Friday, April 24, 2009

Three Cups of Tea

Fans of 'Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace...One School at a Time' will be happy to know that we now have copies of the editions created just for young readers. This is a marvelous opportunity for adults and kids to read about Greg Mortenson and his efforts to create schools in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

'Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World...One Child at a Time' is perfect for 5th graders and up. Greg Mortenson's story is retold here but simplified for younger readers who are very comfortable with chapter books. Color photos supplement the text so readers can see the places and people referred to in the book. There is also a nice interview with Greg's daughter Amira, who is now involved in her father's work. A time line and glossary help readers keep track of what happened when and define foreign words they aren't familiar with. I particularly liked the 'Who's Who in Three Cups of Tea' which is a glossary of the people mentioned in the book. This is great for readers who have a hard time keeping some of the story participants straight as well as introducing them to historical figures mentioned in the book that they may be unfamiliar with. I think, although I haven't tried this out, that this might be a good read-aloud that could work in classrooms or as a family activity.

For a great read-aloud with pictures that will take your breath away, try the picture book version of Greg's story titled 'Listen to the Wind'. Again, Greg's story is simplified, this time for the youngest readers. But the pictures that illustrate the story are spectacular. Using fabric and paper scraps, collage artist Susan L. Roth has brought the story to life with illustrations that readers will pour over and marvel at how time-consuming they had to be to create. The intricate details are amazing. I can't think of how the story might have been better illustrated. 'Listen to the Wind' is beautiful enough to deserve a place on your family coffee table.

Now that three editions of Greg Mortenson's inspiring story are available for all levels of readers, this is a great time to consider doing a school-wide reading effort where everyone, students, teachers, and parents, read the same book. I'm sure there will be many schools and communities that unite to do just that. Keep watching to see who else these books inspire!

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