and ended up lost in Pakistan. The people of Korphe took him in and helped him. He was so moved by their generosity that he vowed to build a school for the children. He spent several years raising money to build over 60 schools. Over the course of his work in Pakistan, he has had to deal with soldiers, Taliban officials, village leaders, politicians, and the mujahideen. "With the first cup of tea, you are a stranger," a villager tells Greg. "With the second cup, you are an honored guest. With the third, you become family." The generosity of the Pakistani people with whom Greg becomes family contrasts sharply with the image that many Americans have. Reviewer: Melanie Hundley
Library Journal
Rescued by Pakistani villagers after a failed attempt at climbing K2, Mortenson vowed to build them a school. Twelve years later, his Central Asia Institute has built 55 schools (some serving girls) despite fatwas and worse. With a six-city tour. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal

Gr 6-8

Hiking in the mountains of Pakistan in 1993, Mortenson got lost. He found his way to a small village where the locals helped him recover from his ordeal. While there, he noticed that the students had no building and did all of their schooling out of doors. Motivated to repay the kindness he had received, he vowed to return to the village and help build a school. Thus began his real life's journey. Mortenson's story recounts the troubles he faced in the U.S. trying to raise the money and then in Pakistan, trying to get the actual supplies to a remote mountain location. His eventual success led to another, and yet another, until he established a foundation and built a string of schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mortenson manages to give the story an insider's feel despite being an outsider himself. His love of the region and the people is evident throughout and his dedication to them stalwart. The writing is lively, if simplistic, and for the most part the story moves along at a fairly quick clip. In this specially adapted edition for young people, new photographs and an interview with Mortenson's young daughter, who often travels with him, have been added.-Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

Kirkus Reviews
An unlikely diplomat scores points for America in a corner of the world hostile to all things American-and not without reason. Mortenson first came to Pakistan to climb K2, the world's second-tallest peak, seeking to honor his deceased sister by leaving a necklace of hers atop the summit. The attempt failed, and Mortenson, emaciated and exhausted, was taken in by villagers below and nursed back to health. He vowed to build a school in exchange for their kindness, a goal that would come to seem as insurmountable as the mountain, thanks to corrupt officials and hostility on the part of some locals. Yet, writes Parade magazine contributor Relin, Mortenson had reserves of stubbornness, patience and charm, and, nearly penniless himself, was able to piece together dollars enough to do the job; remarks one donor after writing a hefty check, "You know, some of my ex-wives could spend more than that in a weekend," adding the proviso that Mortenson build the school as quickly as possible, since said donor wasn't getting any younger. Just as he had caught the mountaineering bug, Mortenson discovered that he had a knack for building schools and making friends in the glacial heights of Karakoram and the remote deserts of Waziristan; under the auspices of the Central Asia Institute, he has built some 55 schools in places whose leaders had long memories of unfulfilled American promises of such help in exchange for their services during the war against Russia in Afghanistan. Comments Mortenson to Relin, who is a clear and enthusiastic champion of his subject, "We had no problem flying in bags of cash to pay the warlords to fight against the Taliban. I wondered why we couldn't do the same thing to buildroads, and sewers, and schools."Answering by delivering what his country will not, Mortenson is "fighting the war on terror the way I think it should be conducted," Relin writes. This inspiring, adventure-filled book makes that case admirably.

Product Details

Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Sales rank:
910L (what's this?)
File size:
8 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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.

David Oliver Relin is a contributing editor for Parade magazine and Skiing magazine. He has won more than forty national awards for his work as a writer and editor.

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Three Cups of Tea: Young Readers Edition: One Man's Journey to Change the World... One Child at a Time 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 211 reviews.
Librarianloveskidsbooks More than 1 year ago
The addition of Greg Mortenson's daughter makes this book sing. Young adults and any reader will also enjoy the interview with Jane Goodall, who has made so many contributions to society. Ms Goodall is a name readers will recognize and feel comfortable reading. I have recommended this book to so many adults and young adult librarians because I feel the essence of Greg Mortenson's endeavors to build schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan is best explained in this young adult version. We will discuss both books at my Book Club soon. Every young reader from age 10-18 should read this book. I recommend it as a title for gifts for the young and old alike on your gift list! Sarah Thomson was exceptional at adapting this book.
Ethan_W More than 1 year ago
In Three Cups of Tea, Mortenson embarks on a decade-long odyssey to build schools in Afghanistan. In the most literal sense, his fight is against poverty and ignorance, but Mortenson's self-identified goal is to "wage war with the root causes of terrorism." His quest, of course, is inspiring. His desire to do good is contagious and refreshing. No matter how cynical you are, this book is bound to make you feel a little better about the world. But even more importantly, in the periphery of Mortenson's struggles lies a complex and largely unexplored culture -- that of the country of Afghanistan. (I say unexplored, of course, thinking from a US perspective.) What's great about Three Cups of Tea, I think, is that it isn't only about his one personal struggle. The book is also about modern Afghan culture. I, for one, know that that is a culture I would like to know more about. But apart from this book, from The Kite Runner (to a much lesser extent), and from the recent documentary Afghan Star -- which explores Afghanistan's struggle to modernize in a similarly peripheral and similarly complete way -- there isn't enough out there. Read this book!
liz56 More than 1 year ago
By just looking at the novel, Three Cups of Tea, I didn't think that it would have been that great of a book. After reading just a few chapters in the book, I thought, "This isn't that bad of a book, I'm learning some things, and also enjoying some if it." I thought that it was a fantastic idea that someone should build a women's school in Afghanistan, because they didn't have anywhere to learn except for outside the men's school. And then a guy named Greg Mortenson goes over to Afghanistan and earns money to build a school for these girls. He started a great program called "Pennies for Peace", whick is a very good program because it helps to build these schools for young girls. Greg Mortenson has changed so many people's lives in this book. Every Spring he goes over to Afghanistan with the pennies that "Pennies for Peace" made, and builds more and more schools for these kids that have nowhere to learn. Even with many difficulties to get to the different citie, he still manages to get there. Kids over in Africa needed someone to help them, and they finally got someone.
SallySmith More than 1 year ago
The book three Cups of Tea is a great book. It tells the story of Greg Mortenson and what one wrong turn on his K2 journey did to his life. He ended up in the city of Korphe where he then realized how many towns do not have schools and the children there don't receive education. The rest of the book continues on about how Greg and the CAI build schools and bring hope to the children of Central Asia. I would recommend this book to people of all ages. It tells a story and makes people realize in a more literal sense what it is like over there. We don't have to worry everyday if we will have food to eat and water to drink. We are required to go to school and they are lucky to go to school. This book does a terrific job of portraying the message, "Education means hope."
Anonymous13 More than 1 year ago
The summary would be one man changing the lives for many children. This is because a man goes over to Pakistan, Afganistan, etc. To build schools for the children who have no education. Three Cups of Tea was a well written book. I thought it was really good. I learned a few things from this book. One, about different cultures. Second, the sacrafices people give to help other people. I think that no matter who you are you should be able to have an education. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about other cultures. Also, sacrafices some people make. I thought this book wasn't going to be as good as it turned out to be.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Those leading our government should read this one. I agree with the prior review that Greg should get the Nobel Peace Prize! I've also given numerous copies as gifts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very nice! I am doing this for a report and it was a nice book to do, unlike some other books ive done for reports! It is also very touching!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book! I had to read it for school but i think its a very good book for children. I really recomend this book to all who love to read. After a while you can start to predict what will happen but i really still recomend it. I am telling you to click that sign up there that says BUY!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read Three Cups of Tea (adult version) first. The adaptation or children's edition is wonderful. The definitions, vocabulary, and pictures are marvelous. It would be a wonderful teaching tool in the classroom. Many life lessons
Stephen_Kerr More than 1 year ago
My wife and I recieved this book so we could participate in the Book Club discussions on our recent cruise on the Queen Mary 2. It is not a book we would otherwise have been prompted to purchase--but are glad we did. The book tells the story of a life that is touched by an act of kindness that saved his life. That redemptive act changed the direction of his life and caused him to devote his life to helping a forgotten people. I was challenged to consider what a moment of devine intervention looks like. It is an inspiring example of how we can create a meaningful life through devotion to service. The book is strangly secular and vividly illustrates some ugly aspects of fundamentalist fervour. In our Book Club meeting the discussion was animated and intense. As good as the story is the structure of the book can be frustrating. The timeline is hard to follow and there are unexplained jumps in the continuity of the story. I found I had to make a concerted effort to get past this flaw to continue to appreciate the significance of what was been revealed. I think anyone who reads the book will gain a deeped sense of how much difference we can make when devoted to a cause of service.
HajiAli More than 1 year ago
This was a good read for me. I liked the book because it showed that one man, with the help of friends, can do great things. It is good for people who like to read about people who do great things. Something I didn't like about this book was that with the Middle-Eastern names, it was hard to follow who was who. Sometimes, too, it got a little boring.
gross101 More than 1 year ago
Greg Mortenson tried to climb the mountain k2. He couldn't make it all the way up and had to come down the mountain. He ended up getting lost and ends up in Korpe. He ends up putting up schools for girls and poor villages. Greg ended up being president of the CAI. I thought this book was pretty good. I thought it was awesome that he built schools for poor villages. I didn't like when he got kidnapped even though he came out alive. I would recommend this book to all my friends because it gave great details.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you read this book and don't want to send money to the author's foundation, I would be amazed. Now that I am older, I find that true stories like this stay with me more than most of the fiction I read. I hope there is a follow-on book about building (and maintaining) schools in northern Pakinstan for girls, given the current political upheaval there now.
JoanneS More than 1 year ago
This is an amazing story and so good that I'm buying it for gifts for everyone I know. It is a true testament to the fact that one person CAN make a difference in this world. Don't miss this one. Everybody should read it. Great for book clubs too. Humbling to realize how many people are living in this 21st century. Greg Mortenson should get the Noble Peace Prize.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is half made up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hi its me and i ment build not biuld
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book sucks dicks he is horrible and a lier
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Are there any other books like this one? That are appropriate
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book because I was astonished that an American would help Afganistanis and Pakistanis during America's war with Afghanistan. JP, age 9
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is interesting to read! And i have the book!! :) ;(
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