From the Publisher
"Helfand switches things up a bit in his biography of Hillary and Norgay, allowing his characters to tell their stories for the first half of the book. Starting with Norgay, the two men alternate talking to each other about their lives and the events that brought them to an Everest base camp in 1953, just before their historical scaling of the summit. The use of different colored borders on their text boxes and a clear voice for each man keeps readers from getting confused. In the second half of the book, a narrator takes over and readers ascend to the heights, feeling the danger and excitement along the way. [Illustrator] Tayal . . . and Helfand are adept at putting readers directly into the cold and hardship and even those without much knowledge of mountain climbing will be able to easily follow what is happening. The extras here include a glossary and facts about young climbers who have scaled Everest’s peak." School Library Journal
"A vivid double character portrait, enhanced by equally sharp glimpses of climbing techniques, strategies and hazards."
— Kirkus Reviews
"I highly recommend Campfire’s comics. They do what they are intended to do and do it in a way that excites kids about classic literature."
— Chris Wilson, The Graphic Classroom (a resource for teachers and librarians)
School Library Journal
Gr 3–6—As the men prepare to climb Everest in 1953, they reminisce about their lives and how they arrived at this point. They tell about their personal growth and misadventures, and the allure and challenges of the great peaks of the world. Lacking in any bibliographic reference, the narration and dialogue need to be kept in proper perspective. That said, the first-person accounts make the story of each man personal and help reinforce the fact that neither of them could have ascended alone, and that their teamwork was fortunate. The perils of the climb and of like activities are given due coverage, and the risks taken help give the book some gravity and suspense. The artwork uses photographic references for the mountain vistas, and the writing and layout feature them effectively, highlighting moments of fantastic achievement with appropriate scale and scope. The book closes with a brief summary of Everest's recent young climbers, helping to make the topic relevant and current. This detailed account is delivered with a balanced view of the importance of will combined with circumstance.—Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH
The exploits of two young men mad for climbing mountains are retold in graphic panels.
Trading off narrator duties, Norgay and Hillary trace their childhoods and early lives. The Sherpa was a driven youth who earned a reputation for solid reliability working for European expeditions tackling various Himalayan mountains, while the Kiwi was the restless son of a beekeeper, who satisfied his yen for heights and adventure by making connections with renowned climbers. A third-person voice takes over for their ultimate meeting on Everest's slopes and the heroic trek to the summit. Tayal captures their likenesses in flurries of small but visually varied cartoon scenes, often placing figures in front of reworked photos of forbidding ice fields and peaks. Helfand fills the dialogue-heavy narrative with specific biographical details and exciting accounts of some of the great triumphs and tragedies of Himalayan mountaineering. He rounds out the lives of his two subjects with highlights of their later careers and closes with quick looks at modern teenagers who have climbed Everest.
A vivid double character portrait, enhanced by equally sharp glimpses of climbing techniques, strategies and hazards.(Graphic nonfiction. 11-13)