Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stones Into Schools

Stones into Schools
Greg Mortenson
Viking, 2009. 402 p. Nonfiction

If you educate a boy, you educate an individual. If you educate a girl, you educate a community...” is the African proverb that directs Greg Mortenson’s life. He’s the now famous author of the bestselling Three Cups of Tea and his work for peace through education in the war torn countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan continues in Stones into Schools. Mortenson recounts the stories of hard work and adventures that accompany “The Dirty Dozen”—a hodge-podge gang he’s assembled to aid his school and community center building endeavors. They’re a funny, motley crew and their quirky traits and adventures are beguiling, ranging anywhere from the saliva-producing yak feasts to out-running violent characters through the chaos of these stricken countries.

However, it’s the quest for schools that drives the plot and Mortenson argues that female education is paramount in this region of the world--reaching far up the clan hierarchy where life-changing decisions are made. It’s not a quick-read, but an admirable choice if non-fiction is your thing and peace and education your aspirations. One reason Mortenson might have achieved so much success is the personal philosophy he always applies--“Listen with Humility”. It’s served him well and provides grand advice for us all.


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