Sunday, August 9, 2009

Children's Book Review: Listen to the Wind by Dr. Greg Mortenson

I ordered this book for our daughter as I'm about to read "Three Cups of Tea" by Greg Mortenson soon as well. This is the children's version of the journey of Dr. Greg Mortenson. After his failed attempt to climb K2, in memory of his deceased sister, he was lost in the mountains and fell ill. He stumbled upon a poor remote village and these villagers helped nurse him back to health.

He wanted to find a way to thank them and noticed the children attended school on a flat rock with sticks to write in the dirt. He promised to return one day and build them a school. And so the story goes of the "mountainous" challenges he faced to fulfill his promise and the numerous school's he's had built since then. This is an inspiring story and the artwork is gorgeous. It's told in simple terms that children can understand.

When our daughter had a friend over, I had them take turns reading pages then I asked them what they thought about it. They said they really liked the colourful pictures and they thought the people in the village were nice. My hope is the story will make them ponder how other children in the world go to school and what they can do to make a difference.

This year my goal is to have my daughter continue to read the book while I read "Three Cups of Tea". Then, on her own, suggest she participate in Pennies for Peace and approach her school to start a campaign.

I've already received a package from the Central Asia Institute with everything we'll need to start a Pennies for Peace campaign at her school this year. The idea is that the school children collect pennies (achievable for all children) which are then donated to help build schools in impoverished regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Most of these schools are built for girls who wouldn't otherwise receive an education due to cultural beliefs. The villagers themselves are in charge of the planning of the school and build it themselves. This seems to have discouraged acts of terror on these schools as the local villages fiercly protect what they've come together to build. The girls, in turn, become educated and when they become mothers later in life, will be less tolderant should their children take on extreme beliefs.

I ordered our books through the Three Cups of Tea website which links you to They receive the most money for their cause this way.

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