Cindy Benabderrahman's Reviews > Listen to the Wind: the Story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups of Tea

Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson
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Apr 19, 09

bookshelves: books-4-children, edu-543-lit-4-children-project, middle-eastern, picture-books, biography
Recommended for: anyone who has a grandma who loves them so much
Read in April, 2009, read count: '2

This is the picture book version of the story based on the true adventure of Dr. Greg Mortenson, who was injured on a mountain in Pakistan, and who was helped to recover by the people of a poor village in the mountains. When he was well enough to leave, he asked how he could repay the people, and was told to “listen to the wind” to find his answer. He did, and he was inspired to go back to the village and build a school. He has built many schools now all over Pakistan for children who live in villages too poor to have afforded one. This is a heart-touching story of love and humanity, and one that is illustrated by Susan Roth’s beautiful collages, which were inspired by handmade papers and the people from the land in which Dr. Mortenson found help and refuge. These people use and reuse every scrap of everything in their world, and so Roth’s collages have an even deeper meaning.

The story is very simplified, which makes this version of the story suitable for the youngest of readers / listeners, and it stays away from heavy descriptions about the significance of education for the children in the mountains of Pakistan. The book almost glosses over the poverty by highlighting the richness of making do instead of the bleakness of doing without, but it’s a glass half-full or half-empty choice, and I think that Mortenson was correct in saving the heavier things for the version for middle readers. There is also a version written for adults, which makes this book a great choice for family reading—a version for every age group.

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