Death Mountain

Death Mountain

4.6 3
by Sherry Shahan
     
 

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Almost a year ago, Erin's mother Lannie suddenly left home without any explanation. Now Lannie wants to see her. "Give your mother a chance," Gram tells Erin as she takes her to the Greyhound station. But Erin feels miserable and unsure about seeing Lannie. When Erin loses her bus ticket, she hitches a ride with Mae and her older brother, Levi. Erin, an experienced… See more details below

Overview

Almost a year ago, Erin's mother Lannie suddenly left home without any explanation. Now Lannie wants to see her. "Give your mother a chance," Gram tells Erin as she takes her to the Greyhound station. But Erin feels miserable and unsure about seeing Lannie. When Erin loses her bus ticket, she hitches a ride with Mae and her older brother, Levi. Erin, an experienced outdoor enthusiast, joins the two siblings on a hike along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The trails are crowded with hikers as a deadly storm suddenly descends upon the mountain. When lightning strikes, everyone scrambles for safety and Erin and Mae become separated from the others. As the days pass, the two stranded and lost girls must rely on their own determination and skills, as well as each other, to survive hunger, freezing nights, exhaustion, and injuries. Author Sherry Shahan has created sympathetic, memorable characters in Erin and Mae. Her dramatic story displays perceptive insights into the conflicted hearts and minds of teenagers, as well as a thorough understanding of the natural world and technical details of mountaineering. An afterword includes an explanation of Shahan's own harrowing alpine adventure that inspired the novel.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA
Erin is forced to go visit her mother, whom she has not seen in eleven months. When her bus ticket is stolen, she is forced to hitch a ride with a girl, Mae, and her brother, who has a real attitude. Their hike to a swimming hole is interrupted by a massive thunder and lightning storm that among other things strikes a mule and a horse dead. Could things get any worse? Yes! Now Erin and Mae are lost in the Sierra Nevada wilderness because Mae, panicked and confused, took off over the mountain in the wrong direction and Erin followed Mae to stop her flight. Thanks to Erin's hiking and camping trips with her very "cool" Gram, she is knowledgeable about surviving in the outdoors, but still it is not easy. Over the next five days, the girls learn about themselves and each other. Mae finds a strength and maturity that she did not know she had. Erin becomes more open about her mother's leaving the family and about seeing her mother again. The details about survival in the wilderness harkens back to Will Hobbs and Gary Paulsen books, but this time the main characters are female. The story is fast paced and interesting, and the characters are well developed and real. The novel will be a good addition to the library collection. VOYA CODES: 4Q 3P M J (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Will appeal with pushing; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9). 2005, Peachtree, 192p., Ages 11 to 15.
—Susan Allen
KLIATT
Erin has been living with her grandmother since the day her mother walked out of the family. All had been well until her mother wants Erin to spend some time with her, to hear the reasons for the seeming abandonment of her family. Erin doesn't want to go, and instead she hitchhikes with Mae and her brother Levi. The three stop for a quick swim in a mountain lake and find themselves in the middle of an electrical storm. Mae heads out for safety and Erin quickly follows. When Erin finally catches up to Mae, the two realize they are completely lost in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, with little more than a canteen and a couple of candy bars. In this survival tale loosely based on a true incident, the two girls must find their own way back to the established trail. They hike up and down and through the wilderness, surviving through their own strength of will. Erin comes to realize how little she knows of her mother and how wrong she was in assigning blame. The end is a bit contrived, but the emotional growth of the girls through their experience rings true. Through her trial in the mountains, Erin develops a hard-earned sense of empathy both for her mother and for her new friend, Mae. KLIATT Codes: J—Recommended for junior high school students. 2005, Peachtree, 202p., Ages 12 to 15.
—Janis Flint-Ferguson
School Library Journal
Gr 5-8-A day trip to a mountain lake turns to disaster when lightning strikes a pack mule, a mud slide kills a horse, and hikers scatter, seeking shelter. Erin, 14, leaves her new friend Levi with the injured hikers to search for his sister, Mae, who has run off-trail in the confusion. The threesome had only become acquainted that morning when Levi and Mae picked Erin up hitchhiking on their way to Chicken Spring Lake. Independent and unusually outdoor savvy, she was supposed to have been taking a bus to visit her estranged mother but lost the ticket in a restroom. Nonplussed by the dilemma, Erin goes along on the side trip before heading back home. This self-sufficient attitude serves her well in the wilds of the Sierra Nevadas where she employs survival techniques learned from her nature-loving grandmother. The level of technical detail rivals Will Hobbs's Far North (Morrow, 1996) and Gary Paulsen's Hatchet (Macmillan, 1986) as the girls cross raging rapids, care for a lost dog, and stumble upon the remains of a missing ranger. Over pine-needle campfires and meals of wild clover, trout, and miner's lettuce, Mae becomes more self-confident and Erin opens up about the mother who left her without explanation. There is a realistic rather than dramatic rescue as girls find their own way out of the woods, scavenging food from campers and waiting the night out in a shelter. Erin resolves her internal conflict as well, leaving the door open for a mother-daughter reconciliation. A great addition to the adventure-survival genre.-Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781561456796
Publisher:
Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
Publication date:
03/01/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
830,416
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
10 Years

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