Manjhi Moves a Mountain

(Author) (Illustrator)

Product Details

$17.99  $16.55
Creston Books
Publish Date
8.9 X 11.1 X 0.4 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

Nancy Churnin's first book, The William Hoy Story, How a Deaf Baseball Player Changed the Game, made the Texas 2x2 reading list, the Texas Topaz Nonfiction list, the New York Public Library Best Books for Kids, the Best Children's Books of the Year, Bank Street College, and the Illinois Monarch Award Master List.


This true life story of an Indian sage who became revered and known as the Mountain Man is inspiring and moving to young readers age 5 and up. Beautiful earth-toned illustrations depict the mighty work of Manjhi and the awe and respect of his village friends. "Manjhi Moves a Mountain" is a true modern treasure and wisdom life story.--MidWest Book Review
"Manjhi Moves a Mountain" is an amazing story of dedication, persistence, vision, and steadfast love. It is a true story about a real man named Dashrath Manjhi, who lived in India from 1934 until 2007. Manjhi lived in a remote, poor mountain village, where a mountain divided his poor village from a sister village with water, fertile land, and access to health care and education. People from Manjhi's village had to walk over 36 difficult miles to get to the sister village for access to crops, food, health care, and education, because of the difficult mountain obstacle between. Manjhi could see the differences between the two villages clearly, and he pondered the question of inequality between people at the top of the mountain. He came to a decision after throwing a stone against the mountainside in frustration, watching it dissolve into powder. This was his revelation! From then on, Manjhi spent every possible resource and effort to obtain a hammer and chisel and to use his full strength every day to work at pounding the stone of the mountain to make a road for the people from the poor village to travel to the rich village more easily. The work was hard, and had to be done in addition to the work of growing food and sustaining himself. Manjhi and his hammer became a common sight on the mountain, where he labored every day, chanting to himself, "Hold. Aim. Swing!" Though people told him he was crazy, that he should give up and accept inequality, he continued throughout his life, making slow progress in carving a pathway through the mountain. After 15 years, villagers could see real progress. People began to leave offerings of food, and new tools, to help him on his gigantic, self imposed task. Finally one day that was 22 years after Manjhi first had his vision, the last hammer blow was swung and the pathway that would become a road for everyone was open. Manjhi looked from one village to the other and saw not two villages, but one, "sharing water, hopes, dreams... and a man who had moved a mountain!" This true life story of an Indian sage who became revered and known as the Mountain Man is inspiring and moving to young readers age 5 and up. Beautiful earth-toned illustrations depict the mighty work of Manjhi and the awe and respect of his village friends. "Manjhi Moves a Mountain" is a true modern treasure and wisdom life story.--Midwest Book Review
One determined man brings two villages together with a hammer, chisel, and an iron will. Deep in the heart of India, a mighty mountain separates two villages. Manjhi lives on one side, where nothing grows. On the other, rice and wheat flourish. The people there are affluent, while Manjhi's village struggles with hunger. Manjhi climbs to the top of the mountain to ponder this problem. When he throws a stone, it triggers a sprinkle of powder, which gives him an idea. Manjhi trades his trio of goats for a hammer and chisel. Hurrying back to the top of the mountain, he positions the chisel and strikes it with the hammer. Powdered rock and tiny chips spray. He continues until he's exhausted, but he's also filled with hope. Even though people tell him he's "crazy," day after day Manjhi returns to the mountain. Afte r a year, Majhi is a little stronger, and the hole he has made a little deeper. He perseveres, and when he returns to his task each day notices that others have continued his work. It takes 22 years, but Manjhi lives to see the day that two villages become one, sharing water, hopes, and dreams. Churnin's prose has an elegance appropriate for her inspiring tale, which is based on a true story. Popovich's double-page illustrations use a warm palette and are nicely composed. Heartening.--Kirkus
"This book gives children valuable insight into another culture in a manner that promotes tolerance."--The Today Show
California Reading Association Eureka Honor book
I don't review many picture books, so when I do, it's because I really love it. MANJHI MOVES A MOUNTAIN is the true story of Dashrath Manjhi who spent twenty-two years carving a road through the mountain between two villages. Using nothing but a hammer and a chisel, he devoted his life to making medical care, clean water, and schools more accessible to his home village in India. Manjhi's story is relevant on so many levels. First, the text is accessible and engaging for young readers. Older children can easily read this story on their own. Second, the illustrations are simple yet really lovely, allowing readers a glimpse into a world and culture so different than their own and yet with the human needs and emotions we all share. Finally, in this time when diversity in children's literature is hot issue, this book perfectly fills that need. Manjhi did not live hundreds of years ago. He died only in 2007, so his story is a contemporary one. I think it is important that our children learn about people TODAY who are doing great things, who are changing the world, who are making a difference. MANJHI MOVES A MOUNTAIN can be used to motivate children to think of ways they can make a difference in their own families and communities. At first, Manjhi was mocked by his people, but eventually they came to appreciate and revere him. This story can also give children courage to pursue their dreams without fear of what others think of them. This is a story that can be shared again and again, and promises to prompt many thoughtful and inspiring discussions in homes and classrooms across the nation.--Laurisa White Reyes
Popovici's pen and watercolor illustrations capture this poignant quest beautifully. Popovici deftly employs colors as emotions to capture Manjhi's transformation into a legend. This story will serve as a beacon for children (and adults) looking to make a real difference in their own communities, even in the face of others' disbelief and doubt. Back matter also includes a way for readers to share their own experiences with the author and other readers. VERDICT A finely illustrated true story to encourage social emotional learning that belongs in most collections.--Colleen Banick "School Library Journal "
Churnin's engaging text and Danny Popovici's energetic light-infused illustrations trace this feat of imagination, engineering, and willpower as Manjhi envisions a course of action, patiently sets his chisel and swings his hammer ("Clink. Clank. Clunk."), and perseveres until inches turn to feet and a dream becomes reality. Though they ridicule him at first ("You're crazy...A man can't change a mountain. It's there before he's born and after he dies."), his neighbors eventually support his efforts with gifts of tools and food and an occasional helping hand. Finally, the road is completed and the path is clear to a better way of life. An author's note provides more information about Dashrath Manjhi (1934-2007), the inspiration for this tale, and encourages kids to move their own "mountain" and find a way "to make things better in your community" (a link to share their efforts with other readers is included). Filled with heart and hopefulness, this uplifting tale shows youngsters that one person can make a difference.--Joy Fleishhacker "School Library Journal "
"Moving mountains" is usually a hyperbolic metaphor for accomplishing seemingly impossible tasks. In the nonfiction picture book Manjhi Moves a Mountain, a dedicated laborer literally moves a mountain to connect two villages. Manjhi's poor village "in the heart of India" is separated from a more prosperous village by a mountain. Manjhi throws a stone in frustration. Inspired by seeing a dust crumble from the stone, Manjhi begins to chip away at the mountain with his hammer and chisel. At first, other villagers laugh at his folly, but eventually they begin to respect his dedication. Twenty-two years later, Manjhi has moved the mountain, and the two villages are united. This beautifully designed book has a mythical feel, but Manjhi's story takes place in the twentieth century. Nancy Churnin wisely refrains from belaboring Manjhi's heroism as she simply tells what happens and heroism emerges from that description. Danny Popovici's appealing illustrations reward readers who linger on each spread as details are embedded in the depth perspective of each picture. The book begins and closes with different endpapers that effectively convey the power of Manjhi's accomplishment. Although it actually happened, Manjhi's accomplishment is something of a metaphor after all, as the back matter challenges readers to consider what mountains they can move to improve their communities, and provides links to resources for learning about what others are doing, and how readers can share their own experiences.--Gary Anderson "What's Not Wrong reviews "
When asked what kind of book I most enjoy reviewing, children's picture books are right up there near the top. I'm a fairly pragmatic person, preferring stories about people, grownups or children, instead of trucks and animals that often are stand-ins for the real thing. When a picture book comes along in which the main character is a young man at the beginning of the story until the end when he has become a very old man, I'm already looking forward to reading it. Manjhi Moves a Mountain is that book. The two main characters are exactly who and what the author says they are: a man with a dream and a mountain that would seem to stand in the way of his dream. The story is simple. A man in India lives on one side of a mountain in a very poor village. On the other side of the mountain is a vibrant village, where the rain falls, crops grow, and townsfolk live without poverty. Their children attend school, and if sick, their village has a hospital. Manjhi's fellow villagers must walk up one side of the mountain and down the other to find work in other fields and markets. India's caste system comes into play, and Manjhi's caste is one in which he and his family are expected to live in such poverty. Manjhi does not dream of living on the other side of the mountain, but he would like to make it easier for those in his village to reach the village on the other side. One day, something very simple but surprising happens that makes Manjhi think he might be able to make that happen. He will move the mountain! How can that be? He will move the mountain, inch by inch, foot by foot, mile by mile. The mountain, made of earth and rocks, can be chipped and chiseled away. Churnin takes the reader year by year to see Manjhi's dream become a possibility. The ridicule once rained upon him by his fellow villagers eventually becomes wholehearted support and by the 22nd year of work: "Swoosh! Where once a mighty mountain stood, there was nothing but open space and broken rocks." "Manjhi looked from one village to the other, but for the first time, there weren't two villages. There was just one, sharing water, hopes, dreams . . . and a man who had moved a mountain!" The surprise at the end of this story is that Manjhi is a real person, not a fictional character and his work has been recognized by the Indian government. Now his village has a school and a clinic. Popovici's illustrations perfectly enhance Churnin's story. The pictures fill the pages so that they are never separated from the text, and the soft wash of his watercolors mirror the slow and steady pace of Manjhi's work. Now for a strong thumbs-up for Creston Books, a relatively new publishing house in the San Francisco Bay Area. When shopping for children's books, I cannot recommend a better place to start. Nancy Churnin's book is a rather spectacular read for the whole family. It's a perfect excuse to drag out that atlas and find Manjhi's village Gehlaur, near Gaya in Bihar, India. Also, it's a good time to talk about "others," people who live far, far away from us, but have dreams just like we do. Our own "mountains" may not consist of dirt and stone, but we all have dreams that take time and effort. Most of us, children and grownups, know what it feels like to have people poke fun at us. The author's notes at the end of the story offer the adult who will be reading the book some ideas to talk about when the story ends. The end of Manjhi Moves a Mountain can make a very good beginning.--Sunny Solomon "Bookin' with Sunny "
Inventive artwork that uses a mix of shapes and shadow draws children into the story of the immigrant boy whose music captured the soul of America. The first spread shows an array of notes streaming from Berlin's mouth as he passes the Statue of Liberty, and throughout the book, the focus is on Berlin's immigrant roots and the love he feels for his new country, which helps him win such success. Although the text is factual, Churnin does take occasional liberties, as in an early scene where the child Berlin promises himself he's going to write a song for the Statue of Liberty. The evocative prose brings readers close to tenement life, describing it with sounds like the "steady treadle of the sewing machine" and "the thump of his mother kneading dough." Details of Berlin's adult life will be found, for the most part, in the author'snote and time line. The last couple of pages capsulize his career and talk about the effect of "God Bless America" on the country. An appealing look at a timeless life.--Booklist