Listen to the Wind


By: Greg Mortenson and Susan L. Roth

About Greg Mortenson

With the influence of the Lutheran Missionary and his parents, Mortenson grew up in Tanzia, East Africa. In Africa is where he learned to speak Swahili. Mortenson served in the U.S. Military in Germany. He returned to the United States to attend Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota. He graduated from the University of South Dakota in 1983 with a bachelor's degree in liberal studies and an associates degree in nursing. This book was published in 2009.

Collages By: Susan L. Roth

About Susan L. Roth

Susan Roth helped with this book. She grew up in Wisconsin and later moved to California. She has since moved to Maryland and now resides in New York, New York. She received her Bachelors degree in Art from Mills College in Oakland California. She then received her masters in Printmaking and Art History from Mills College as well. She now has been the Author/Illustrator of 40+ books and her main medium is collages.

We Are The Children of Korphe.

Listen to the Wind: (General Information)

This is a story of Greg Mortenson's first building project in Pakistan. He helped a small village, Korphe, build a school house for the children who were using sticks to write in the sand. Through perseverance and dedication he succeeded in his goal.

Genre: Children's Literature


  • Consistent New York Times Best Seller
  • sold over 1.2 million copies
  • Time Magazine Asia Book of The Year
  • Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association – Nonfiction Award
  • Montana Honor Book Award
  • Borders Bookstore Original Voices Selection
  • Banff Mountain Festival Book Award Finalist
  • 2007 Nonfiction Runner-Up for the Dayton Literary Peace Prize
  • People Magazine – Critics Choice
  • Publisher’s Weekly – Starred Review
  • Mom's Choice Award 2009
  • 2009 Italy: Premio Gambrinus “Giuseppe Mazzotti”
  • Powell Book's Puddly Award (nonfiction)
  • 2010 The Christopher Award
  • 2010 The Mason Award

Buy this Book Here

Digging Deeper

Three Reasons Why This Book is Culturally Relevant and Authentic

1.) Characters should authentically reflect the distinct cultural experiences of a specific cultural group.

Characters as a whole in this book are definitely a realistic portrayal of the actual people that inhibit the small village of Korphe, Pakistan. In the book, they use a passage to describe their culture. The passage is as follows, "We are the children of Korphe. We live in a village in the mountains of Pakistan. Our families grow and gather the food we eat. Our mothers weave and sew the clothes we wear. We make up our games, and we make our own toys. (Mortenson, 2009, pg 4)" This passage portrays the inhabitants of Korphe as a very independent group of people. This is also known to be realistic in the real world. Korphe is a very small village in which they have to rely on themselves to survive.

2.) Names of characters should be culturally authentic and their personalities should reflect believable attributes.

This criteria is met when the book brings up the name of the local "wise man". It is known that in small villages, it is not uncommon for there to be "wise men", who are elderly, present in the villages. In the book the local "wise man" is Haji Ali. This name is consistent with the types of names you would find in Pakistan making this character realistic to the culture portrayed in the book.

3.) Setting should be representative of and consistent with historical or contemporary time, place, or situation of a particular culture.

This book relates to this criteria because Korphe, the village referred to in the book, is in fact a desolate village in Northern Pakistan. In the book it is referred to as a village where there is only one "Big" village that is close, Skardu. This matches the reality of the village in which is involved. Also, in the book it talks about how Korphe is located in the mountains. This is also true in which Korphe is located at the base of the Karakoram Mountain Range.

Classroom Teaching Application

Grade 1

Key Ideas and Details: RI.1.2

  • Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

  1. Objective: The student will identify the main topic of the book and will discuss main characters through class discussion and a flow chart.

Using the Book: After reading this book I thought of many ideas in which I could incorporate this book into a classroom setting. Discussion could be a great way to talk about this book and bring up the key points in which the book has to offer. First, I would relate this book to the lives of the students by holding a discussion and making a chart on how their lives are different from the lives of the kids that live in Korphe. Making a Venn diagram would be a great way to allow the students to show the similarities and differences they have with the children of Korphe. Also being able to discuss the two different types of education that the students are facing and relating it to the culture of their people would be essential. I would ensure my students knew that with different cultures comes different behavior, routines, etc. Also allowing the students to identify the perseverance of the main character, Dr. Greg, had in creating this school for the children of Korphe would help them identify the main idea of the book. This discussion along with a story map of the book would increase the learning and also relate to the Literacy Standard RI.1.2. I would model the information that I wanted them to learn by showing them an example of the story map and also scaffolding during the discussion part of the lesson. I would also put the main ideas and topics I am trying to portray on the board before the lesson so they are aware of the direction of the lesson. By breaking the lesson up into parts, they can get the main ideas out of each section. I will have the students practice the main topics by participating in a class discussion of the book and what the culture difference is between them and the children of Korphe. I would then create a Venn Diagram of the similarities and differences of them and the children of Korphe using their thoughts and opinions. This will allow them to identify the main topic of the book and that is that there are different cultures throughout the world. And finally, they will each turn in a story map in which the can use words and/or draw the different parts of the story in the order in which they happened.


Listen to the Wind by Tyjoc

Relevant Videos

Listen to the Wind book trailer
Greg Mortenson- Listen to the Wind

Helpful and Interesting Links

Works Cited: Book Info

Mortenson, G., & Roth, S. L. (2009).Listen to the wind: the story of Dr. Greg and Three cups of tea. New York: Dial Books for Young Readers.