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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: Greg Mortenson, Most Recent at Top [Help]
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1. Stephen King Reads from Sequel to The Shining

While accepting the Mason Prize at George Mason University this weekend, novelist Stephen King gave fans a peek at a sequel to his classic novel, The Shining.

Above, we’ve embedded a short video clip from the event. Follow this link to read more about all the topics King discussed while receiving the award–past recipients included Chinua Achebe, Dave Eggers and Greg Mortenson.

Here’s more about the reading: “Doctor Sleep, his upcoming novel about a grown-up Danny Torrance from The Shining. In the book, Danny is a hospice worker who uses his powers to help ill patients to pass away without pain. Unfortunately, he runs afoul of a gang of wandering psychic vampires who feed on people’s energy.” (Via Matt Staggs)

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2. The non-fiction class action

By Andrew Trask The non-fiction author has all kinds of worries. He may get his facts seriously wrong, in a very public forum. His books may not sell. Even if his books do sell, he may be sued for libel (the print version of slander), especially in Europe. And, in the past few years, a new threat

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3. World Humanitarian Day ~ August 19th

Today, August 19th,  is designated by the United Nations General Assembly as World Humanitarian Day: a day to recognize the sacrifices and contributions of humanitarian workers around the world who risk their lives to give others help and hope. It is also a day to examine our own lives and consider what more we can do to help those people enduring conflict, disaster and hardship.

As the UN states:

There is never a year without humanitarian crises (at this moment over 12 million people are suffering in the Horn of Africa due to a catastrophic combination of conflict, high food prices and drought). Wherever there are people in need, there are people who help them. Aid workers help people who have lost their homes, loved ones and sources of income.

These humanitarians often brave great danger, far from home. They work long hours, in the most difficult conditions.  Their efforts save lives in conflict and natural disaster.  They also draw the world closer together by reminding us that we are one family, sharing the same dreams for a peaceful planet, where all people can live in safety, and with dignity.

On World Humanitarian Day, we honour these aid workers and thank them for their dedication. And we pay tribute to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice – in Afghanistan, Haiti and beyond.  Too many have died, or suffered their own loss, in the course of duty.  We pledge to do all we can to ensure the world’s humanitarians are kept safe to do their essential work.

The World Humanitarian Day website provides information, stories and interactive games for those interested in learning more about humanitarian work and how they can become involved. Of course another great way, especially for youngsters to learn about humanitarian work  and what it entails, is via books.  It is interesting to note that over the past few years there has been an increasing number of children’s and young adult books (both fiction and non-fiction) that feature areas of humanitarian work. Deborah Ellis’  books and Rukhsana Khan‘s books immediately come to mind, and others include:

Armando and the Blue Tarp School by Edith Hope Fine and Judith Pinkerton Josephson, illustrated by Hernan Sosa

Books for Children of the World: The Story of Jella Lepman by Sydelle Pearl, illustrated by Danlyn Iantorno

The Brighter Side of the Road: Upbeat and Offbeat Yarn from Home and Abroad, edited by Helen Coughlan and Janet Lawrence






Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed, illustrated by Doug Chayka

Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and Susan Roth, illustrated by Susan Roth

One Well: The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss, illustrated by Rosemary Woods

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4. Kevin Smokler Named VP of Marketing at Byliner

BookTour.com co-founder Kevin Smokler has been named vice president of marketing at Byliner.

Smokler will be responsible for overseeing marketing initiatives, social media projects, and community management at the new nonfiction site. Smokler previously served as CEO of BookTour.com. That site offers tools and services for authors to promote their books and for readers to have access to the authors.

Smokler had this statement in the press release: “Four of my great loves–reading, journalism, publishing and technology–all showed up in one job. How often does that happen?”


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5. Should You Keep an Error Log?

Do you keep track of errors in your manuscript? In light of recent allegations that Greg Mortenson fabricated parts of his memoir, it might be helpful to keep track of your own mistakes.

Author Roger C. Parker (pictured, via) encourages writers to use of error logs during the writing and editing process.

Here’s more from the blog post: “A well-designed error log contains space to enter: The page the error appears on. The type of error, spelling, factual, grammatical, etc. Discovery date, i.e. the date you learned about the error. Resolution date, i.e., the date you corrected the error. Your error log should be immediately updated when you discover an error or when you verify an error pointed out by someone else.”

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6. Byliner Counts 50,000+ Downloads of Jon Krakauer Essay

The new long form nonfiction site Byliner has counted more than 50,000 free downloads of Jon Krakauer‘s scathing expose about the work of Greg Mortenson.

Following a 60 Minutes report questioning the veracity of Mortenson’s memoirs, Viking will review his work. Upcoming issues of Byliner will feature work by William Vollmann and Anthony Swofford.

Here’s more about the Byliner essay: “Mortenson has built a global reputation as a selfless humanitarian and children’s crusader, and he’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is also not what he appears to be. As acclaimed author Jon Krakauer discovered, Mortenson has not only fabricated substantial parts of his bestselling books Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools, but has also misused millions of dollars donated by unsuspecting admirers like Krakauer himself. This is the tragic tale of good intentions gone very wrong.”

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7. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Review by Katy

This is a pretty amazing story. Three Cups of Tea is the true story of Greg Mortenson, who upon failing to summit K2 stumbles quite ill and emaciated into Korphe, a remote village in Pakistan. The people of this village nurse him back to health, and he falls in love with them. During his stay, he asks to visit the school, and is brought to a large field where 84 children were writing in the dirt with sticks. No teacher, no books, just the children studying as best they could. The village leader, Haji Ali, explained that they couldn't afford to pay a teacher, so a teacher comes to the village occasionally, and the children study on their own the rest of the time. Greg promises to come back to Korphe and build the village a school. And he does.

There is so much to say about the work that Mortenson does. He is the director of the Central Asia Institute (CAI), which (as of 2007) has established more than 61 schools in rural areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan. After he learns that providing girls with at least a 5th grade education will help prevent infant mortality, population explosion, and overall health and sanitation of a village, he began focusing more towards (though not exclusively) girl's education. He also helps fund projects for clean water and women's halls (where all the local women can get together to sew, etc). He figures that with the unhealthy water that they have now, one in three children don't even make it to their first birthday in these villages. You can't educate someone that isn't there.

I had the opportunity to hear Mortenson speak at a local event. He seems like an honest, humble man doing what he can to help people he loves. He really doesn't seem to be in this for the "glory." He showed a picture of a school, and said that he was proud of this school because it had taken almost 8 years to convince the local leaders to allow it to be built. He is in it for the long term and he is willing to learn the customs and mores of the area in order to build a school that they will be proud of and use.

Mortenson also had a lot of interesting facts about the importance of education in these areas. He said that people that decide to become suicide bombers are without hope. They see no other way of succeeding in life. By providing an education to people in rural areas, they are given some hope.

The one thing that I didn't like about this book is the writing. First of all, it's written in third person, which is not what I was expecting, considering the main character is listed as the first author.

But, even without that little complaint, the writing really isn't that great. It sometimes takes a long time to say simple things and that can get really frustrating. There are also a lot of non-English words used throughout, and not all of them are fully explained. Possibly they are terms that everyone should know, but I didn't, and I got tired of trying to figure some of them out.

However, even with this small(ish) complaint, I highly recommend the Three Cups of Tea. It gives you lots of food for thought and would make a great discussion book for a book club.

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8. Non-Fiction Monday: Three Cups of Tea

Penguin has put out a really nice Young Reader's edition of Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin's bestseller, Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Journey to Change the World...One Child at a Time. The original book (which I read last year) has been adapted by Sarah Thomson with a foreword by one of my favorite women ever, Jane Goodall.

In a format fit for a 10 and up age group (or earlier if you have a great reader on your hands), Three Cups of Tea tells of Mortenson's failure to make it up K2 in 1993, which led to his desire to build schools for children in Pakistan. After a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, over 60 schools have been built, all across Pakistan and Afghanistan, enabling children and women to get the education they so deserve.

My only "complaint" about this Young Reader's Edition is that I feel a lot of Mortenson's background, will be boring to young readers, moments such as his marriage journey and the quick glossing over of other details that could have been more important to the story. I also thought more personal accounts of specific children Mortenson met and dealt with might have made this a bit more appealing to the younger age group, but overall I can see a lot of kids picking this up and enjoying the learning process of what it took one man to get over 60 schools built.

Information on the popular "Pennies for Peace" project in which schools or individuals collect pennies which are in turn donated to help create eductional programs for children in remote Pakistan and Afghanistan (www.penniesforpeace.org), as well as an interview with Mortenson's twelve-year-old daughter Amira, a time-line, and glossary are also included.

To learn more or to purchase, click on the book cover above to link to Amazon.

Three Cups of Tea, Young Readers Edition
Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin
Middle Grade Non-Fiction
January 2009

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9. Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award Nominations

This year for the first time, PaperTigers was invited to submit nominations for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. We have just heard that the jury is now sifting through the nominations and that the complete list will be made public on 25 September at the Gothenburg Book Fair; it will also be on their website so we’ll let you know when it’s available.

In the meantime, here are our “Grounds for Nomination” statements for artist and author, Allen Say, and author and promoter of education in Pakistan and Afghanistan, Greg Mortenson.

Often drawing on his own background, Allen Say captivates his readers through beautifully honed prose and luminous watercolors. He embraces a striving for happiness with a blend of gentle humor and realism, and touches on many aspects of being human, such as race, migration, disability and age. Even young children can empathize with and find echoes in many of his stories. Say opens young hearts and minds both to new cultures and to their own potential; and his portrayal of the human condition provides a forum for children to recognize their own value and to dream.

Allen Say is featured in a Gallery in our current issue of PaperTigers, and offers some fascinating insight into his latest book, Erika-San. You can also read an interview with him, in which he talks about his semi-autobiographical book for young adults, The Ink-Keeper’s Apprentice, as well as some of his other picture-books. Sally recently chose his Music for Alice for a Books at Bedtime post.

Greg Mortenson is a humanitarian whose motto is “Books, not Bombs.” Since 1993 he has been committed to promoting and supporting education and literacy (with an emphasis on girls’ education) in rural, underserved regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Through his work as co-founder/Executive Director of the Central Asia Institute, as of May 2009, he has established over 78 schools, supported the training of 600+ teachers and offered scholarships to hundreds of disadvantaged students, thus providing education to over 28,000 children (including 18,000 girls) who would otherwise have no opportunities.

Greg Mortenson is also founder of the Pennies For Peace program and author of the Kiriyama Prize-winning book Three Cups of Tea, which has been translated into 29 languages. It has been adapted into a version for young adults and a beautiful picture-book, Listen to the Wind, illustrated with wonderful collages by Susan L. Roth.

Please do share with us your thoughts and comments about our two nominations - we’d love to hear from you.

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10. Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award: 2010 Nominations Announced

Today the organizers of The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, given annually to books and works that reflect the spirit of Astrid Lindgren, have announced the 168 candidates nominated for the 2010 award (to download the nomination list as a pdf, click here).

The list of writers, illustrators, oral storytellers and literacy-related organizations, working in various literary traditions and languages, represents more than 60 countries and is a treasure trove of talent and commitment to books and reading.

In addition to author Allen Say and author/promoter of literacy Greg Mortenson, proudly nominated by us, the list includes, among many others, New Zealander author Margaret Mahy; Australian Hazel Edwards; South African Niki Daly; Mongolian writer/poet/promoter of reading Dashdondog Jamba and Filipino illustrator Albert Gamos. And for organizations promoting reading and literacy, it lists IBBY International; Room to Read, in the U.S.; Filipino publishing house Adarna; La Fundación Riecken from Guatemala, and many more.

Considering all these strong candidates, it looks like the jury members have their work cut out for them. Their decision will be a hard one to reach—but reach it they will (and expertly so)! The winner or winners will be announced in Vimmerby, Sweden (the birthplace of Astrid Lindgren) on March 24, 2010, and the announcement will be broadcast live to the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, in Italy (which next year will take place March 23-25).

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11. Greg Mortenson’s recent visit to Vancouver

Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea and Stones Into Schools, recently held 3 speaking engagements in Vancouver, BC.  Reporter Rebecca Wigod’s claim that Greg draws crowds like a rock star is definitely true as the 4,000 available tickets sold out in record time! I was one of the many disappointed ones to not get a ticket but several of my friends attended and all raved about their experiences. Children’s author Margriet Ruurs was also lucky enough to get a ticket and had this photo to share along with these thoughts:

Last night we listened to Greg Mortenson, author of Three Cups of Tea, as he shared his experiences of building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Did you know that the book is now mandatory reading for high ranking officials in the US army? It makes me feel hopeful to know that they might be listening to such a wise peacemaker. I felt honored to meet Greg and exchange books with him.

Check out Margriet’s blog to read more about her evening.

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12. What’s Hot in April, 2010? Kids’ Book & Author Events, Best Selling Kids’ Books, and More …

Here's the scoop on the most popular destinations on The Children’s Book Review site, the most coveted new releases, the bestsellers, and kids' book events.

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13. Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth

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.

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14. Book Review: Three Cups of Tea The Young Readers Edition by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin and adapted by Sarah Thomson

I'd heard about the first book written for the adult reading audience, Three Cups of Tea and often thought "I need to read that book". Instead, I purchased the Young Adult Readers Edition to read and review on A Garden of Books.

I read the entire book yesterday evening, I was just entranced with the story of Greg Mortenson and his loving devotion to building schools for the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The story begins with Greg making a trip to Pakistan to climb one of the mountains there named K2. After Greg's sisters death, he had wanted to do something in honor of her by placing her necklace on top of this mountain, but he got lost. I guess that could have been the end of that story, instead he wandered into a village and was taken care of by a family that introduced him to a need that would become his life endeavor and mission---building schools for kids. 

I thought this was a great book! In so many ways!
It is a book that can be used in the classroom to introduce students to a Muslim nation, the middle east, poverty and illiteracy, war.
It is a book that introduces kids to what can become their future as well--humanitarian work. As an adult I wonder, "what can I do?" This book is an encouragement to think not just about what is going on in our own city or state or country, but what other peoples needs are and that we can really do something to help. When I learn about another people group it gets my mind out of the box so to speak. The world is much bigger than my own back yard!
I loved Greg's honesty in telling his story, he shares the mistakes he made, the gambles he made, and patient hope in fulfilling the goals.
Greg was willing to sacrifice much in his life in order to fulfill his promise to build schools, he is a man of integrity and certainly true grit.

Included in the book is a foreword by Dr. Jane Goodall, an interview with Greg's daughter Amira, a time-line, glossary, list of characters, discussion questions, information about Pennies for Peace, other books available, there are also many photographs throughout the book (several in color).  



Paperback $8.99
Kindle $7.99

Paperback $8.81
Nook $7.99


Blissful Reading!

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15. Greg Mortenson Accused of Fabricating Parts of His Memoir

A 60 Minutes report last night accused author Greg Mortenson (pictured, via) of fabricating parts of his bestselling memoirs and misusing funds from his charity, the Central Asia Institute (CAI).

The report examined three particular issues: (1) Did Mortenson first visit the village of Korphe after a mountain climbing trip as he wrote in his memoir, Three Cups of Tea? (2) Was Mortenson captured by the Taliban as he alleged in his follow-up Stones into Schools? (3) Is the CAI carrying out its charitable mission with the money it collects from philanthropists and donors? According to several sources who were interviewed, the answer is “no” to all three questions.

Former CAI donor Jon Krakauer called Mortenson’s first meeting with Korphe villages “a beautiful story” and “a lie.” Mansur Khan Mahsud denied that the Taliban kidnapped the author.  Mahsud appears in a photograph from the alleged kidnapping, but works as the research director of a respected Islamabad think tank.


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16. Jon Krakauer Publishes Greg Mortenson Expose

Journalist Jon Krakauer has published an expose of author Greg Mortenson with a new long form journalism site, Byliner. As a promotion, you can download a PDF copy for free today; a Kindle Single edition will be published on Wednesday.

Following a 60 Minutes report questioning the veracity of Mortenson’s memoirs, Viking will review his work. Upcoming issues of Byliner will feature work by William Vollmann and Anthony Swofford.

Here’s more about the Byliner essay: “Mortenson has built a global reputation as a selfless humanitarian and children’s crusader, and he’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. He is also not what he appears to be. As acclaimed author Jon Krakauer discovered, Mortenson has not only fabricated substantial parts of his bestselling books Three Cups of Tea and Stones into Schools, but has also misused millions of dollars donated by unsuspecting admirers like Krakauer himself. This is the tragic tale of good intentions gone very wrong.”  (Via Paul Bogaards)

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