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Letters About Literature National Winners 2008

Honorable Mentions, Level 1: Michael Hampton

Dear Greg Mortenson,

I have learned so many things from your book, Three Cups of Tea. First, it has taught me about the people in Pakistan. I was surprised how people so poor can still be so generous to others. They gave you food and shelter when you were really helpless and exhausted. They did not have much, but they shared what they had. I am pretty rich compared to them, and I sometimes find it very hard to share. In your book, you also tell others to do what their heart says to do. I need to find it in my heart to share the things I have.

I am in 5th grade. My school has four classrooms for 5th graders. You describe children who are happy when they get pencils. I am so glad that I don't have to go through that, but at the same time I am sad because of all those children who are like me and want to learn. As a result of reading your book, I think more about other people who are less fortunate than me, and I would like to find a way to help them through Pennies for Peace.

Another thing your book has taught me is that the best way to fight terrorism is not to fight back with more force and weapons. You taught me that if you educate girls and women, this will lead to peace in Pakistan. By building schools, the women will not let their children join terrorist groups because they want them to have the better lives as a result of education. I would have never thought that education would be the way to make peace.

I also learned that if I try to do something, and it does not work out, God will show another way to make a difference. When you did not make it to the top of K2, you felt like a failure. However, you did not become angry; instead, you built a school for the children in the little village of Korphe. You are my hero and I would like to be like you when I grow up. I don't know what I will do in the future, but I know I want to do something that will make a positive change in the world.

Michael Hampton