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Mountains Beyond Mountains


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About the Author

Tracy Kidder graduated from Harvard and studied at the University of Iowa. He has won the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Award, and many other literary prizes. The author of Mountains Beyond Mountains, My Detachment, Home Town, Old Friends, Among Schoolchildren, House, and The Soul of a New Machine, Kidder lives in Massachusetts and Maine.


Gr 7-10-An adaptation of the 2003 adult book with the same title. It is an admiring biography constructed from long stretches of personal experience with Farmer, international health specialist and infectious disease expert, whose focus was always the Haitian poor. Farmer has spent his life taking modern medicine (as well as schools, houses, sanitation, and water systems) to a poverty-stricken area of Haiti and to underdogs around the world. Lending "a voice to the voiceless," and working as a clinician as well as an organizer, he developed Partners in Health, funded first by a Boston philanthropist and later by the Gates Foundation and now internationally active. While French's adaptation follows the same sequencing, his compression removes much of the detail that made the original so readable and interesting. Omissions make episodes difficult to understand and, at least in one case, a description of one character is applied to another. Still, books showing how one person can make a difference are always welcome in young adult literature and this one will be appreciated where the young readers' edition of Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin's Three Cups of Tea (Dial, 2009) has been popular. But for the full flavor of the man's life and his impact on the author, older readers should seek out the original.-Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Founding director of Partners in Health, medical anthropologist, physician, and infectious disease specialist Farmer is one of the unsung heroes of the modern world, constantly moving among Haiti, Peru, and Boston. Pulitzer Prize winner Kidder shares his impressions and knowledge of and admiration for Farmer in this professionally produced biography. While the work is told in English, Creole, French, and Spanish words appear throughout. Paul Michael's speech is distinct, evenly paced, and foreign words are pronounced clearly. There are no background noises, tape hiss, or other distractions, and the final sentence of one side is repeated at the beginning of the next side, aiding in continuity. Recommended for public and academic libraries.-Laurie Selwyn, Grayson Cty. Law Lib., Sherman, TX Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Pulitzer Prize winner Kidder delivers this remarkable account of the life and times of Paul Farmer-a doctor and Harvard professor-who has made it his life's work to cure highly infectious diseases and help people in the poorest areas of the world. Narrator Lincoln Hoppe offers a steady reading that is slow and subdued. While the source material can be intense at times, Hoppe reads as if listeners won't fully understand the gravity of the story. The result is a somewhat underwhelming performance of an inspiring tale. Ages 12-up. A Delacorte hardcover. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

"[A] masterpiece."--USA Today

"Inspiring, disturbing, daring and completely absorbing."--New York Times Book Review

"Stunning. Mountains Beyond Mountains will move you, restore your faith in the ability of one person to make a difference in these increasingly maddening, dispiriting times. [Kidder has] held his writer's mirror up to an astonishing comet of a man whose reflection flatters us all for what it says about our capacity for mercy and healing."--San Diego Union-Tribune "Easily the most fascinating, most entertaining and, yes, most inspiring work of non-fiction I've read this year."--San Jose Mercury News

"It'll fill you equally with wonder and hope."--People

"If I ever go on a retreat again, this is the kind of book I'd like to take for spiritual reading. . . . [Kidder] knows it is impossible to live like Farmer, but the impossibility is the very thing that can somehow give us life."--Washington Post Book World "In this excellent work, Pulitzer Prize--winner Kidder immerses himself in and beautifully explores the rich drama that exists in the life of Dr. Paul Farmer...Throughout, Kidder captures the almost saintly effect Farmer has on those whom he treats."--Publishers Weekly, starred review "[A] Skilled and graceful exploration of the soul of an astonishing human being."--Kirkus Reviews, starred review "A fine writer and his extraordinary subject: Tracy Kidder, in giving us Paul Farmer, lifts up an image of hope-and challenge-that the world urgently needs. Simply put, this is an important book." -James Carroll, author of Constantine's Sword

"The central character of this marvelous book is one of the most provocative, brilliant, funny, unsettling, endlessly energetic, irksome, and charming characters ever to spring to life on the page. He has embarked on an epic struggle that will take you from the halls of Harvard Medical School to a sun-scorched plateau in Haiti, from the slums of Peru to the cold gray prisons of Moscow. He wants to change the world. Certainly this luminous and powerful book will change the way you see it."--Jonathan Harr, author of A Civil Action

"A profoundly inspiring and important book about one of the truly great men of our time." --Ethan Canin, author of Carry Me Across the Water "Here is a genuine hero alive in our times. Mountains Beyond Mountains unfolds with the force of gathering revelation. Like all of Tracy Kidder's books, it is as hard to put down as any good and true story."--Annie Dillard, author of The Writing Life

"Mountains Beyond Mountains is the only book I've read in years that made me feel like cheering. It left me uncomfortable, guilty, and exhausted--but it also inspired me, kept me up all night, and moved me to tears. Some readers will find their lives changed forever; everyone else will emerge, at the very least, with an unexpectedly revised set of values. Tracy Kidder has given us not only an unforgettable book but an unignorable life lesson. Hurrah!" --Anne Fadiman, author of The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down

"Rarely has idealism fared so well on the planet as in Tracy Kidder's eloquently reported Mountains Beyond Mountains. One is tempted to call Paul Farmer's passionate sensibilities and loving ambitions otherworldly, but only in sadness that there are too few of him in the world. Kidder has provided us all, as the Farmerites say, with a road map to decency, and such an endowment is beyond measure." --Bob Shacochis, author of Easy in the Islands

"Is there anything Tracy Kidder can't do? This is a beautiful book, and a masterful one. Even better, Mountains Beyond Mountains is a page-turner that will crack your conscience open." -Stacey Schiff, author of Vera

"An incredible story about an incredible man told by an incredible writer. Mountains Beyond Mountains is the sort of book that makes you want to buy a hundred copies and pass them out like a street corner evangelist. It's the sort of book that will affect your life in a profound way. In a good way." -Thom Jones, author of The Pugilist at Rest "Saints are notoriously difficult people, but who knew one could be so funny, so utterly charming, and finally so deft in accomplishing that most impossible of all job descriptions--changing the world? Tracy Kidder's spellbinding story presents us with an unlikely saint and finally, with inspiration so compelling it makes the usual cynicism about global change seem indulgent foolishness."--Patricia Hampl, author of A Romantic Education

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