Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea

by Greg Mortenson

Foley Harper: I think that this book is so important for students as well as adults to read that I gave it to my serious students (the ones I thought who would actually read it)for Christmas one year. I also donated copies to the school and public library. Greg's message needs to be promoted. Building schools in that remote part of the world is a real challenge, and he met that challenge at great personal risk. I admire him; he is one of my heroes. His book is recommended reading for General Petraeus' staff because of its cultural importance. His second book "Stones Into Schools" also gives a quite remarkable insight into the work that needs to be done to combat terrorism and give those children hope for their future and that of their villages. These are books that need to be shared in classrooms across our nation. Building bridges from our students to those who have to struggle so hard to get an education can only make our own students stronger and more compassionate, qualities that are great nation builders and combat ignorance.
Rating: *****

Debbie Weiss: This book elaborates on details of the amazing journey that Greg Mortenson took to eventually build 78 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Knowing that he needed lots of money to pursue this daunting task, he initially sent out letters soliciting money from 580 celebrities, businessmen, and other prominent Americans. His only response was a $100.00 check from Tom Brokaw. With persistence though, the funds did eventually start to come in, enabling Greg to purchase the construction materials necessary.

Mr. Mortenson risked his life in the pursuit of his dream. He was kidnapped and threatened. He spent many months at a time away from his wife and children, far from the safety of his home in the U.S. He definitely was one man changing the world, one school at a time.

While the story itself was fascinating and inspirational, I found the book a difficult read. The towns and cities all kind of blurred together after a while and I never really became engaged with the story, as much as I really wanted to. Perhaps, this is my problem --- I much prefer fiction to non-fiction.
Rating: ***

Cindy Hoverton: Greg Mortenson finds himself in Pakistan after a failed attempt at climbing K2. As he heals in a local village, he is showered with care and kindness and vows to return to build a school to honor those that cared for him. His first school and the many lessons he learns are the foundation of an organization that builds schools for girls in Pakistan and Afghanastan.

The timing of Greg's outreach, in the midst of 9/11 and the troubles in that part of the world, humanized the current events, in a part of the world that seems so distant to me. Well written. I stumbled with pronounciations of villages and names but will be grateful to this book for demonstrating the power of one person, regardless of the challenge.
Rating: *****

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