Chuck's Reviews > Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Stones Into Schools by Greg Mortenson
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's review
Dec 29, 2009

really liked it
Read in December, 2009

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 village, Mortenson meets an orphaned eleven-year-old mechanic who works for food and shelter. He also tells the tale of a young boy who is blown up by an old Soviet land mine while he watches the school he wants to attend being built.

What is also missing is a lot of the biographical details that appear in the first book. Thus, the book reads more like an adventure story than a memoir. We really see how Mortenson and his staff sacrifice to promote peace and literacy in a very violent and dangerous part of the world. We see their struggles to reach remote villages and see the harsh lives of people he tries to help.

This book contains a lot of historical, geographical, and cultural information about this mysterious part of the world. Mortenson really tries to educate the reader about the world he works with every day.

And of course, the primary focus of this book is the message. If we really want to defeat the Taliban and Islamic extremism and promote health and literacy, then building schools in remote villages is a great first step. Mortenson proves his thesis again and again and inspires us to do something about it.
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