After Greg Mortenson became lost and ill and discovered a tiny village called Korphe he devoted his time to repay his generous hosts by building schools and growing the educational opportunities of the local children. His efforts have grown into the Central Asia Institute which to date has provided education for 25,000 children.
Most significant in this version of Three Cups of Tea is the emphasis on young people, evident in new photographs of youth and in the extended interview with Mortenson’s 12-year-old daughter, Amira, who describes her overseas experiences with her parents, and then waiting at home while her father travels the world. Amira’s substantive answers show her direct involvement with her father’s work:
“I got my dad to start a lunch program in some of the schools.” And they also reveal the deep, personal impact of global tensions on the family: “My dad’s a peacemaker, and some people hate him or are jealous. He has been threatened to be killed.”
Illustrated throughout with b&w photos, the book also contains two eight-page insets of color photos. The picture book, while close in content to the longer books, is written in the voice of Korphe’s children rather than providing Mortenson’s view, making it easier for American kids to enter the story. A detailed scrapbook featuring photos from Three Cups of Tea and an artist’s note firmly ground the book in fact. A portion of the authors’ royalties will benefit the Central Asia Institute.
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About the Author:
Amira Mortenson is the twelve-year-old daughter of Greg Mortenson. She has traveled around the world with her father and works with Pennies for Peace, a program specifically geared to getting kids involved in charitable works by donating pennies.
David Oliver Relin is a contributing editor for Parade magazine and Skiing magazine. He has won more than forty national awards for his work as a writer and editor.