Nina's Reading Blog

Comments on books I am reading/listening to

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace… One School at a Time

Posted by nliakos on May 24, 2010

by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Penguin, 2006)

This book has been on the Washington Post‘s bestseller list for 141 weeks as of this writing, which is mind-boggling but totally understandable. Since it was first published four years ago, Mortenson has collaborated on a young adult version, a picture book called Listen to the Wind, and a sequel, Stones Into Schools (all of which I have read and enjoyed).  This is a life-changing book, one I have given as a gift to several people and to my daughter’s school. It is a book which shows just how much one person can do to change the world, if s/he tries hard enough.

The story of how Greg Mortenson failed to reach the top of K2, the world’s second-highest peak, and stumbled instead into a remote Pakistani village and there found his life’s work, must be pretty well-known by now.  The villagers saved Mortenson’s life, and he in turn promised to build a school for their children. This he managed to do, and he then went on to build (as of now, over 135) more schools, not only in Pakistan but in neighboring Afghanistan as well, as director of the Central Asia Institute, which he established with money donated originally by Jean Hoerni, who also gave the money to build Mortenson’s first school in the village of Korphe.

What is really amazing is that Greg Mortenson is still alive, considering how he constantly puts himself into harm’s way in some of the most dangerous places in the world for Americans to go.  Somehow his love of the cultures and peoples of Central Asia and his honest desire to help educate the children there, especially the girls, have resulted in his being surrounded by Pakistanis and Afghans who manage to protect him from those who would harm him…so far.  His is an incredibly inspirational story, as are the stories he recounts of the people who help him and the children who have been educated in the schools he has built.


Official book site for Three Cups of Tea

Official book site for Stones Into Schools

Pennies for Peace is an organization started by Mortenson to raise money in America’s schools, a penny at a time.

Here is a link to Wikipedia’s article about the book.

Music video of the song “Three Cups of Tea”, performed by Mortenson’s daughter Amira

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