Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth
July 20, 2010 in Books With Social Studies Content, character education, Elementary Educators, Fighting world poverty, Helping Girls and Women Around the World, Making Personal Connections, Mortenson Greg, multicultural books, Picture Book Tags: Greg Mortenson, Listen to the Wind, Susan L. Roth, Three Cups of Tea
Yesterday, I discussed the book Three Cups of Tea. When I posted the link on my Facebook page, people praised the book, and some people had actually heard Greg Mortenson speak on college campuses. So, if you haven’t read it yet, put it on your to-do list. If you want to share his message with your children or your classroom, then check out this book: Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea.
Not only is the story of Greg Mortenson told simply in this picture book, but the murals by Susan L. Roth are fantastic. Children will love to look at these illustrations over and over again–I do! The story goes like this: The children of Korphe, a village in the Pakistan mountains, have school outside and do their lessons with sticks. A teacher comes to teach them 3 times a week. One day, Dr. Greg stumbles into their village (because he was trying to climb K2 and failed). The villagers keep him there until he recovers. When he leaves, he asks the wisest man, Haji Ali, what he can do to help the village to repay them for their kindness, and Haji Ali says, “Listen to the wind.”
When Greg listens to the wind, he hears the voices of the children outside doing their lessons, and he gets the idea to build them a school. He promises to come back with materials to build a school, and he does. However, he realizes they will need to build a bridge first to get the materials to the remote village, and they do that, too. In the end of the book, the children have a school building, and their teacher can now afford to come every day to teach them.
In the back of the book are real photos of Dr. Greg, the children, and the villagers. There are also facts such as now Greg Mortenson and the Central Asia Institute have built over 131 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They educate 58,000 children–40,000 are girls. Children can also read how in Pakistan and Afghanistan, one penny buys a pencil and $1.00 pays for an education for a month! Students, their families, and/or classrooms are encouraged to check out the Pennies for Peace program at www.penniesforpeace.org.