Contrary to the title, who would not want to climb to the top of the world after reading this book? Employing a "you are there" technique, the author takes young readers back into the world of 1952, when a crack team of Swiss climbers tries to scale the mountain. They fail, and the following year it is Great Britain's turn to try. The reader, who goes along as a member of the British team, learns about the arduous preparation that is required, the need for special equipment and scientific knowledge, and the assistance of the native Sherpas. There is a wealth of interesting information to grab the attention of readers, both girls and boys. For example, the reader learns that Edmund Hillary's boots froze the night before the final ascent, and that he had to thaw them out on the stove before he could put them on. On the lighter side, at 4:00 p.m. every day, during the preparation phase, the team stopped for tea, cookies, or some fruitcake—all carefully packaged and brought with them. At the end of the book, when Hillary and Tenzing Norgay achieve their goal and declare, "It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves," the reader can truly share in their success. The book is aptly illustrated with colorful drawings of the men, somewhat resembling pictures that one might find in a comic book. However, this book is dead serious about describing what was, and still can be, a deadly adventure. The book will be a welcome addition to any school, library, or home book collection; it is a history and science book all in one. Reviewer: Leona Illig
Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.40 (d)
Meet the Author
Ian Graham is an experienced author of illustrated nonfiction books on a wide range of topics, including aviation and spaceflight. In 25 years, he has written more than 200 books and numerous magazine articles.