Apr 6, 2011
Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg & Three Cups of Tea
Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth
Illustrated by Susan L. Roth
I must confess that I didn't read Three Cups of Tea, Mortenson's bestseller book about his time in Pakistan and Afghanistan building schools. I had heard a lot of good reviews about it, but I hardly ever read nonfiction (shhhhh, don't tell my students). So when I came across Listen to the Wind I saw my opportunity to learn about Mortenson's story through a picture book. I was very moved.
The book is told from the point of view of the kids of the village of Khorpe, in the mountains of Pakistan. They retell the story of how Dr.Greg (Mortenson) ends up in their village after getting lost during a hike. The village helps him recuperate, and while trying to find how to repay them their kindness, the wise man of the town tells him to "Listen to Wind". He listens, and what he hears are the voices of kids trying to study outdoors. Dr.Greg leaves Khorpe knowing what his mission is: to come back and build a school for the village. The story is very touching and inspiring. The illustrations are beautiful collages. I also really enjoyed the fact that at the end of the book there is a scrapbook with actual photographs of Mortensen in Pakistan and Afghanistan, facts about the region, and an artist note explaining the illustration process. This is a great book to share in the classroom and at home.