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4.4 340
by Roland Smith

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When fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello's long-lost father presents the opportunity for them to summit Everest together, Peak doesn't even consider saying no--even though he suspects there are a few strings attached. And if he makes it to the top before his birthday, he'll be the youngest person ever to stand above 29,000 feet. It's not a bad turn of events for a guy


When fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello's long-lost father presents the opportunity for them to summit Everest together, Peak doesn't even consider saying no--even though he suspects there are a few strings attached. And if he makes it to the top before his birthday, he'll be the youngest person ever to stand above 29,000 feet. It's not a bad turn of events for a guy who's been stuck in New York City with only skyscrapers to (illegally) scale.

Here, in Peak's own words, is the exhilarating, gut-wrenching story of what happened on that climb to the top of the world--a climb that changed everything. Welcome to Mount Everest.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
[set star] “A thrilling, multifaceted adventure story . . . A winner at every level.”—Booklist (starred)

“A riveting read for reluctant and experienced readers alike.”—VOYA (5Q—highest rating)

Publishers Weekly

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 2007 Reed Business Information
VOYA - Mathew Sprague
I really liked this book a lot. I was quite surprised by the ending and the decisions that Peak made. I think that those decisions were made because he remembered what his mom told him on the phone about having to be really selfish to be a climber, and he was thinking about his twin sisters.
VOYA - Kim Carter
Met at the top of the Woolworth Building in New York City by a SWAT team, fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello faces years of jail time as a result of his evening climb to tag the top of the building. But his long-absent father swoops in and negotiates to take Peak out of the country long enough to let the publicity die down. When Peak learns that his father's motives are self-serving, aimed at garnering advertising for his Thailand-based climbing company, Peak has choices to make, ultimately opting for the opportunity to be the youngest climber to summit Everest, even if it means serving his father's purpose. In an attempt to deflect attention, Josh-Peak's father doesn't like to be called "Dad"-puts Peak in the care of Zopa, a former head Sherpa-turned-Buddhist monk. Zopa and Peak are joined by Sun-jo, a young Nepalese boy whose Sherpa father died saving Josh's life. This book is Peak's story about what really happens on the mountain, including coming to terms with his relationship with his father as well as with his mother and stepfather, twin sisters, and above all, with himself. The first-person narrative is presented as a school-credit writing assignment done throughout the journey, adding an element that serves to tether the story to some more mundane realities. Deftly developed characters who matter and a gritty story line packed with the intrigue and challenge of serious mountain climbing for serious stakes make this book a riveting read for reluctant and experienced readers alike.
VOYA - Kelsey Sands
Fourteen-year-old Peak is a prodigy climber who appears to have more maturity than most adults in this book. He struggles with the idea of being used by his father for personal gain and tells the story of what he does to battle that. The book is very well written and even humorous at times. People who enjoy reading about a character's personal growth and how that person overcomes challenges will like this book.
KLIATT - Paula Rohrlick
When Peak scales a Manhattan skyscraper in order to tag it, he's caught and arrested. He escapes being sentenced to Juvenile Detention when he agrees to go live with his long-absent father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. However, it turns out that Peak's father has a special reason for rescuing his son: he wants Peak, age 14, to be the youngest person to scale Everest, because the publicity could help save his struggling company. Reaching Everest's summit is every climber's dream, but can Peak survive the trip? Altitude, illness, bad weather, and a hostile Chinese army official all pose problems, not to mention the film crew focused on Peak's every move. And will a younger Tibetan Sherpa reach the top before him? Lots of convincing detail about the rigors of mountain climbing and the political situation in Tibet add to the realism in this tale of a boy testing himself against the elements, struggling with his relationship with his father, and making difficult moral decisions. Readers will enjoy Peak's daring, the exotic setting and the suspense.
Children's Literature - Sharon Salluzzo
When Peak Marcello is caught climbing the side of a New York City skyscraper, the judge is determined to throw the book at him. His mother, stepfather, and father devise a plan that will keep him out of jail and away from the press. He is to leave the United States with his father, Josh, a famous mountain climber. Peak thinks he is on his way to Thailand and is thrilled when his father takes him to climb Mount Everest. Peak is hoping to bond with the father he hardly knows; however, it is not long before he learns the real reason his father has brought him there: He wants his son to have the distinction of being the youngest climber to reach the peak of Mount Everest. It would bring a great deal of fame and fortune to Josh. The plot thickens as the Buddhist monk, Zopa, hopes that his grandson, Sun-Jo, will be the youngest to reach the summit. Sun-Jo is in Tibet on forged papers, and he is being tracked by the Chinese Captain Shek. Readers will feel the difficulties of climbing this mountain. The story is full of action, mystery, the suspense of who will make it to the summit, and the added suspense of Chinese politics. The harshness of climbing Everest offers Peak harsh lessons of life and death, and helps him grasp the true importance of family and friends. Reviewer: Sharon Salluzzo
School Library Journal

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 ReutterCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Dare-devil mountain-climber, Peak Marcello (14), decides to scale the Woolworth Building and lands in jail. To save him, his long-lost Everest-trekking dad appears with a plan for the duo to make a life in Katmandu-a smokescreen to make Peak become the youngest person in history to summit Mount Everest. Peak must learn to navigate the extreme and exotic terrain but negotiate a code of ethics among men. This and other elements such as the return of the long-lost father, bite-size chunks of information about climbing and altitude, an all-male cast, competition and suspense (can Peak be the youngest ever to summit Everest, and can he beat out a 14-year-old Nepalese boy who accompanies him?) creates the tough stuff of a "boys read." The narrative offers enough of a bumpy ride to satisfy thrill seekers while Peak's softer reflective quality lends depth and some-but not too much-emotional resonance. Teachers will want to pair this with Mark Pfetzer's Within Reach: My Everest Story (1998). (Fiction. 12-15)

Product Details

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.40(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.80(d)
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
[set star] “A thrilling, multifaceted adventure story . . . A winner at every level.”—Booklist “A riveting read for reluctant and experienced readers alike.”—VOYA (5Q—highest rating)
Publishers Weekly
“Here’s the perfect antidote for a kid who thinks books are boring. . . . The nifty plotting, gripping story line and Peak’s assured delivery give those who join this expedition much to savor.” Publishers Weekly (starred)

Meet the Author

Roland Smith is a former zookeeper and leading expert on red wolves as well as an author. He lives on a small farm near Portland, Oregon.

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Peak 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 340 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peak by Ronald Smith is an action filled realistic fiction novel. I liked this book because it made me want to keep reading it from beginning to end because of all the adventure going on in the book at once.This story takes place in New York City and Asia. The major conflict in this book is that after being arrested for climbing a skyscraper, Peak has to live with his father in Thailand and is planning on climbing Mount Everest while he is there. Peak thinks he is going to bond with his father but his father actually wants Peak to be the youngest person to reach the peak of Everest for the fame and fortune. Another kid though is trying to also be the youngest to climb Everest. Him and Peak battle to get to the top and learn a lesson from it. The story is told by Peak in the first person. I liked how the author wrote this book because he didn't make things complicated to understand and it was simple to read. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a thrilling story. Anyone who reads this book will get an adventure out of it.
smp315 More than 1 year ago
My daughter was assigned this book in class (7th grade). It seemed interesting, so I gave it a shot. I couldn't put it down. It has adventure, wit and heart. I highly suggest it to any young teen...Moms and Dads should read it as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an outstanding book. I love the way the author starts out with him climbing the side of a skyscraper.If you are the kind of person that likes an exciteing book that you will hav a hard time putting down, this is the book for you. this book is about an almost 15 year old bok that love climbing things. when he get caught climbing a skyscraper he has 2 choices,1 spend some time in prison and 2 go live with his father. he dosnt want to go to prison so he goes to live with his father. he espects to go to his house but his father has something different in mind for him. he takes Peak to mount everest. This book exceptally showed how much it takes to get to the top of everest.along the way to the top of everest peak finds another 14 year old on his way to the top. only 1 problem.....he is 1 week younger then him. like i said this book is outstanding if you get a chance to read it I would, it is a preaty short book that i read in 2 days. sorry Mrs.Britt it was 3 paragraphs but it got squished
Loganisalwaysright More than 1 year ago
When 14 year old Peak Marcello is presented with the opportunity to climb Mt. Everest with his long-lost father, he doesn't even hesitate to say no. You could say Peak got his passion for climbing from his father, who has been gone for more than 12 years of Peak's life, or you could say he picked it up on his own. Either way, if Peak reaches the top of Mt. Everest before his 15th birthday, he will be the youngest person ever to stand 29,000 feet. It's defiantly a step up from illegally climbing skyscrapers to get his climbing thrills. On his journey to the summit of Mt. Everest Peak faces many challenges, such as, altitude sickness, numbing temperatures, and even himself. Peak is an easy read with lots of plot twists that keep the reader entertained from page one until the end. Great Book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I dont have this on my nook but i have the real book i am at the time when peak gets to ABC camp
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The sample includes 29 pages; the first four chapters. This is how the sample is on my Nook Simple Touch. I do not know how it is on any other device. I highly recommend this book to anyone. It is a wonderful book. I loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
“A thrilling multifaceted adventure story… A winner at every level.”—Booklist. In this exciting novel, Roland Smith writes the fictional journal of a young 14 year old climber named Peak Marcello who is arrested for climbing tall buildings, and vandalizing property in the streets of New York City. His arrest is made public when another young man is found dead after climbing a tall building, just like Peak. In order to prevent further attention from the media, a judge decides to send Peak out of the country with his biological father, in Chiang Mai, Thailand. After a long flight full of mixed emotions and excitement, his father offers Peak the most exhilarating challenge of his life; a chance to be the youngest person to climb Mount Everest. Though Peak is excited to break a world record and to face this exciting endeavor, he knows that his father has other motives for inviting him to scale Mount Everest. He is put through tough training in order to prepare him for the dangerous summit. Along the way, he meets new people and makes new friends, such as Sun-jo, a Nepalese boy who is also climbing the majestic mountain. As Peak Marcello climbs higher and higher he not only encounters the lack of oxygen as he rises higher and higher, yet he meets new obstacles that help him mature as a person and discovers who he really is. “Peak” by Roland Smith is a very detailed novel that leaves the reader with a hunger to keep reading. This novel is very elicit and will keep the reader’s attention from start to finish as it lures you into a world high above the ground amongst the sky.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just finished this book and it was amazing!!! It's not too wordy and it's easy to understand. It's a really good adventure story and story of survival, I suggest you read it even if you're in the fence if reading it. You won't be sorry!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My friend read it and thought it was so cool and interesting. It your looking 4 a great book with a winding path to the end ... it right here...PEAK.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peak By Roland Smith Number of Stars: 5 Peak, the main character, loves to climb. He got that from his parents who have been climbing since before he was born. However, a horrible climbing accident stopped his mother from climbing and separated his parents. His dad is a mountain guide on Mt. Everest with his own successful business, so he¿s never around. Peak doesn¿t get to climb much living in New York, but a dangerous climbing stunt that almost lands him in jail, sends him away to live with his father in Tibet. Little to Peak¿s, or his mother¿s, knowledge, Peak was about to experience the climb of a lifetime. His dad set him up to be the youngest climber to get to the top of Mt. Everest. Peak is happy that his dad is finally taking part in his life, but is it just so he can get the youngest climber to the top of Everest and get the publicity? As the story goes along, Peak faces many different hardships, working hard to get to the top. However, a turn in events and a drastic change makes you wonder if he¿ll get the chance to summit at all? This story is jam-packed with dangerous and suspenseful stunts that leave you wanting more. I think teens will like the book Peak because it has drama and action that a lot of other books for teens don¿t have. The main character is a teenager himself, so we¿ll be able to relate to him and some of the things he¿s feeling, like being away from his mom, step dad, and two little half-sisters. Overall, Peak is a good book to read because it has just the right amount of drama, humor, and suspense to make a great book. Follow Peak¿s adventure up the tallest mountain in the world, as he learns valuable life lessons and makes long term friends.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is very well written with a great story. Even readers with no climbing experience won't put this book down. It's made up of a great combination of adventure, humor, friendships, and challenges, and it's told through the eyes of Peak. Overall, this is a thrilling page turner and will leave you satisfied, and it's my favorite book by Roland Smith.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an amazing book and i really enjoyed it!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This books rocks like nobody's buisness! :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yay good book
Silk-Serif More than 1 year ago
Since his earliest memories Peak Marcello has loved rock climbing. He spends every moment he can fine tuning his skills, every summer at a climbing camp and most late nights tagging skyscrapers. When Peak is finally caught red handed climbing a skyscraper his family strikes a deal with the judge. Peak must leave New York to live with his father in Thailand or face Juvenile Detention. Unfortunately, Peak's father hasn't checked back into his son's life out of the kindness of his heart: he has a plan for Peak that will save his failing climbing business. Peak could become the youngest person on Earth to climb Everest, but danger and subterfuge could also cost him his life. I remember reading The Everest series by Gordon Korman when I was in my early teens. I loved the unique idea of rock climbing kids experiencing a once in a live time, high risk adventure. I loved those novels and gobbled them up without pause. Long live the library and the ability to check out an entire series at once! The novel is well researched, well written and (my favourite) concerning rock climbing adventures. I loved the realism behind the climb up Everest: garbage dump camps, the problem with human waste on the trails, frozen bodies above the Death Zone and the careful attention to how lack of oxygen can affect the human brain. At no point does Smith romanticize the climb. It's important that people understand the decades worth of filth that accumulates up a mountain when hundreds of people make the climb every year. I liked Peak. He was from a wealthy family who clearly gave him the best of everything and indulged in his every whim but Peak was not a spoiled brat. He cared about those around him, felt compassion and understood how lucky he is with his lot in life. He was also waay more forgiving than I ever could be.. Unfortunately, the only character I enjoyed was Peak. The rest of the cast are using a fourteen year old kid to get what they want. Peak climbs Everest on his own, often carrying Sun Jo's supplies as well as his own while Sun Jo often spends time on the back Yaks or being babied by others. Zorpa steals Peak's top of the line climbing gear to outfit Sun Jo which no one even comments on. Sun Jo comes from a family of Sherpas and yet consistently under preforms a soft American boy. I think I would have loved this book if Sun Jo was a stronger, more compassionate character. The fact that Zorpa has his own plans to get Sun Jo to the top isn't the issue - its the way that Smith makes it happen. The entire book is literally about an old man manipulating a child so that another child can claim the glory. I don't want to sound arrogant, but Sun Jo does very little to earn his place and is rewarded in the end with Peak's friendship. I am totally for helping those in need, but when that person does very little to earn it and even does morally ambiguous things to you? I just can't get behind that. I understand the message: self-sacrifice, compassion and altruism. I just didn't like how Smith went about getting there. Peak was written for a younger audience so perhaps my visceral reaction is inappropriate. I don't know. I just know that from the first moment we see a lot of unforgivable behaviours by the adults in Peak's life and a lot of selfishness on Sun Jo's part. It ruined a really fantastic book for me. This novel just wasn't for me.. Received via NetGalley and HMH Books for Young Readers in exchange for an completely unbiased review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lets be friends
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
Roland Smith has captured the ever elusive thoughts and feelings of a teenaged boy who journals his thoughts, life and experiences on his climb up Mt. Everest and most importantly, his new found maturity and values as he braves frigid temperatures, a death-defying climb and the gritty side of human nature, as well as the best humanity has to offer. Welcome to the world of Peak, bundle up, grab some oxygen, and settle in for a breathtaking read for all ages! Born to climb, born to parents who lived for the thrill of the danger, the exhilaration and feeling of accomplishment in defying gravity, Peak was a natural. When a stunt in NYC lands him in the custody of his mountain climbing, absent father, he is caught between his own desire to make his mark in the world and his father’s single-minded selfish desires to use his son as a marketing tool to stroke his own ego and fill his pockets. Enter the mind and thoughts of a teen who learns what is important in life as his eyes are opened to the world and the people around him. Roland Smith has given us adventure, danger and tells it with the youthful voice of young Peak. Magnetic, adventurous, young readers will feel the highs, the lows and the awe of this adventure as if they were there. An amazing journey filled with the heart of a young boy, the brutality of an ancient mountain and the narcissist egos of the adults around him who seem to forget there is no “I” in TEAM when lives are always ON THE LINE and there is no room for the phrase, “Every man for himself.” Eye-opening, realistic, enough to fuel younger readers’ minds with the power of reaching for the sky, while learning to stay well-grounded in life. Highly recommended for ALL ages, classrooms, libraries, everywhere! I received this copy from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Although simple and easy to read, somehow Roland smith still captures the levels of passion, courage, and insanity that one must posses to scale mountains like Everest. Peak is just a young teen (14) who finds himself being jailed after illegally climbing and vandalizing a skyscraper. At the last moment, his father (whom he hasn’t seen in years) offers to fly him to Thailand to live there. Without much of a choice, Peak finds himself on a plane, only to realize his father was recruiting him to summit Mt. Everest. The rest of the story is the twists and turns of his climb, told in a journal like format.  Peak is accurately portrayed as a teenager, wanting to become more independent, and struggling to find meaning in life outside of his passion: mountain climbing. Throughout the novel, he not only shows courage and empathy, but selfishness and rage, which adds to the dimension of his character. There are plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your feet. With a gripping hook, fascinating mountaineering information and a story relatable to any mountaineer, Peak is a worthwhile read. I would recommend it to ages 12-15, or anyone whole has a passion for the mountains. - HItL
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peak is a gripping tale of a boy who is sent to live with his dad after he illegealy climbs a new york skyscraper. Once at his Fathers they climb Mt. Everest. I give it four stars because of the wat it was written. I have talked to the many people who wanted me to write this review and ony three (that includes you, Jesse) liked the diary form of writing. It wuold maka great movie because of the book scenery. I hope you guys enjoyed this review. I am planning ones on the Artemis Fowl Series by Eoin Colfer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An amazing book!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Peak is the best book! Im in middle school and we read this for class and i took a test and got 100% its really easy to ready to read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great job Roland!! You should be proud
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This a great book for any one to read. It is exciting and action packed
Anonymous More than 1 year ago