Saturday, October 17, 2009

Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson

Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth

My Thoughts:

I read the adult version of this book, Three Cups of Tea. I loved the story, but thought the book was poorly written. Perhaps it should have been a magazine article rather than a story. Or perhaps a stronger writer should have taken it on. But the grownup version was a disappointment to me.

Like Three Cups of Tea, I really wanted to like this book. The story is the same powerful tale. An American climber is unable to carry on and comes upon a village where the people nurse him back to health. He wants to find a way to repay the village. One of the village wise men suggests that he listen to the wind. The climber hears children’s voices, studying outdoors, with no school, no pencils or books, and only the occasional teacher. The climber commits to returning to the village and building a school for the children.

Once I read the artist’s note, I came to love the fabric collages used for illustration.

The children I read the story to liked the story and admired the man who came to help the children who had no schools. They had mixed feelings about the illustrations.

A Sample:

‘When Dr. Greg was well enough to go

Home, he asked Haji Ali, our wisest man,

To help him think of something special

He could do for Korphe.

Haji Ali answered Dr. Greg with a puzzle.

“LISTEN TO THE WIND,” he said.’

Children’s Comments:

Lily, 7, said, "I liked the part when they built the bridge."
Ashlyn, 6, said, "I liked the pictures."
David, 6, said, "I liked it when they built the school."
Trenton, 5, said, "The pictures were good where the man was climbing the mountain."
Kylea, 6, said, "I liked the illustrations."

Children’s Ratings: 5, 1, 3, 3, 5, 5, 3

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