Thursday, October 11, 2018

MANJHI MOVES A MOUNTAIN by Nancy Churnin & Danny Popovici

I really loved this book! It’s a great story to share when talking about perseverance or even just to read when you need a bit of inspiration.

Summary from the publisher:

Cover image for a review of a picture book about Dashrath Manjhi who chiseled a path between two mountains, reviewed by Andrea L Mack at www.andrea-mack.blogspot.comDashrath Manjhi used a hammer and chisel, grit, determination, and twenty years to carve a path through the mountain separating his poor village from the nearby village with schools, markets, and a hospital. Manjhi Moves a Mountain shows how everyone can make a difference if their heart is big enough.

Manjhi Moves a Mountain was written by Nancy Churnin and illustrated by Danny Popovici. It was published by Creston Books in 2017.


Deep in the heart of India, a mighty mountain separated two villages.

My Thoughts as a Writer:

The carefully chosen details in this story made it come alive for me. I could easily imagine “their pockets jangled with money” and “Powdered rock and tiny chips sprayed.” Another excellent model for writers who are interested in telling narrative non-fiction.

The illustrations are perfect for this story. I love the warm browns and especially the beautiful night sky on the page where Manjhi worked into the night.  

My Thoughts as an Educator:

This story made me marvel over what a single person can accomplish. There’s a thought-provoking question in the text: Why should some people have so much and others so little? This book would be excellent to discuss with both primary and junior level students. I think children will be amazed and impressed by Manjhi’s hard work and what he accomplished. A great choice for a school library.

 Ages: 4 - 10

Grades: K – 5

Themes: determination, perseverance, goals


Retell: Build a mountain of blocks or rocks and use puppets or pictures to retell Manjhi’s story.

Imagine: Imagine you are one of the villagers. How will an opening through the mountain change your life? Draw a picture or write a paragraph to explain. Will you welcome the change? Talk with a classmate who has a different point of view.

Think: Is there something you can do to make things better for your family or community? How could you do it?  


  1. Wow! Twenty years? Now that's perseverance!
    I love your activities ... very thoughtful.

  2. Andrea, I love this book. The title was so captivating that I had to read it. Love your activities.

    1. Nancy's story is wonderful. Such great language and so pared down it works for primary kids as well as older ones.

  3. It's great to see a review of this book. I discovered it recently at my library, read it, and enjoyed it. I love the question you posed of how an opening through a mountain could change your life. I can already see the sea of waving hands and hear the chatter of countless children's voices ready to answer first.

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Leslie. It would be an interesting writing exercise, too. Maybe I'll try it today myself!

  4. This book is moving up on my TBR pile. Also, thanks for sharing your thoughts as an educator and providing activities to pair with the book.

    1. You're welcome, Jilanne! Thanks for stopping by!

  5. This is a great pick. The story is so inspiring! I love his persistence!

  6. A wonderful book - to remind us that we all can move mountains when we try. Some of stone, some of prejudice.


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