Monday, September 12, 2011

Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World... One Child at a Time (The Young Reader's Edition) Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin, adapted by Sarah Thomson

Ok, so I read this before everything came out challenging the accuracy of Mortensen's story.

According to the book, after getting lost while coming off K2 after failing to reach the summit, Mortensen stumbled into a small Pakistani village. The villagers there took care of him as he regained his strength and health. When he saw that the kids had no school, but practiced writing in the mud every day even though a teacher only came three days a week, Greg promised to build the kids a school.

Raising the money and building the school was hard, but it got done and Greg built more schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He believes that through education comes peace.

Of course, now we're unsure how much of this really happened. BUT! Schools got built. Schools are good and I think that education brings economic prosperity and peace. Education is the key.

I tried to read the adult version of this and just couldn't get through it. The Young Reader's edition is much tighter! But, both books idolize Greg Mortensen. I guess it kinda makes sense, because the adult version was his memoir and I'm sure he meant it to also work as a fundraising tool for the Central Asian Institute. But, at the same time, these books present him as God's gift to the Pakistani people. Even before the revelations came out, I was questioning the book, because Greg just seemed too good to be real, like Nancy Drew or an Ibbotson romance heroine.

And it's sad that the book did this and it's sad that so much of the story might not be true, because it dilutes the importance and impact of education and schools. It dilutes the ways that kids here can help other kids around the world and promote friendship and understanding.

Today's round up is over at Wrapped in Foil.

Book Provided by... the publisher for Cybils 2009 consideration

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1 comment:

Roberta said...

Thanks for discussing this book. Sometimes when there is a backlash against someone, a lot of good is thrown aside.