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Mountains Beyond Mountains (Adapted for Young People)
Cover of Mountains Beyond Mountains (Adapted for Young People)
Mountains Beyond Mountains (Adapted for Young People)
The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World
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Tracy Kidder's critically acclaimed adult nonfiction work, Mountains Beyond Mountains has been adapted for young people by Michael French. In this young adult edition, readers are introduced to Dr....
Tracy Kidder's critically acclaimed adult nonfiction work, Mountains Beyond Mountains has been adapted for young people by Michael French. In this young adult edition, readers are introduced to Dr....
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  • Tracy Kidder's critically acclaimed adult nonfiction work, Mountains Beyond Mountains has been adapted for young people by Michael French. In this young adult edition, readers are introduced to Dr. Paul Farmer, a Harvard-educated doctor with a self-proclaimed mission to transform healthcare on a global scale. Farmer focuses his attention on some of the world's most impoverished people and uses unconventional ways in which to provide healthcare, to achieve real results and save lives.



    From the Hardcover edition.

Excerpts-

  • Chapter 1 Chapter 1

    Six years after the fact, Dr. Paul Edward Farmer reminded me, "We met because of a beheading, of all things."

    It was two weeks before Christmas 1994, in a market town in the central plateau of Haiti, a patch of paved road called Mirebalais. Near the center of town there was a Haitian army outpost–a concrete wall enclosing a weedy parade field, a jail, and a mustard-colored barracks. I was sitting with an American Special Forces captain, named Jon Carroll, on the building's second-story balcony. Evening was coming on, the town's best hour, when the air changed from hot to balmy and the music from the radios in the rum shops and the horns of the tap-taps passing through town grew loud and bright and the general filth and poverty began to be obscured, the open sewers and the ragged clothing and the looks on the faces of malnourished children and the extended hands of elderly beggars plaintively saying, "Grangou," which means "hungry" in Creole.

    I was in Haiti to report on American soldiers. Twenty thousand of them had been sent to reinstate the country's democratically elected government, and to strip away power from the military junta that had deposed it and ruled with great cruelty for three years. Captain Carroll had only eight men, and they were temporarily in charge of keeping the peace among 150,000 Haitians, spread across about one thousand square miles of rural Haiti. A seemingly impossible job, and yet, out here in the central plateau, political violence had all but ended. In the past month, there had been only one murder. Then again, it had been spectacularly grisly. A few weeks back, Captain Carroll's men had fished the headless corpse of the assistant mayor of Mirebalais out of the Artibonite River. He was one of the elected officials being restored to power. Suspicion for his murder had fallen on one of the junta's local functionaries, a rural sheriff named Nerva Juste, a frightening figure to most people in the region. Captain Carroll and his men had brought Juste in for questioning, but they hadn't found any physical evidence or witnesses. So they had released him.

    The captain was twenty-nine years old, a devout Baptist from Alabama. I liked him. From what I'd seen, he and his men had been trying earnestly to make improvements in this piece of Haiti, but Washington, which had decreed that this mission would not include "nation-building," had given them virtually no tools for that job. On one occasion, the captain had ordered a U.S. Army medevac flight for a pregnant Haitian woman in distress, and his commanders had reprimanded him for his pains. Up on the balcony of the barracks now, Captain Carroll was fuming about his latest frustration when someone said there was an American out at the gate who wanted to see him.

    There were five visitors actually, four of them Haitians. They stood in the gathering shadows in front of the barracks, while their American friend came forward. He told Captain Carroll that his name was Paul Farmer, that he was a doctor, and that he worked in a hospital here, some miles north of Mirebalais.

    I remember thinking that Captain Carroll and Dr. Farmer made a mismatched pair, and that Farmer suffered in the comparison. The captain stood about six foot two, tanned and muscular. As usual, a wad of snuff enlarged his lower lip. Now and then he turned his head aside and spat. Farmer was about the same age but much more delicate-looking. He had short black hair and a high waist and long thin arms, and his nose came almost to a point. Next to the soldier, he looked skinny and pale, and for all of that he struck me as bold, indeed downright cocky.

    He asked the captain if his...

About the Author-

  • TRACY KIDDER graduated from Harvard University 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 My Detachment, Mountains Beyond Mountains, Home Town, Old Friends, Among Schoolchildren, House, and The Soul of a New Machine, Kidder lives in Massachusetts and Maine.

    MICHAEL FRENCH has published twenty books, including fiction for adults and young adults, biographies, and art criticism. He has adapted many acclaimed adult works for young people. Michael French divides his time between Santa Barbara, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from February 1, 2013
    The story of a doctor's quest to heal the sick in a poor Haitian community and beyond. Dr. Paul Farmer is one of those characters the world could use a few more of, which is why it is great to have this book to put in as many young hands as possible. He saw something his conscience simply could not abide--the medical neglect of poor people--and then went and did something about it, setting up a clinic to serve the medical needs of an impoverished Haitian neighborhood. But he is everywhere else as well, from Peru to Russia, a powerhouse for medical good. He has a wonderful way of screwing down on some of the worst behaviors of humanity--how we habituate ourselves to the misery of others, the absurd self-regard of the medical profession--while (mostly) not coming across as churlish or self-righteous. French has done a fine job of adapting Kidder's book for young readers, almost invisibly tinkering with the original storytelling while not dodging any of Farmer's obsessive characteristics or forceful arguments. The power of the story, of the need to just get things done since there are always resources to tap if the cause is just, pours forth as Kidder intended. An important story that feels like it breathes a dose of virtuous oxygen right into readers' heads. (Nonfiction. 12-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2013) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    April 1, 2013

    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

    Copyright 2013 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Bob Shacochis, author of Easy in the Islands "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."

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Mountains Beyond Mountains (Adapted for Young People)
Mountains Beyond Mountains (Adapted for Young People)
The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, A Man Who Would Cure the World
Tracy Kidder
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