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The Price of Stones: Building a School for My Village
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The Price of Stones: Building a School for My Village

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  504 Ratings  ·  99 Reviews
An incredibly inspiring and thrilling book, this is the story of Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, who grew up in rural southwestern Uganda, the son of an irascible small-time farmer and his loving wife. In spite of the family's poverty, Jackson succeeds and graduates from the national university with a calling to work in human rights that leads him to Columbia University. There he ...more
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Published June 10th 2010 by Tantor Media (first published May 26th 2010)
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Aug 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ugandan
I'm so glad that Mr. Kaguri happened to walk into my store when I was around. I'm so glad he asked to sign stock, and I'm so glad I had some for him to sign. I'm so glad I read his book the very next day, and I'm so glad he promised to swing through my store again next week on his return. Everything about this book, this man, this story, makes me glad.
I always feel a little bit split on books like this -- here's a man who's accomplished an enormous amount of make-this-world-a-better-place, almo
Margo Tanenbaum
What an inspirational story about the difference one person can make in a community. I really enjoyed this book about a Ugandan graduate student in the US who takes it upon himself to build a school for orphans in his rural Ugandan community.
The cover photo for this book is lovely - smiling, joyous children running, and the background is composed of green beautiful hills. Hard to believe these children are orphans, victims of HIV/AIDS.
This is one of those incredible true stories of a person who saw a need and vowed to do what he could to help. Twesigye Jackson Kaguri is from Uganda. When his older brother was dying of AIDS, he asked Twesigye to take on the responsibility for his children. Twesigye agreed and also tried to give bit
Jul 17, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The comparisons to Three Cups of Tea are inevitable. Surprisingly, although Kaguri, as a native son, is much more involved in building his AIDS orphan school than Mortensen was with Afghani schools, the book is simply dull. The stories about his childhood are interesting, and he is obviously passionate about this cause, and his faith rings true, but the dramatic narrative of Tea isn't there at all. There will be a passing reference to, for example, "and then we built a second school," with no ex ...more
Jun 02, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Twesigye Jackson Kaguri is from Uganda and saw a need in his country and worked hard to alleviate some of the suffering. There were many AIDS orphans with no hope. He and his wife changed that.

I am always amazed at the difference a person can make when they are dedicated to making it happen. There were many obstacles, but they worked hard to overcome them.
A really great book shows us how everything is great and worth to die for
Nick Guilfoyle
Jul 01, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Kaguri himself, and I have sent letters back and forth with students from Nyaka. Dr. Kaguri runs a great organization, and his book is great too.
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative!
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mary Harley
Twesigye Jackson Kaguri, a native of Uganda, grows up and moves to the United States, but is drawn back to his homeland when three close family members get sick and die from the HIV/AIDS pandemic. In this true story, Twesigye is touched by the sheer number of deaths and the lives affected by suffering, particularly the AIDS orphans in his village. Education, he believes, is the only way out of the AIDS crisis and poverty in general. I've been inspired before by Paul Farmer of Mountains Beyond Mo ...more
Hannah Deignan
Sep 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the book The Price of Stones by Twesigye Jackson Kaguri we learn about a young boy and the struggles he must overcome to become what he is today. We follow Kaguri as a working young boy, to a working young man. He overcomes many obstacles throughout his life. This story mainly takes place in Uganda, where the main character lives with his family. Many diseases are going around at this time such as SIDS and AIDS. A large part of Kaguri's family has died from these diseases and a cure still has ...more
Jan 21, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author grew up in Nyakagyezi, a village in southwest Uganda. Through hard work, he did well in school and was able to go on to University and ultimately came to the States. After losing a brother, sister, and nephew to AIDS, he felt compelled to do something to help the crisis. Realizing that many families caring for the orphaned children couldn't afford the school fees for these kids, and recognizing the importance of education as a means out of the village poverty, he determined to build ...more
Twesigye Jackson Kaguri grew up in a rural village in Uganda. With incredible determination he manages to become accomplished as a scholar and humanitarian, avoiding the AIDS epidemic his siblings will fall prey to and eventually makes a life for himself in the United States. A deeply religious man, he alternates between life as a stay-at-home dad and founder of a free Ugandan school for AIDS orphans in his village. This book is part memoir of his life and part history of the school. Overall, a ...more
Nov 20, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I just happened across this book in the library 2 days ago. I was intrigued by the cover as currently work for a non-profit that does work in Africa, Uganda to be exact. Once I found out that the book covers the process and creation of building a school for orphaned children due to the AIDS epidemic in Uganda I knew I had to stop reading all my other books so I could learn more about this one first. I am quite glad I did.
Mr. Kaguri has done amazing work with setting up his school.... (The book
Aug 14, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: phd-program
Finally, finally, I am done with this terrible book. Oh I know - I'm awful - how could I dislike a book about building a school for Ugandan children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic? I actually do feel a bit bad about it, but oh my - the constant self aggrandizement, the constant false modesty and the constant comparisons between the narrator and Jesus were just yuck.
I had to read the entire book as it is part of a class I'm teaching. However, I have to ask why this book was chosen. I can only gues
Melissa Andrews
Nice book. Twesi Jackson describes how he, his family, and a host of supporters have built a successful school for AIDS orphans in a rural Ugandan village. The narrative is interesting and keeps moving along. There are lots of personal stories along the way - Twesi includes stories from his youth - as well as those of other characters who appear in the book, including the children of the school.

The facts about AIDS in Uganda are depressing - the work that this school is doing is amazing, but sti
Apr 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-history
I laughed. I cried. I was entertained. I was spiritually raised up. This is an incredibly amazing story of a young man from Uganda. He is sickened at all the children he sees who are not as fortunate as he is, who are not able to pay the school fees and go to school. Not only are they orphans, but they have one or two parents who have died of AIDS, so many villagers are suspicious of them. He makes it all the way to university, and then decides that somehow, some way he will build a school for t ...more
Twesigye Jackson is definitely an inspiring man, but I wasn't a huge fan of this book. The "ghostwriter" probably did more damage than help, with tortured metaphors on every page and irrelevant details littering the descriptions of places. Each person's outfit was described, each car given a make and model. I find it hard to believe that the narrator (Twesigye) really remembered all of those details over the years, and at any rate, they added nothing but bulk to the story. Despite the mediocre w ...more
The African equivalent to Three Cups of Tea, but better, since the school idea and development came from a local man, moved by the death of his brother from AIDS to do something for the AIDS orphans. Nice touches of stories from his childhood interspersed with the story of how the school went from a thought to a reality. It took more than a village to build this school, it took his village in Uganda, and his church village in the States, and other churches and many other individuals. It shows ho ...more
Mar 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: international
I heard Twesigye Kaguri speak a few years ago, which is how I became interested in what he is doing in Uganda. His book was not as good as his speech. He is a great speaker and an okay writer. Although the stories were both heartwarming and heartbreaking, it was not a quick read. It read more as a fundraising book (I'm sure that was part of the reason for writing it) than as an inspiring/informative book. I greatly appreciate the work Kaguri has done and continues to do in Uganda. He has followe ...more
Liza Fireman
This is an incredible true story, that shows how much a single person can do to change the world. Kaguri, which is a native Ugandan, changed the lives of many children, orphans, victims of HIV/AIDS, and building a tuition-free school for them was just the first step of what he did. He opened their eyes to seek opportunities, he showed them that they can grow up and be someone, and that is priceless. Kaguri and his wife show such a huge amount of selflessness that is touching, and dedication and ...more
Informative and inspiring. If you’re looking for beautiful prose, this might not be for you; the writing is simple and gets repetitive at times, but despite that, the pacing is steady and the book is easy to get through. It accomplishes what it set out to accomplish: the book informs and educates while intermittently entertaining. I would definitely recommend buying this book from Jackson’s website, as 25% of the earnings go to the Nyaka program. The stories of Nyaka’s orphans will stay with you ...more
I found this book to be very inspiring. It certainly gave me a lot of insight into Ugandan life which I was able to connect to my own experiences in Kenya. As the founder of an organization that supports a school and an orphanage in Kenya (, I was able to connect with Twesi in terms of fundraising struggles and hopes for the future of AIDs orphans. I love reading books such as this because they inspire me to work harder and give more. I would definitely recommend this book t ...more
The Price of Stones is the kind of book that inspires one to take action. The authors do an excellent job of making a very strong case for the reader to become involved in the lives of HIV/AIDS orphans. The only reason this book doesn't get more stars is that it's a little too sweet. It's not a morally complex story and doesn't challenge the reader in any way, other than to open one's pocketbook. Nonetheless, I recommend it. It's a quick read and even if you only donate $20, you know you're maki ...more
Jun 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is kind of an average "do-gooder in the developing world" book. Not particularly well written but nice to read anyway. What I liked most was the author's voice. I admire his determination to found a school for AIDS orphans without bribing government officials. I also appreciated a realistic description of Uganda. Kaguri's Kamapala and Kanungu District rings true to my experience staying in Kampala and then driving to the villages to spend the Christmas holiday near Kabale -- as the guest of ...more
Jul 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A fantastic and inspiring true story of how 1 person can still make a huge difference in the world. Twesigye was fortunate enough to be able to come to the US for education but was moved to start a school for AIDS orphans back in his home village. His faith in God and the loss of family members moved him to care for these children and he was able to use his contacts in the US to fund the school and educate the poorest of the poor. An eye opener to the suffering that HIV is still causing in areas ...more
Jun 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-and-read
This book made me cry - and I very rarely cry. I love the LOVE and determination that Twesigye Jackson Kaguri has. This is a book about wanting more in life and taking the very big steps to make sure that the people back home have what they need. In this case the main desire is a clean water source and school (for everyone - no matter what). It is inspiring, heartbreaking, eye-opening, and it will make your hear swell with joy. I recommend this book for anyone and everyone.
Jul 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will finish reading this book tonight. I have absolutely loved it and it's one that I am thinking about often and wishing I could read nonstop! I am truly humbled by what Twesigye Jackson Kaguri has done in the rural village of his childhood in Uganda. This man is an angel and on a very important mission that will truly change the world. I am inspired to help my neighbors and show more charity towards all human beings because of his example.
Jun 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book by a man from Uganda, raised in a rural village and eventually ended up in the US for his education. His passion to reach the millions of AIDS orphans in Uganda is an inspiring story. Through his vision, dedication and unswerving resolve, he created schools and supported community to improve the lives of the entire community. It is a story of how vision and resolve can change the world.
Jamie Sutton
May 04, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this is the most amazing book ever. i joined Twesigye's facebook page and he actually wrote to me. we missed him when he was in Boulder this year. this book made me realize that i am just a small part of this world, but that if i want to, i can make a big difference in the world. i hope to join this organization and others like it and one day travel to Uganda and see the schools. i got my mom to read it and she cried.
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Twesigye Jackson Kaguri was raised in Uganda, graduated from Makarere University, and was a visiting scholar at Columbia University. He is the associate director of development at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, and the founder and director of the Nyaka and Kutamba AIDS Orphans Schools in Uganda.

Co-author Susan Urbanek Linville is a biologist and writer who lives in Pennsylvan

More about Twesigye Jackson Kaguri...
“I had found that Americans were quick to smile when they greeted you, but often the smile was only on the surface” 2 likes
“Anecdotes are not the same as experience, but they often inspire. And inspiration is the blood of human existence. Without it we are empty.” 0 likes
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