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However Tall the Mountain: A Dream, Eight Girls, and a Journey Home

3.41  ·  Rating Details  ·  194 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
A ball can start a revolution. Born in Kabul, Awista Ayub escaped with her family to Connecticut in 1981, when she was two years old, but her connection to her heritage remained strong. An athlete her whole life, she was inspired to start the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange after September 11, 2001, as a way of uniting girls of Afghanistan and giving them hope for their futur ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 25th 2009 by Hachette Books (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 406)
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Nov 11, 2009 Shannon rated it it was ok
The narrative didn't flow - the story jumped all over the place in terms of time. The tense changed from present to past. Overall, it needed a good editing job.

But the topic and story was good material for a book.
Amanda Jaczkowski
As someone who has always lived by the phrases "soccer will save the world" and "world peace will come through football", this book is definitely the embodiment of my wildest dreams.

Ayub writes in a simple, straightforward manner that manages to convey the emotions that were felt by eight young girls, and the author herself, as they embarked on a road to discovery in who they are and what they can accomplish in the face of patriarchal, war-torn cultural norms in Afghanistan.

Through narratives of
Oct 05, 2009 Ann rated it liked it
I gave this book a 3 because it doesn't compare to Greg Mortenson's "Three Cups of Tea" but is infinitely better than Deborah Rodriguez'"Kabul Beauty School." Rodriguez used the Afghan women she worked to feed her own ego. After she escaped in disgrace, the women she left behind ended up in much greater danger because of her book. Greg Mortenson continues to devote his life to building hundreds of schools to thank the Afghan people for saving his life.

But I do not understand Awista Ayab's purpo
Danielle Franco-Malone
Okay, but not great. A story about 8 Afghani girls who play soccer, and the Afghani American who organized a soccer program. I'd recommend it if you liked A Thousand Spelndid Suns and are in the mood for a quick read.
May 29, 2014 Laura rated it really liked it
This book opened my eyes to how much was in stake for the young women of Aghanistan not just one government but several and all changing the course of the other. But through out it all the desire to follow one's course pervailed. It had failure, success and growth.Things many of us take for granted is not anywhere the norm for these young women who can be stopped by a word from the male in charge of the family from playing games that are available to young women in our country. This book shows h ...more
Tara Chevrestt
Aug 28, 2009 Tara Chevrestt rated it really liked it
This is not really about soccer. Sports fanatics will be a bit disappointed. I think, however, that most will be touched by the story of 8 girls learning to live again after the Taliban rule. In 2004, Awista, the authoress, sponsored these young Afghan women to come and learn soccer in the States. Tho Awista wrote the book, there is very little about her. Rather, she tells the story of the Afghan girls and their lives before and after the Taliban. We feel sad when their brothers are arrested, an ...more
Apr 11, 2012 Ageena rated it really liked it
I was intrigued by the title, more so by the Afghan quote it is from - However tall the mountain, there's always a road. The story telling is engaging, the picture of Afghanistan is one that I had never gotten from anywhere else and one that I will hold onto. I never realized that Afghanistan had at one time been free spirited and open, a place where women and girls were valued and enjoyed many of the same freedoms that we do here nor did I realize that there is in Afghanistan now an element mov ...more
Nov 19, 2014 Alison rated it it was ok
I loved the concept of this book: teaching 8 Afghan girls how to play soccer in an American soccer clinic, so they could go home to Kabul and spread the sport to other Afghan girls who had been forbidden from playing sports by the Taliban. However, it lost a lot by the way it was written. The storyline was fragmented and hard to follow. Still, it was eye-opening and inspiring to read about these girls fighting so desperately for a freedom that Americans so often take for granted, so I'm glad I r ...more
Feb 20, 2015 Marilyn rated it really liked it
The author's story of her creation of the Afghan Youth Sports Exchange in Kabul after the fall of the Taliban, introducing girls to soccer. She shares her
story and those of the eight Afghan young women she first introduced to the sport. Their cultural struggles and ultimate growth are moving and
heartwarming. The only negative is the fragmented structure, making the timeline somewhat hard to follow, but it is worth reading.
Aug 12, 2010 Alison rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm actually reading/read "However Tall the Mountain" which is the hardback version of this.

Before reading, but after I put it on my "to-read" list, I saw some mixed reviews on this. I can understand where the reviewers comment on the "poor grammar" but I think what they see as "poor grammar" is actually the way that the people in the book actually talk. It's a very interesting book that I think gives a different perspective about the Afghan culture than I am used to hearing. It also hits home w
Aug 03, 2015 Liz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compelling story, with a feeling of hope for war-torn Afghanistan. I particularly liked to lens into the different female soccer players and their family lives. You don't have to like soccer to enjoy this book! However, sometimes the writing was awkward, especially the shifting tenses. Still enjoyed the book and would recommend it.
Sep 11, 2013 Abbyfutterman rated it really liked it
Finially being set free 5 girls are able to have the experience of their life in " However Tall the Mountain" by Awista Ayub. 6 girls living in Afganistan are giving a free ticket to go round trip to the United States playing soccer. In this story your able to see the 5 girls hArdships and motivations in life ech with. Different story nd inspiration on why they wnt to play on the woman's soccer team in the United States. I found this book very good, at times it became a little boring. The girls ...more
There's such an interesting story here, but I think it's undermined by the way the book is structured. By alternating between talking about the girls' trip to the States and giving more in-depth pictures of each girl's home life, the book loses some of its narrative strand. By the time we learn enough about the girls to be invested, the book is nearly over.

Moreover, there's no tension. I get that it was a challenge of epic proportions to start a soccer team, to get the team to the States, etc.,
Miko Lee
Jun 10, 2010 Miko Lee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I loved the concept of this true story of training girls in Afghanistan how to play soccer. Great girl power, teaching leadership collaboration and strength to girls in a war torn sexist society. I think what the author did as a response to 9-11 is amazing and wonderful. I wish the book, lived up to the true story. The style of writing was jerky and the construct of flipping thru time from before their travels to US to being in the US to post trip, was confusing and distracting. The book had all ...more
Sep 03, 2012 Kerry rated it it was ok
An Afghan-American woman connects with Afghan girls that come to the US for a soccer camp and tournament. I adore that they had the opportunity to see beyond their circumstances, but I wanted this trip and experience to have more longlasting effects. I wanted to give this book a 3, but that is more for the aim of the work and the story behind the book. I saw the author speak and it was really proof that you can put difficult things in to action if you put your mind in to it and add a little elbo ...more
Bryan Boyd
Jun 21, 2010 Bryan Boyd rated it liked it
A story of young Afgan girls and their desire to play soccer in a culture and time in which women sports are not supported in their home country. These eight girls did come to the US for training and then return home in 2005. The book jumps between the US visit and the girls lives before and after the visit. At times the book is difficult to follow and could have been strengthened by following one girl more closely especially the time in the US. The difficulties of sports, dress, religion, gover ...more
Jul 11, 2014 Jo rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read and good story but the writing was not great.
Shirley Brown
Oct 20, 2012 Shirley Brown rated it did not like it
This was a very warm story of courage of a group of young Afghan girls who wanted to play soccer and had never had an opportunity to do so. They make a trip to America to participate in a soccer camp and to play in an international competition. I think this will be an excellent story for Maddie who is 14 and loves soccer. I think she will appreciate all the opportunities she has and what courage these girls showed in the face of much adversity.
Jan 17, 2012 Marian rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
These girls, including the author, all deserve 5 stars for their strength of spirit, love of country, and tenacity. However, the book did not do them justice. I wanted more detail of how soccer clubs reemerged for girls in Afghanistan, and more about the pioneers in that effort. I wanted more about each of the girls and their families. I just wanted more, and better written.
Keli Wright
Aug 07, 2012 Keli Wright rated it really liked it
I found this book in the sports section at the library ...but I have no idea why it was there.. soccor is not what this is really about some girls living in Afganastan and how they come to America to play soccor and then go back to Afganastan.. reading about their lives their broke my heart.. and also really interested me. I wish I could do more to help people.
Really enjoyed this book - it taught me some things about the U.S. presence in Afghanistan, and the disparate views of some of the people there. It was also the fascinating story of one young woman's determination to give back to her culture and her amazing accomplishments, which include a young, female Afghan soccer team.
Nov 14, 2010 Jenn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. I mean, come on, it was about girls soccer! Unfortunately I couldn't get into it because of how it was structured and how it was written. It seemed fragmented and I think if it was written differently it could have been so good! With that said, I am glad I read it, it was ok.
Jan 24, 2013 Roni rated it liked it
Shelves: women-reference
It is a story of creating women's soccer program in post-Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. It was quick and easy reading. It definitely made you want to cheer on these women for making a place in their country by proving that women are able to do anything.
Mar 13, 2010 Mary rated it it was ok
Historical fiction. The first Afghan girls’ soccer team becomes an emblem of the fight for equality and human rights under the Taliban. Good story but poorly written, by a sports nut.
Paula Gilarde
It was very interesting but I wasn't that enthused about the writing. It jumped around a lot which made it a bit confusing but the story was definitely worth reading.
Jul 05, 2013 melissa rated it really liked it
Great story about resilient and never giving up hope! If you like soccer, reading about Foreign Countries, learning about new cultures, you will love this story!!
Oct 13, 2009 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teens on up, especially girl teens
A great read. An interesting view into life as an Afghan girl/women. Lots of women's role info and views of war torn Afghanistan.
Sep 13, 2009 Samantha rated it liked it
Not written all that well but still an inspiring story. Now I want to hear more about how the author was able to set everything up!
Nov 24, 2012 ww rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book truly portrays the struggles Afghan women face and how they continue to fight for their freedom and equality.
Nov 21, 2009 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
This was written by my friend Awista from college. She is an amazing woman, and this is a great story. Check it out!
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