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Stones Into Schools

Promoting Peace With Books, Not Bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
Mortenson, Greg (Book Club Kit - 2009)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Stones Into Schools
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In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson picks up where "Three Cups of Tea" left off in 2003, recounting his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after a massive earthquake hit the region in 2005; and the unique ways he has built relationships with Islamic clerics, militia commanders, and tribal leaders even as he was dodging shootouts with feuding Afghan warlords and surviving an eight-day armed abduction by the Taliban.
Authors: Mortenson, Greg
Title: Stones into schools
promoting peace with books, not bombs, in Afghanistan and Pakistan
[kit]
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2009
Characteristics: 10 books (422 p.: 16 p. col. plates; 22 cm.) and 1 reading guide in a plastic tote
Notes: Kit contains 10 copies of the title
Kit checks out for 6 weeks and cannot be renewed
Replacement for kit is $170.00
Includes index
Contents: The Promise
The people at the end of the road
The man with the broken hand
The year zero
The sound of peace
Style is everything
The seal of the Kirghiz Khan
Qayamat ("The Apocalypse")
A dark and distant roar
No idea what to do
Farzana's desks
Sarfraz's promise
The chance that must be taken
The School on the Roof of the World
An E-mail from the American colonel
The man from the Jalozai refugee camp
Barnstorming through Badakshan
A meeting of two warriors
The point of return
The last best school
Investing in girls' education yields high returns
Key ingredients in successfully building girls' schools
Take action
Summary: In this dramatic first-person narrative, Greg Mortenson picks up where "Three Cups of Tea" left off in 2003, recounting his relentless, ongoing efforts to establish schools for girls in Afghanistan; his extensive work in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after a massive earthquake hit the region in 2005; and the unique ways he has built relationships with Islamic clerics, militia commanders, and tribal leaders even as he was dodging shootouts with feuding Afghan warlords and surviving an eight-day armed abduction by the Taliban.
Awards & Distinctions: WCLS Books in a Box
Branch Call Number: 371.822 MORTENS
Statement of Responsibility: Greg Mortenson
Subject Headings: Mortenson, Greg Anecdotes Taliban History Girls' schools Afghanistan Girls' schools Pakistan Humanitarian assistance, American Afghanistan Humanitarian assistance, American Pakistan Peace-building Afghanistan Peace-building Pakistan
Topical Term: Girls' schools
Girls' schools
Humanitarian assistance, American
Humanitarian assistance, American
Peace-building
Peace-building
WCLS Book Club Kit
LCCN: 2009030812
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Recommend to read "Three Cups of Deceit" by Jon Krakauer before or after reading this. Fiction or fact.....that is the question.....thank you "sambert"(see comment below,) your comments were very helpful. I just don't know what to think anymore!

Jun 22, 2013
  • WVMLBookClubTitles rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Mortenson picks up where the best-selling Three Cups of Tea left off by recounting his ongoing work promoting peace by establishing schools for girls in Afghanistan and assisting with relief efforts in Azad Kashmir and Pakistan after the devastating earthquake in 2005. He forms unusual relationships with militia personnel, tribal leaders, and Islamic clerics and shares the personal histories of the people involved in this two-decade humanitarian effort.

Feb 12, 2012
  • sambert rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I gave stars as there are some good descriptions of people and that area, having lived and travelled there. Greg seems to have a great adventure spirit, and no doubt did some great things in an exceptional environment. Well done. He got a good part of proper development practice right (Listen and make sure you have the local’s wish behind you).

His descriptions (some hilarious maybe to those who haven’t lived in such conditions) are excellent, & I have no problem believing their veracity. I have had similar experiences, though maybe not quite to that extent. So again, thank you Greg, in letting the world know how life is like in some parts of the world.

But I took stars off, as the book give an odour of propaganda, and much semi disguised self-congratulation. That he may have borrowed some stories, or embroidered a bit, that’s fine, but on a few occasions it’s unbelievable, and makes zero sense.

This was, in my view, written (or heavily edited) for the US audience, and distortions are evident, to the extent that sometimes, it can discredit the whole. Sad in my view.

It was a bit surprising that school “buildings” seemed very much up-front, (as is the emphasis on girls) and sustainability, well … If you pay for everything, yes, it goes fast, but may not last that long. What is less clear is how these buildings stood up to time, including what teachers were still there and the amount of kids attending regularly. Apparently a lot of schools are deserted. True or not ?

Greg was not a NGO manager, and hence achieved lots more. Well done.

However, for example, he keeps referring to his board, and when you dig a bit deeper, the board is pretty thin (deception ?) and there are only 2 years reports published ( 2004 and 2010) on the CAI website, the 2nd does raise a few eyebrows in the finance section.

If there was a scandal etc in April 2011, the 2010 report was then published only in October 2011, and the report of Sept 2011 is not yet published 4 months later ? Sad that he did not surround himself with some wiser people in an area where was weak.

I quite understand that when you have to carry “bricks” of cash around, western accounting principle may seem somewhat weird (I have done the same in remote areas, so I know what he is talking about), but when revenue-donations of 20+ million $ are present, some precautions are needed.

The CAI website now states that Greg is no longer on the board and will be concentrating on relations, hopefully in Afghanistan & Pakistan. That is great. Maybe the euphoria of having many US presentations got to him, and reality started to have 2 faces?

I wish Greg well, and that he continues to have a fulfilling life.

May 02, 2011
  • RenGrrl rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Another great book from inspiring activist Greg Mortenson.

Apr 15, 2011
  • rosler rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is the continuation of a remarkable and inspiring story of how one man's promise to build a school in the remote mountains of Pakistan snowballs into an educational odyssey that crosses borders and spans decades. Stones into schools picks up where three cups of tea left off and tells the story of Greg and his amazing colleagues as they build schools for girls throughout Afghanistan, in the heart of Taliban country. It took me a minute to get used to the change in style as the last book wasn't written by Greg but I ended up enjoying that this one was written in the first person. I loved this book and was truly touched by the tenacity, perseverance and dedication of people in a war torn nation to educate their children and especially their young women. It's amazing what can be accomplished when we follow our hearts and work together. Definitely worth the read.

Over the last 16 yrs, the Central Asia Institute (CAI) has worked to promote peace through education by establishing more than 130 schools, most of them for girls in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Mortenson's mission to build schools, mostly for girls, from Pakistan to Afghanistan. Good luck with that.

Oct 17, 2010
  • booklover717 rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I agree with the last post. The enthusiasm of a young Greg Mortenson is missing here ... he is still passionate about his cause, (and it is an excellent one!) but now it's like a businessman is passionate about his company. I looked forward to reading this after loving "Three Cups of Tea" so very much, but gave this one up a third of the way through ...

Jun 21, 2010
  • bshokal rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Not as good as the first. A bit boring and predicatable.

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