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Three Cups of Tea

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This young readers edition of the worldwide bestseller Three Cups of Tea has been specially adapted for younger readers and updated by Greg Mortenson to bring his remarkable story of humanitarianism up to date for the present. Includes new photos and illustrations, as well as a special interview by Greg’s twelve-year-old daughter, Amira, who has traveled with her father as an advocate for the Pennies for Peace program for children.

240 pages, Paperback

First published January 1, 2006

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About the author

Sarah L. Thomson

62 books68 followers
Sarah L. Thomson has written over thirty books for young readers, including poetry, prose, fiction and nonfiction. Her recent books include Cub's BIG World, which School Library Journal called “a big must-have" and Deadly Flowers: A Ninja's Tale, which Booklist called “genuinely thrilling." She lives in Portland, Maine.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,588 reviews
Profile Image for Joey.
199 reviews47 followers
February 24, 2016

I decided to put it in my bag unmolested for a few days before I mustered up enough desire to finish it. As a matter of fact, its edition is intended for young readers. However, I swerved off after having watched the report of 60 Minutes by CBS News about the author’s credibility on Youtube in 2011. According to the news, the book contained fabrications and he mismanaged Central Asia Institute, the charity he co-founded. In an interview with author John Krauker, he said that it is a beautiful story, and it's a lie. He also added that a companion on the 1993 attempt to climb K2 refuted Mortenson's account that people in the remote Pakistani village of Korphe nursed him back to health. The reports also accused Mortenson of using the charity to enrich himself and promote his books without sharing the royalties or speaking fees.( for more information, see the news here http://www.cbsnews.com/news/three-cup...)

In the end, while trying to finish it and despite the author’s credibility in question, I thought that, somehow, the book has a message each and every one of us should be aware of: All children elsewhere have the right to acquire decent education.

I had seen its original book several times in a second-hand book store. However, I just ignored it because I was not interested in such genre yet at that time. Besides, as I have always crowed to the world, I don’t want to buy a tattered book any more. It just happened that I stumbled on its new and childish edition.

As I started reading it, I began to mutter under my breath regretting why I did not dare reading it before since there were paperbacks aplenty. I was touched to read Greg Monterson’s humble life story , on how he began to realize that there was something he could do more than climbing the second highest mountain in the world, K2. Back in America, he worked his butt off to ante up enough fund to make his promise come true. Fortunately, he made it. Despite all the trepidation, he never gave up on his calling.

Since the book is for young readers, obviously, it is light, not that much heavily detailed as the original although I have this feeling that I want to know the story more- in detail. I guess the author may have selected only some important parts paralleling with a young reader’s comprehension level.

After reading it, I forgot the controversy about Greg. I don’t mind it anymore except the messages he wants to tell the world: Education is a human right. Besides, I will still give his two books a try such as his original Three Cups Of Tea: One Man's Mission To Promote Peace One School At A Time and Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

On the other hand, it occurred to me that corruption is indeed a big temptation to a person who has been deprived of poverty unless that person grows in a home where love is taught as the most powerful element in the world.

In January of this year, Greg Mortenson retired from Central Asia Institute, the charity he managed for nine years. He is now 58 years old . He can now spend more quality time with his family, but for sure he cannot escape the specter of the weathering controversy he has been facing .

Meanwhile, here are the catchphrases I want to dwell in my mind when Haji Ali spoke to Monterson:

“If you want to thrive in Baltistan, you must respect our ways. The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family, and for our family, we are prepared to do anything, even die. Doctor Greg, you must take time to share three cups of tea. We may be uneducated but we are not stupid. We have lived and survived here for a long time.’ That day, Haji Ali taught me the most important lesson I’ve ever learned in my life. We Americans think you have to accomplish everything quickly…Haji Ali taught me to share three cups of tea, to slow down and make building relationships as important as building projects. He taught me that I had more to learn from the people I work with than I could ever hope to teach them.”
94 reviews
May 8, 2010
I'm not really a fan of true stories. Fiction is the section of the library that I'm always poking around in. But THREE CUPS OF TEA, even the Young Reader's Edition, by Greg Mortenson, totally enveloped me in its adventure. Who knew that one mountain climber could experience so much, and help so many people? Well, apparently the Chief of this village knew.
I could not believe how sad this story was, while at the same time enlightening. While children all over the U.S. sit in classrooms with desks, textbooks, pencils, even UNNECESSARY things, and educated teachers, children in these other countries are facing the dirt ground, writing in mud with sticks, sometimes not even having a teacher to learn with! There are hardly any buildings for schooling to go on, and if in the buildings it is rare for you to have a cool learning community in the summers and a warm school for the harsh winters.
THREE CUPS OF TEA has a strong moral. And that moral is, if you haven't noticed, that you must be grateful for what you have. The story of Greg Mortenson and what he encounters really changes your mind about things.

Profile Image for Serena.. Sery-ously?.
1,093 reviews179 followers
April 4, 2016
Premettendo che una stellina è per le scuole che Mortenson ha costruito nonostante tutto, non ho potuto apprezzare il libro perché:
a) Greg Mortenson è un farabutto
b) l'edizione che ho comprato ("Questa copertina è più bella, scelgo questa!") è l'edizione ridottissima, a mo' di favoletta per 'giovani lettori': my bad, perché è riportato il bollino in bella vista sulla copertina, ma io dormo, il libro costava 90 centesimi e quindi ciaone :D

Ecco, dunque.. Prontissima a prendermi la colpa per la b), ma credo sarei riuscita a soprassedere alla cosa se non avessi - per purissimo caso - fatto qualche ricerca durante la lettura. C'è un bell'articolo del Washington Post che riassume un po' la vicenda.. Se volete leggerlo lo trovate QUI; il succo della storia è che Mortenson non solo si è inventato metà delle cose che ha scritto, come ad esempio l'incipit della storia, ovvero l'essersi perso sul K2 ed essere arrivato al villaggio di Korphe (e la considero una bugia 'bianca', accettabile ai fini del racconto) fino ad arrivare alla scena in cui GREG VIENE RAPITO OTTO GIORNI DAI TALEBANI E POI LASCIATO COME SE NULLA FOSSE AL GRIDO "Vabbé fraté, era uno scherzo.. In gamba eh! (bugia decisamente meno bianca e anzi dannosa.. Cioè, ragazzi, io ho visto in un video il povero cristo che l'ha OSPITATO.. Ma puoi dare del terrorista alla gente così random??).. Insomma, non solo ha inventato di sana pianta la sua storia.. Ma si è anche intascato un SACCO di soldi della sua associazione, molte scuole che dice di aver costruito sono diroccate o mezze vuote o addirittura sono state costruite da altri.. Insomma, un farabutto.
Io dopo aver appreso queste cose non sono riuscita a leggere il libro con serenità e imparzialità e mi è sembrato una grande presa per i fondelli..
Che amarezza, lucrare sui bambini poverissimi e analfabeti del Pakistan e Afghanistan, sono disgustata!!!!
Profile Image for Jennifer.
125 reviews
January 18, 2011
Greg Mortenson quotes Mother Teresa and lives by her devotion to help others, "What we are trying to do may be a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of the missing drop". Providing an education to kids and more importantly girls, in Afghanistan and Pakistan is Greg's way to enhance peace and provide people with a reason to live over die.

I thought the story was great. I have true admiration for a man that cherishes education and others as much as he does. It is an inspiring story of how everyone can help and the importance you play in a strangers life.

I understand this was the Young Reader's Edition, but I felt there was more to the story. It was a great go getter, you can do anything motivational story. However, in that there are trials and tribulations you must tend too. More on his hardships would be a bit more realistic for the story. Let the young reader's realize that even the best dreams may be difficult to attain, but with perserverance and dedication you can get there.. show more of his perserverance and what he had to overcome.
Profile Image for Forgetfulone.
392 reviews1 follower
March 19, 2011
I'm having a difficult time getting through this one. I'm about 1/4 through. Everyone says, "Oh that is such a good book!" I'm just not feeling it, though.

Update - I'm finally finished, and I didn't think it was a great book. I have mixed feelings about the work Mortenson is doing in the middle east, and I believe there is a lot of self-promotion on his part. He has another book out. After looking at it, particularly the pictures included, I believe it shows just how much of a "personality" he's become. So, I question his motives. He wasn't able to climb the mountain. How does that turn into building schools for girls and boys in Pakistan? To me, it doesn't seem to have anything at all to do with promoting peace (the premise of his new book). It was about him. In the beginning, he never mentioned that educating kids was a way to promote peace. That came about at the suggestion of a Parade Magazine writer. He has capitalized on that.

Why does someone put their own family at risk? Why does someone adopt the customs of a completely different culture? Why not help people you know? I believe his motivation was completely personal, to the point of being obsessive and self-serving. I don't think altruism has a lot to do with it. I think it's about the awards, accolades, and esteem he gets.

Aside from that, the writing was not particularly well done. I got bored at several points, and I believe there are certain things that weren't explained well. And I have to wonder how he remembered such tiny details, or if he embellished them.

So, I read the book so that I could say I had. I just have to disagree with anyone who thinks it's such a wonderful book.
Profile Image for Yumi Learner.
288 reviews19 followers
February 6, 2012
Today I would love to write the review of "Three Coups of Tea". A couple of days ago, I read the book in English. It was very inspiring and motivating. Have you heard about the name, "Greg Mortenson"? To tell you the truth, before I read the book, I didn't know about him at all.

He is kind of an American hero. I think most of people know about Mother Teresa because of her great activities. I can tell you that Greg Mortenson looks like her because of his great activities. He is still struggling to build up schools in undeveloped countries right now. Can you imagine that there are so many children who can't go to school in the world? Greg gave such children education. We can't buy education by money, but it is one of the most important part in our life. Education helps our country and brings rich and fame. He thought if he wanted to help people, giving money and foods isn't a proper way for poor people. The best way is to educate children. After they grow up, they will become educated mature; they will be able to solve their problems by themselves.

I love the process that he tried to build up schools against his serious situations. I love his fighting spirit that he never gave up. I also love he conquered lots of problems and could realize his dreams. I really think that he is a good example for us to let us realize that even if we keep having dreams, if we don't work hard, we can't realize the dreams. However, if we work hard, someday we can realize the dreams.
11 reviews
May 16, 2012
Three cups of tea is a book about Greg Mortenson who tried to climb K2 the second highest mountain in the world. Greg fails and then meets a group of Afghan people who are in a tribe. Greg gets offered tea and realizes they keep asking him he wants more. Greg finds out later on that, if you get one cup of tea you are a stranger, two cups of tea you are a friend, three cups of tea and you become family. This would explain the title, Three Cups of Tea. Greg then begins to think of ways to give back to the Afghan people for helping him after his attempt to climb K2. Greg was trying to climb K2 because he was going to put his sisters who passed, necklace at thhe peak of the mountain. When Greg failed he flied home after living with the Afghan for awile. When Greg was in America he was thinking of ways he could help the Afghan people. Grag came up with building schools that kids could attend, even girls. Greg than begin to build schools for different villages. I think this book is good for most people who are intrested in the stuff that is happening in Afghanistan.
Profile Image for kirkesque.
49 reviews15 followers
March 13, 2010
Pedantic in the extreme and an indulgently self-congratulatory book (self-observation that he [Greg:] deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. But, I suppose, if a school can be built because someone is inept at mountain-climbing, then it's a Good Thing.

The Intent of this work is decent, the Reason seems quite shallow.

I've compared some chapters between the "adult" and "young readers" versions, and find Mortenson is no less pedantic towards his "adult" readers, although the glossary seems to be slightly less packed with holding-you-by-the-hand-and-coddling-you-because-Greg-Mortenson-thinks-you're-ignorant definitions.
Profile Image for Rae.
107 reviews67 followers
February 28, 2022
DNFd at page 54. The last time I DNFd a book was around 2009. When it comes to reading, I’m a finisher. But this book was just not worth finishing. Firstly, it seems that Mortenson wasn’t actually the great man this hagiographic biography makes him out to be. But even worse, the writing in this is unreadably patronising and boring! I wouldn’t have thought it possible to make a story about climbing K2 and getting lost anything other than gripping, but this book manages it. I can’t imagine any child would actually want to read this.

I was gifted this book by someone who’d seen it and thought of me, when I was going out to Nepal to train primary teachers. It was such a lovely gift that, even though I wouldn’t normally read an ‘adapted for children’ version of a book for adults, I had been looking forward to it. What a shame!
Profile Image for Mbgirl.
257 reviews8 followers
December 10, 2020
I felt so betrayed.

Would never deliberately read a fraudster’s tale, for tale ie what it was. Truly

After finishing Krakauer’s expose, I was viscerally disgusted.
31 reviews
January 25, 2015
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin is a very touching book that describes the struggles of the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan who can’t get an education like American children. An American man who is Greg Mortenson tries to climb the second highest mountain in honor of his younger sister but instead gets stuck in a village where he witnesses small children getting their education. After seeing this he can’t bear to see them in pain so as a result he decides to build schools for these children so they can study and achieve success in their lives. Its a really fascinating book to see how one man’s determination change the entire world in a new and reformed way. This book shows that because of one man’s feelings he changed the world to make it more peaceful and make more education available to one of the remotest countries ever. Even though this book is a memoir and it might seem boring it really isn’t since there is a lot of interesting things in it. For example there are many pictures that give you a visual of what the people of Pakistan and Afghanistan look like and what their village looks like. This book presents pictures of the school that Greg Mortenson built as well. Also it includes an interview with Greg Mortenson’s daughter which is Amira Mortenson. These things that are included in this book make this non fiction book more interesting. This book just doesn’t present it as blurting information. They present this book in a way of a story which is Greg Mortenson's story. I realized that once after reading this book that this man had risked his own life for these children in Pakistan just so he could help them gain an education. Education is the most important thing you need in your life since the more knowledge you have the more power you have. With that amount of power you can gain infinite success.
127 reviews
July 26, 2011
Okay, my reviews for this book are 99% negative, for many reasons.

-Reason one:
I was bored OUT OF MY MIND. By that I mean I don't care. Don't get me wrong, I sympathize the children in Afghanistan and Pakistan that go without the necessities that I don't think about, but I really don't care. I don't know why but I just don't.
-Reason two:
This was for school. All books chosen by schools (my school at least) are so unbearable that I want to die because they follow stupid guidelines. One of the guidelines that every book follows is it has something historical about it. Last three books that I read for school were about the witch trials and World War 2. Eww. Another guideline is that they are dull, this book was exactly that. The final guideline that I will bother to type is all of the characters come from nothing and become a "big deal". Oh yeah, and these books that I absolutely HATE I have to write essays on.
-Reason 3:
The controversy surrounding this book. Ever since the librarian told me about it, I've been doing research and found that there are people that say the CAI was mismanaged and all of the money might have not all gone to building those schools. Also, I have found that he might have lied about staggering into Korphe. Apparently he wasn't even kidnapped by the Taliban. Girrr.

Overall this book bored me to death (see reasons above). It could have been worse (only by a little bit though) that is my reason for the two stars. If I could've I would've given it one and a half stars.
Profile Image for Julianne.
356 reviews9 followers
September 20, 2010
I read "The Young Reader's Edition" of this book, and that turned out to be a good thing. #1. It was abridged. #2. It included simple definitions for words and terms that "young readers" might not know.

This guy goes to Pakistan to climb a mountain, gets lost and ends up in a very small village, where the people nurse him back to health. One day he sees the village children all sitting together outside, quietly working, and without any adults. He asks, and is told that they are in "school". They are reading what few books the village has, and doing their multiplication tables in the dirt! No building. No supplies. No teacher. Greg was touched, and promised to return to the village and build them a school.

What follows is an extraordinary tale of his efforts to raise some funds, gather some building materials, transport those materials and work with the people of this village to solve some of their problems. His journey to success is long and difficult, but he not only builds a school for these people, he goes on to build many schools in Pakistan and eventually, Afghanistan. His adventures are extraordinary!

I'm glad I read the abridged version, as I fear the other would have become tedious. Nevertheless, I am glad I got to see this positive side of the Muslim people who do not hate all Americans, who have great faith in God and who want their girls as well as their boys to get an education and go on to become the strongholds of their communities.
Profile Image for Michelle Hankes.
Author 4 books31 followers
June 10, 2010
I really enjoyed this book. I didn't know what to expect at first, but it really enthralled me and I wanted to know more.

I ended up with the Young Reader's Edition from the library (not realizing it at first and I would also like to make note that in the book itself, the Young Reader's version is actually called the Young Adult version - there's a difference!). I found that this version moved everything along quickly, sometimes too quickly, but I got the most out of it because it really focused on the children, the people in each town and not the difficulties that Greg faced. It didn't skirt these things, but the primary focus became about the good he did - and is doing.

An extraordinary book about a land we here in America know very little about and the media does nothing to help with that. This book is now a quick favorite of mine because it shows the humanity of all people - no matter where they live, children are still children, husbands are husbands, wives are wives and all of us are trying to make a better life for our families and communities. A true testament to what life is really all about.

Excellent read.

Young Reader's Version is appropriate for nearly all ages. Some threatening situational topics.
1 review
March 4, 2011
I thought three cups of tea was a decent book having read ti with my geography teacher and my entire 7th grade class i believe this book truly shows the true side of pakistan citizens and tribes this book was a good read and kept me busy for about a week i cant imagine how long the adult version is. i wish people however would stop stereotyping people as terrorists just because they are from the middle east or and stereotypes for that matter. But this book was one of the best i have ever read and i hope more people read it because it deserves the popularity and after all this book truly is awesome in its true form having not read a book like this before i now realize that things can change in the world with the flick if a wrist or the building of a school things arent under just anyones control we just need to help other countries because without knowledge we are no better than a monkey eating ticks out of another monkeys back i believe greg had a great plan and deserves more money to help his endeavor
Profile Image for Hannah.
35 reviews
June 20, 2015
I'd actually give it 3.5 stars... I read this book in one day, an easy read. I found it enjoyable enough and it also hit a lot on equality for women which I appreciated
Profile Image for Yigal Zur.
Author 10 books126 followers
September 9, 2018
loved the book. amazing story of getting lost will climbing and finding completly new mission in life - building schools for girls in remote pakistan
2 reviews1 follower
January 19, 2018
Imagine the thrill of climbing the second tallest mountain in the world. Now imagine the feeling of realizing that you are lost. This is what happened to Greg Mortenson in his attempt to climb K2 to honor his sister. He would have died but he came across a small village named Korphe, and they helped him get back to full. Because of what they had done for him, he offered something in return, to build them a school. Eventually, he does build the people of Korphe a school and then starts to build schools all over Pakistan and Afghanistan and he wrote a book about his experiences. The book Three Cups of Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin is an amazing non-fiction book. Something that makes the book so enjoyable is the use of literary devices. An example of a device that is used is characterization. In the book, Mortenson gets developed as a caring and altruistic character and that makes it more enjoyable. Also, tone is one of the devices that is used so well throughout the book. He uses many different words and anecdotes to create an inspiring atmosphere. A specific example of this is when he is kidnapped. He didn’t let it discourage him and after he got out he continued to build schools. Another device that is well used is the theme. The theme in the book is to help others when needed, and it is convey just by him telling his story. Finally, the conflict of the book. The main conflict of this book is not having the money because it actually is very expensive to build schools. But Mortenson does everything he can to contribute, to the point where he is living in his car. In the end, if you like stories about people helping each other then I would recommend this book to you.
Profile Image for Chantal.
3 reviews1 follower
November 3, 2019
This book feels like a missed opportunity.
Whilst the authors touch on important discussions about feminism, education and community development, these dialogues are sparse.

The book feels overwhelmingly like vanity publishing, and the lack of critical self reflection upon Greg's position as a white foreigner trying to change Indigenous culture and customs is disappointing.

I would have loved to learn more about the communities who physically built and used the schools, and the bravery of the female students, and less about Greg's martyrdom in America.
Further, the connotations that Greg's schools prevent girls from becoming violent terrorists is deeply unsettling.

Despite its flaws, I feel 3 stars is still needed as the book does allow people to reflect more poignantly on the importance of education for girls and the power of supporting communities in achieving their own self-determined goals.
6 reviews
March 21, 2018
This book was alright. I don't typically read books like this because I don't enjoy reading non-fiction as much but this book was still fairly good. This book is about a climber that gets lost while climbing K2 and finds a village where many of the people are uneducated and in need of a school. After he sees this he makes it his goal to build schools all throughout Pakistan. The author makes it very clear that schools and education are extremely important for everyone. The book was organized in chronological order telling Greg's journey as he tries to build these schools in Pakistan. This book was very informative about how important school is to everyone and the struggle Pakistani kids go through to be educated. This book was written by Greg, the man that built the schools and it is a re-telling of his adventure so I feel he is very qualified. I agree with Greg that everybody needs a school. I thought this book was alright and I recommend this to whoever is looking to read about someone that did something good.
Profile Image for Catherine.
336 reviews42 followers
April 30, 2020
The only reason this gets 2-stars and not a solid 1-star is that I reserve 1-stars for DNF.

This tale, because tale is what it is, despite supposedly being real, is so fictitious that it's borderline criminal. I only read this because this is what my book club wanted to read and I definitely wouldn't recommend that more groups read this.
Profile Image for Kayla.
Author 3 books4 followers
January 30, 2020
This is an important and informative book that everyone needs to read, especially if you're interested in world politics and economics. It has a pretty slow start, but it's worth it in the end.
Profile Image for Maria Melnikova.
16 reviews1 follower
November 2, 2020
Inspiring story in a beautiful setting. Makes you want to go and see those villages and mountains!
19 reviews1 follower
December 29, 2020
I think this is a book that everyone should read in their life! It really changed my heart.
Profile Image for Writing My.
2 reviews
April 18, 2012
Three Cups Of Tea:
This heart throbbing story that pulls at your heart strings was amazing. I do have to say though, this book was very well written, but seemed almost too well written. It had so many details that I wouldn't even be able to remember. It seemed like this book was looked over carefully and was written very...neatly. And with all the controversy of what is true and what is not, Greg is a liar, he did this and didnt do that, the whole nine yards, made it hard to concentrate on the real meaning of this book. That many kids all over Asia don't have the opportunity for education, and with the CAI, you can make that happen. That one school built is a big part of a problem solved. This book also talked about how children were passionate about school and some tried to start classes outside. It told of what Greg went through to build his schools, about the creation of an organization called the CAI (Central Asian Institute), and how Greg spread the word of this continuing problem to raise money for the schools. To me, what Greg did was more than anyone could have dreamed to do. Even if he did miss important things in making the project of education come together, at least he tried. He had a vision that was strong enough to carry out, and this book says how he did it and what his vision was. In the end, i learned that even though biulding schools doesn't solve the whole problem, its a step in the right direction.
I loved this book not only because in it, schools were built for kids so they can get an education, but also because it told the story of what greg went through and the struggles to make this happen, and because it showed the customs of the different villages and the countrys themselves. For example, the custom that I liked most was the serving of tea and how a person who has tea once, is a stranger, the second time, is a friend, and the third time, family. What I did not like about the book is that he didnt describe anything about getting teachers and how it ended. I felt that it needed to continue.
I would definitely recommend this book to people who want to learn more about the importance of school and life in South Asia. I would do so because the book shows the eagerness of children wanting to learn and how many adults begged Greg to build schools in there villages. This book talks of the way of life in South Asia because it says how there is no education for kids and how they try to teach themsleves. It also shows the cultures to the different villages like how the yak is a prized possesion in Korphe, and how in one village, sugar was scarce and used in only special accasions. And that each village has a chief who they look up to and the different languages people speak in.
Profile Image for Tianna.
9 reviews
March 30, 2011
"You can hand out condoms, drop bombs, build roads, or put in electricity, but until the girls are educated a society won’t change." — Greg Mortenson . This book was about a man named Greg who loves to hike and decides to try to hike one the tallest mountains in Pakinstan. While he is on this adventure he gets throwned off of the trail he is suppose to be following with the other people he is hiking with and doesnt know where is he is. While he is lost wihtout no food or water he trys to find his way back to the trail instead he came along a tribe of people. These people were poor they didnt have much but when Greg was there they gave him all they had, The last of their fresh water that was hard to find and food that they only gave to special people instead of the sick people who were dying from not have enough to eat. When Greg notices that he was cherished like that and found out that they couldnt afford another one of anything the tribe gave him. When Greg was there he also found out that the kids in this tribe did not go to school everyday because the tribe couldnt afford to send them to school or able to supple the kids with supplies to attend school.Greg felt really bad for these kids expecially the little girls in the tribe, they were not allowed to attend school sometimes because they needed to help cook , clean and watch babies while their parents went off to find food and other supplies needed. Gregs mission in this book is to build this tribe a school for the kids to attend everyday even the little girls. Greg wanted the girls to have a good education because society needed them. I would rate this book a three because even though it was really sad i didnt find the book really interesting to me i found what the people were going through was really sad and i thought what Greg was doing to help this tribe out was really nice of him. I would recommend this book to young adults who are interested in this kind of topic and are trying to make a difference in the world.

Profile Image for Jeff.
55 reviews14 followers
September 2, 2010
The book begins with Greg Mortenson coming down from the near peak of K2 (The second tallest mountain after Everest). He gets lost from his other climbers and stumbles into a village in remote Pakistan where he is able to get his health back. After seeing the poverty and lack of a school, he vows to build a school for the people.

Greg runs into several snags along the way, but is moved by the people he meets to finish the school and then eventually work full time for an organization whose goal it is to build schools around rural Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The title comes from an incident where Greg wasn't respecting the culture and was being a bit too results-driven with the local workers and nagging them often. A wise local village elder took away his notebook, level, and plumb line and gave him a lesson in the culture to slow down and enjoy life. In their culture, you have three cups of tea: "With the first cup of tea you are a stranger, with the second you become a friend, and with the third, you join our family."

We later learn that Greg gets everything back and that the people kept meticulous accounting better than Greg ever could have done.

I liked the book. It gave some insight into what life is really like (or can be like) in places that, as a person in the USA, I think are just war-torn parts of the world.

Side story: When I downloaded the audio book for this from the library, I thought I was getting the original version. About 30 seconds into it, I realized it was the young reader's edition. I decided to keep listening to it and think the story line was the same as the full version, but I smiled at all the parenthetical comments throughout the book "... they went to a mosque (a Muslim place of worship).... they were nomads (people who have no specific home but wander around)..." etc
12 reviews
February 4, 2011
Greg Mortenson stumbled upon his life's work by accident. A nurse by training, he was attempting to climb K2 to honor the memory of his youngest sister, Christa. Christa had died of an epileptic seizure on her 23rd birthday. Greg failed to reach the summit of K2 and on the way down, he became separated from his climbing party. He had no food and no warm clothing until he wandered into the village of Korphe. The people welcomed him, gave him food, shelter and warm clothing, and nursed him back to health. When he left, Greg promised the village elder, Haji Ali, that he would return and build a school for the village children, in gratitude for their kindness to him. Little did he know how difficult it would be to keep that promise. When Greg returned home, he set about raising money to build a school. His first 580 fund raising letters received only one reply, a check for $100 from Tom Brokaw. Greg also spoke to elementary students at the school where his mother was principal. The students started a "Pennies for Pakistan" fund raising drive. They raised $623.45 which was far short of the $12,000 Greg thought would be needed to build a school. Then, one of the doctors at the hospital where Greg worked wrote an article in a mountain climbing newsletter about Greg and his plan to build a school in Korphe. When Jean Hverni read the article, he was interested. This brilliant, wealthy man, who was also a mountain climber, called Greg. He agreed to send the $12,000 Greg needed. There were many more obstacles, but Greg had found his life's work. This is an inspiring true story of a man whose tremendous love, dedication, respect for others and self sacrifice will amaze you.
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