I’d been planning to recommend Three Cups of Tea, about Greg Mortenson’s adventures in building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan, to you for summer reading, but eduwonk beat me to it. Not very wonkish of them, is it, to get into the business of recommending books for summer free time?
Anyway, it’s the best book I’ve read that gives insight into the lack of education in rural areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, and it’s good background knowledge for anyone in this country who has students in their schools from those countries. The book portrays Mr. Mortenson (he’s a co-author with David Oliver Relin), a former mountaineer, as an unconventional hero who respects the customs and culture of tribal leaders and is able to convince them to work with his organization to build schools. Mr. Mortenson has gotten a fair bit of attention for how his efforts to build schools are a way to promote peace and fight terrorism. See the opinion piece, “It Takes a School, Not Missiles,” that ran in the New York Times on July 13.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.