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Peak

by Smith, Roland


Syndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9780152024178]

Book Review

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Publishers Weekly :

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Starred Review. Here's the perfect antidote for a kid who thinks books are boring. In his latest, Smith (Cryptid Hunters) introduces 14-year-old Peak Marcello (named by his mountaineering parents) as he's arrested for scaling Manhattan's Woolworth Building, in an attempt to graffiti his tag—a blue mountain peak—high on the side of it. Peak is headed for a long stint in juvie when his estranged father swoops into the courtroom with a solution that will get the media's newest darling—the papers have dubbed Peak Spider Boy—immediately and far out of sight. Before the trek to China, where Peak's father runs a commercial climbing operation on the Tibetan side of Mount Everest, Peak's English teacher, Vincent, gives him two notebooks to fill, which will complete his requirements for the school year. This conceit allows Peak to tell his story in his own wry voice and to share lots of Vincent's advice. A good writer should draw the reader in by starting in the middle of the story with a hook, Peak recalls. I guess Vincent thinks readers are fish. The hook here is irresistible—Peak will try to become the youngest person ever to scale Everest—overcoming Chinese bureaucrats, resentment of his father, rivalry with a Nepalese teen who has the same goal, avalanches, icy crevasses, howling winds, searing cold and many, many frozen corpses to reach the 29,028-foot summit. The nifty plotting, gripping story line and Peak's assured delivery give those who join this expedition much to savor. Ages 12-up. (May)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

distributed by Syndetic Solutions, LLC.:
Syndetic Solutions - [Book Review for 9780152024178]

Book Review

:

School Library Journal :

Terms of Use:

Gr 6 Up—In this high-altitude adventure, 14-year-old Peak Marcello's passion for climbing is clearly in the genes, but when he is arrested for scaling tall buildings, his mom and stepdad make a deal with the judge to ship him out of the country to live with her ex-husband and squelch the media attention that might inspire "Spider Boy" copycats. The teen's father, Josh, and his Himalayan expedition company are preparing teams to climb Mount Everest and suddenly Peak is faced with the possibility of becoming the youngest climber to reach the summit. Excited about the adventure, he learns that Josh may have less-than-fatherly motives involving publicity and financial gain for his company, at the expense of his paying customers. Peak is handed off to his father's head Sherpa for training and altitude acclimation with a Nepalese boy his own age, named Sun-jo. At the same time, a media crew gathers at base camp to witness the climb, and an overzealous Chinese police captain doggedly searches for passport violations and underage climbers. Facts about Mount Everest, base camps, and the dangers of climbing are plentiful, depicting an international culture made up of individuals who are often self-absorbed and indifferent to the Tibetan Sherpas, who risk their lives for them. Peak's empathy for Sun-jo helps him make a critical decision as they near the summit, revealing his emotional growth and maturity. A well-crafted plot and exotic setting give the novel great appeal to survival adventure fans.—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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