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Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  16,336 ratings  ·  1,826 reviews
From the author of the #1 bestseller Three Cups of Tea, the continuing story of this determined humanitarian's efforts to promote peace through education.

In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson picks up where Three Cups of Tea left off in 2003, recounting his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in A
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published December 1st 2009 by Viking (first published 2009)
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Amy Yes, I would recommend it. Three Cups of Tea is not only a wonderful book, it provides a lot of needed background and insight.
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Nov 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: misc
October 8,2005,a day that remains etched in memory.A killer earthquake struck Pakistan and left unprecedented devastation in its wake.
I was not in Pakistan,however,when it happened.

But in subsequent years,I have experienced some of the scariest earthquakes imaginable.Luckily,the destruction was not as extreme.

Greg Mortensen (of the controversial Three Cups of Tea fame) is the author of this book too.Allegations of fabrications,funds embezzlement and the suicide of his co-author have dented his c
Eileen Souza
Dec 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
It's rare that a second book about the same topic can be even better than the first, but I have to say that I enjoyed Stones into Schools even more that Three Cups of Tea. I thought that this book was excellent! It was a great way to learn more about what has been going on in Pakistan and Afghanistan since 2001, and even more it continues to be an inspiration to see how much this man, and his dirty dozen friends, can impact the lives of girls in the most remote places on earth. We hear so much n ...more
Ben Warren
Apr 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Things to think about from the first 50 pgs:
1) Girl Effect - changing communities through the education of women
2) "Last person First" Principle - is this a good principle in missions as well?
3) Mortenson's raggedy Pakistani staff. Is it much different from the 12 disciples - uneducated, yet perfectly in tune with the local culture and passionate for the cause of their leader.
Dec 06, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone who cares about children
Recommended to Claudia by: Eileen
Shelves: memoir, nonfiction
Mortenson shows such a power and a confidence in his story in this book. I think one reason is because he keeps the spotlight OFF himself. He tells moving stories of others, making them the heroes and heroines of his book. He talks honestly about how uncomfortable he feels with attention, and he generously shares the credit for the successes of his schools with so many others.

His stories made me laugh out loud, like the Taliban sympathizers who visit a school and play gleefully on the playground
Tony Taylor
Jan 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
An outstanding read ... if you enjoyed "Three Cups of Tea," you will enjoy this more... it is the content and the purpose that makes it so great. Unfortunately I think that some people were turned off by the title of his first book by not understanding the message (it is not about little old ladies sipping tea and gossiping.) "Stones into Bridges" picks up where his first book left off, and is current right up to October 2009.

Greg Mortenson has received well deserved recognition for what he and
Jan 30, 2010 rated it did not like it
Originally 4 stars

2014 update: After reading some of the controversy surrounding Greg Mortenson, my opinion on him has plummeted. He is accused of fabricating the story of him getting kidnapped by Taliban and the story of getting lost on the way down from K2 and promising the tribe that saved him that he would return to build a school (the whole premise to the book!). He is also accused of gross mismanagement of funds and using donated money for his own purposes, private jets, promoting his book
Marcy prager
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I learned so much about Greg Mortenson, the man, when reading this wonderful book. His sense of humor, his passion, his mission is heard and felt throughout this story. Now I really understand what the CAI is, and who the people are that run it. The Central Asia Institute is run by quirky, brave people who Greg met throughout his travels to Pakistan and Afganistan and found worthy enough to help him fulfill his dream of building schools for girls in the remote regions of Pakistan, and now Afgani ...more
Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Amazing book! Amazing person! Amazing people!! A MUST read!!!

I thought Three Cups of Tea was great but I have to say, this one is way better. The book is more personal, written in first person, and there is more history. I've definitely learned a little bit more about Afghanistan and its' diverse and wonderful people (and not wonderful). The book has also made me a bit more warm and fuzzy towards the military... which seems odd coming from an Air Force spouse. It's just that despite my support f
Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing
If you haven't read this yet, put down what you ARE reading, and head to the library or bookstore for this book. Actually, if you haven't read Mortenson's first book, Three Cups of Tea, read that first to get the background, and then dive into this one.
This true story of what one man can start - in this case, educating girls in the most remote parts of Central Asia - the mountains of Pakistan and Afghanistan - is not just an inspiring read, but an amazing testament to the power of what people c
Following where Three Cups of Tea left off, Stones into Schools is Greg Mortenson's account of his nonprofit Central Asia Institute's endeavors to build schools for girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Early on in the book, Mortenson tells of meeting a band of Kirghiz horsemen, who extract a promise from him to build a school in a remote region of Afghanistan. This was 1999, and the promise came with a multitude of difficulties, not the least of which was the conflict between the increasing power ...more
Nov 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who liked <i>Three Cups of Tea</i>
As a followup to Three Cups of Tea, I found this book to be very interesting and timely. If you haven't read the first book, you might not be able to follow along as easily with the various people and places mentioned, although the books do stand alone. It is a quick read and I was highly impressed with the way that the small organization, Central Asia Institute, has blossomed with financial support and additional manpower to become a powerful force in bringing much-needed education to children ...more
Amazing read especially when you think that the only news coming out of Pakistan and Afghanistan is bad. Would some body please nominate Greg Mortenson for a Nobel Peace Prize. He and hisDozen" have done more for world peace, interfaith understanding, and girls' education in 15 years than "Dirty anyone--even he--would have ever dreamed possible. He has coordinated the building of over 100 schools, where thousands of children, mostly girls are receiving a moderate, secular education. Books not bo ...more
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
I ran to the library to get this pretty much the moment I finished Three Cups of Tea, and I found it to be a enjoyable continuation of the story. Most of my thoughts on this are already mirrored in my review of the first book, so I won’t repeat myself. The only real qualm I had was that the first 100 pages of this were a lot like a paraphrase of the last 100 pages of Three Cups of Tea, where the author tries to lay the groundwork for how his charity attempted to make headway into Afghanistan.

Shireen McQuade
Dec 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely excellent! I couldn't put this book down. Dr. Greg's initial plan to build schools to serve female students in remote villages evolves with the situations he encounters, so that he expands into Taliban strongholds and in the outskirts of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul. He is not a micro manager, and instead uses his gift of perception to hire the smartest, hardest working Afghanis from rural areas with humble backgrounds. He trusts and relies on them to implement his dream of universal ...more
Dec 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book, which picks up where Three Cups of Tea left off, is different and better than Mortenson's first book about his quest to build schools for small villages in Pakistan and Afghanistan. To begin with, there is no ghost writer. This is a first person account. So unlike the last book, it is more personal, and the reader gets more insight into the passion about school building that has consumed Mortenson. Some of the stories he tells are quite touching. On the road to a distant mountain vill ...more
Dec 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Oh my gosh... Stunning. Those are four words that sum up my feelings about this incredible book... basically. The ending is dramatic and sad, while simultaneously showing us that even while it seems that everything that could possibly go bad in Afghanistan is, there are also those who are trying to defy it. Those who are trying to help others, and those who are trying to offer education, health, and necessities to people who deserve it.
I finished this book upstairs, while downstairs my parents
Feb 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I hesitated getting this book because I thought it might be, like a lot of sequels, just a rehash of "Three Cups of Tea". Well, it emphatically is not! It reads like a good novel. It's engaging, thought provoking and very informative. The author gives the reader a full sense of the isolation, beauty and destruction that exists in the remote areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. He also gives a full sense of the people who populate those devastated areas. It is hard to imagine the everyday hardships ...more
I'd like to give this book 3 stars but I guess I can't really recommend it. If you want to know what has happened since his last book, then read this. But I wouldn't read it without reading and loving the first book.

It's probably my unfamiliarity with Central Asian culture, names, and geography, but I had a hard time following who was who, where he was, how the places connected. And this was despite the fact that he included maps and a glossary. If I had really been into it, I would have looked
Daniel Clausen
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Romantic. Sentimental. And thoroughly absorbing. The "aw shucks" manner in which Mortensen presents himself, as a dirt bag mountaineer who stumbles into charity work, is one that may stretch your credulity. Any person who can attempt to climb K-2, build schools in faraway places, and learn the nuances of a foreign culture is certainly a man to be reckoned with. Yet, this sense of humility is also a very essential part of the book. The book is romantic, sentimental, full of adventure -- in the en ...more
Feb 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I read his first book, Three Cups of Tea, when it first came out. Since my husband may potentially be deployed to that area someday, I was more than a little interested in his viewpoints. This book continues where "Tea" left off and talks about creating schools in Afghanistan. As an almost sidenote, the institute he founded to do this has expanded into empowering women specifically in these countries.

After reading these two books I am more convinced than ever that his approach will create a str
Dec 06, 2009 rated it really liked it
Educators, politicians, and military personnel in the US need to read this book. While some of the overly detailed passages were a bit tiresome to read (I think the book could have been edited a bit better), the overall message is powerful. Education is the key to the future. Education is helping to rebuild war-torn countries and regions, and rebuild international relations and trust, especially with the US.

I agree with Mortenson's opinions on bilingualism, and that there should be a move in US
Waltjohnson305 Johnson
Dec 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
The author gives a lot of very good information about Pakistan and includes historical background. He tells a compelling story that is every bit as good as an action novel. The model of giving to another country is one that many more people should emulate. Find local people who share your vision, empower them to do the work and provide the funding, stucture and oversight that makes it work. It is a very good continuation of 3 cups of Tea. Inspires one to new ways of looking at life. Confirms my ...more
Feb 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
I know that I don't speak from a military perspective when I say this but I don't believe civilians should be considered "collateral damage". Innovators in the American military are reading Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools to understand how to work with village elders and religious leaders to educate the children there especially the girls.

That's all I've got to say, except that this is very worth reading if we are to see changes away from religious extremism in places like Pakistan and
Feb 17, 2010 rated it really liked it
I think I may actually like this book better than 3 Cups of Tea.

1) There is an index AND a glossary, and more photos and maps
2) The geography is more familiar to me than it was in the first book
3) The events detailed are more current (and therefore fresh in my memory) -- perhaps I was paying more attention to the events because I had read 3 Cups of Tea.

Glad there are people like Greg Mortensen who are willing to do the hard things. Glad my daughter can be a smartie-pants and dream of becoming wh
Nathan Albright
Dec 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: challenge-2019
This book was disappointing on a variety of levels.  For one, the book was, disappointingly, not the usual sort of audiobook but rather a pre-loaded audiobook that required a AAA battery and set of headphones to listen to, and didn't end up working very well even when those were added.  And then there were the disappointments involving the book itself, not least the way that the author was so scatter-brained that the organization of the book was seriously lacking and that a great deal of the boo ...more
Feb 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Greg Mortenson continues his story that was started in Three Cups of Tea. The organization he founded, Central Asia Institute, is a strong promoter of women's education in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He discusses the dangers they face in building schools in the remotest parts of the countries. He talks about the history and culture of those countries and the many challenges that they face. One particularly heartbreaking was the major earthquake in Pakistan in 2005. Building relationships with thos ...more
Mikey B.
This book gives us a very real feel for life in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier province. After reading we have clear pictures of the enormous obstacles the inhabitants in these two very impoverished areas face on a day to day basis. I am glad that this is being read by so many people including those in the U.S. military.

The book sketches a life that is so very different from that which we in North America and Europe experience. The land is remote and mountainous and lacks a transp
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it
Stones into Schools, by Greg Mortenson

I read "Stones into Schools" immediately after finishing "Three Cups of Tea," and while I enjoyed both books, I definitely liked "Stones into Schools" more.

While "Three Cups of Tea" was more about Mortenson's life and how he found his life's work building schools in remote villages in Pakistan and Afghanistan, "Stones into Schools" is bigger than Mortenson, and really shows how his work has taken on a life of its own. "Stones into Schools" is also told from
Carol Moore
Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Stones Into Schools begins in 1999 with 14 men armed with AK-47s galloping their short legged, shaggy horses across the Irshad Pass to Pakistan. Their instructions were to find Greg Mortensen and petition him to build a school for the children in their remote mountainous region in Afghanistan. Greg’s host provided a feast for these guests. They were not expected to remove their boots at the entrance to his home. The lower air pressure in this town would cause their feet to swell so much that the ...more
Feb 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
If anyone thinks that because they read "Three Cups of Tea" that they know the story of this book, think again. It is truly an amazing tale of the tenacity of a group of men who are determined to reach the goal no matter what. Anyone who can read the Epilogue without tearing up must have a heart of "stones". I won't spoil the story of whether the tears are ones of joy or sadness.

Any news report I now hear about Afghanistan will now be tempered with the knowledge of the country and its people tha
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Greg Mortenson is the co-founder of nonprofit Central Asia Institute, Pennies For Peace, and co-author of New York Times bestseller ‘Three Cups of Tea’ ( which has sold 3 million copies, been published in 39 countries, and a New York Times bestseller for three years since its January 2007 release, and Time Magazine Asia Book of The Year.

Mortenson’s new book, Stones Into Scho

Articles featuring this book

Today there are 78 million female children who can't go to school (120 million children in total) because of slavery, poverty, religious extremism,...
4 likes · 30 comments
“When you take the time to actually listen, with humility, to what people have to say, it's amazing what you can learn. Especially if the people who are doing the talking also happen to be children.” 188 likes
“If you teach a boy, you educate an individual; but if you teach a girl, you educate a community.” 45 likes
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