Author: Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth
Illustrator: Susan L. Roth
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Audience: Age 10+
Summary: Dr. Greg became lost on one of his expeditions and ends up in Korphe, Pakistan. He was sick, cold and hungry. The people of Korphe nursed him back to health. During his recuperation he helped with healing the sick and he also helped the students with their lessons. When he was well enough to leave, he asked the Haji Ali, the wisest man how he could repay their hospitality. He was told to “Listen to the wind”. As he heard the voices of the children, he determined that Korphe needed a school. He left with the promise that he would return to help them build the school. This comes to fruition a year later. He worked with the villagers to overcome all the obstacles by first building a bridge that would allow them to transfer the raw materials for the school. With hope and determination and the whole community working together the first school in Korphe was built.
Literary elements at work in the story:
Genre: Chronicle of a true story
Setting: A small village in Pakistan, known as Korphe
Characterization: Dr. Greg fulfils his promise to the people of Korphe and he returns to help them build a school.
Plot: Dr. Greg’s gives back to the people of Korphe because of their hospitality towards him. The plot shows how much one man with determination and will-power can achieve a desired goal.
Theme: This book deals with hospitality and social justice—fulfilling a need that a small remote village in Pakistan required. The theme of community working together as one is also evident in this book
Point of View: This narrative is told in the first person plural “we” from the perspective of the children of Korphe
Style: Story is illustrated with a series of extremely well done collage which gives life to the words in the text.
Gender: No gender stereotyping
Race: Racially specific and deals with The people of Korphe, Pakistan who were able to show hospitality to Dr. Greg, a Caucasian male in his time of need and who reciprocated by helping them build a school.
Culture: Story is culturally specific; Pakistani culture. Girls are depicted as wearing head coverings. The wisest person is Haji Ali a man. The men did all the construction. Women were allowed to carry water to help with the project.
Ability: No representation of anyone being handicapped
Scripture : Matthew 25:34-40
Theology talk: 1) Hospitality; 2) Building the kingdom of heaven here on earth; 3) Love of neighbor
Faith Talk Questions:
1) When we say we love our neighbor what does that mean?
2) How should we embrace people who are of a different religion and culture than we are?
3) What does hospitality mean?
Review prepared by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Dee Osbourne-Smart. (To read a previous review of the same title, click here.)
Filed under: Book Reviews, Books written for Grades 5-8 (Ages 10 -13), Faith Questions For...., Middle Schoolers, Nonfiction, Older Elementary | Tagged: Community, differences, neighbors, Pakistan, school, sick | Leave a Comment »