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Everest Book One: The Contest

Everest Book One: The Contest

4.7 34
by Gordon Korman

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A thrilling adventure trilogy from Gordon Korman that follows a group of young climbers to the top of Mt. Everest! The height of competition. Who will be the youngest person ever to climb Mount Everest? It's the ultimate test of endurance and skill. The mountain has claimed the lives of many climbers. Now Summit Athletic, the sports drink and energy bar company, is


A thrilling adventure trilogy from Gordon Korman that follows a group of young climbers to the top of Mt. Everest! The height of competition. Who will be the youngest person ever to climb Mount Everest? It's the ultimate test of endurance and skill. The mountain has claimed the lives of many climbers. Now Summit Athletic, the sports drink and energy bar company, is sponsoring a reality contest-twenty of the county's youngest climbers competing for four spots in a chance to climb Everest, the tallest mountain the world. The competition is fierce, and the kids haven't even finished with boot camp in the Rockies. Some aren't ready for what they will face. And some will stop at nothing to get to the top.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
One mountain. One winner. Four hopefuls. In the first thrilling book of Gordon Korman's Everest series, The Contest, a group of daring young mountain climbers compete for the chance to scale the world's highest peak. In a robust story line that keeps the characters' relationships as tense as their safety cords, we follow along as 19 kids are eliminated from the SummitQuest contest, leaving only four. Decided by the focused Cap Cicero, a world-class alpinist, the competition takes several unexpected twists -- including a climber's surprising pullout and one candidate's life-threatening fall into an icy crevasse -- as the group is quickly narrowed to a core few. Will the billionaire's timid nephew make the cut, and what secret is he hiding? Could the expedition handle the nasty Tilt Crowley? What about the extreme Sammi, experienced but flawed Bryn, or the two courageous Alexis brothers? Whoever makes it, this fierce first book sets us up with mountain-sized action and suspense. Just as cool as Korman's Island books. Matt Warner

Product Details

Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
Scholastic, Inc.
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File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt


It was a funeral in every way but one: The body was missing.

Not missing, exactly. Its location was common knowledge -- that was the most horrifying part of all this. The body was nine thousand miles away in a country called Nepal, twenty-seven thousand feet up Mount Everest, the highest point on planet Earth.

On Everest, everything above twenty-five thousand feet is known as the Death Zone. There, overpowering wind gusts approaching two hundred miles per hour can wrench a strong person clear off the mountain, and bone-chilling nighttime cold of one hundred degrees below zero causes frostbite and hypothermia. Wherever the body was, it was surely frozen solid.

Twenty-seven thousand feet is above the range of any helicopter. At that altitude, the air is simply too thin to provide the rotor blades with any lift. A stranded climber would have a better chance of being picked up off the surface of the moon than in the Death Zone. Atop Everest, you are your only rescue squad -- you and the others who take on the mountain with you.

It was easy to spot those teammates among the mourners, and not just because of their young age. Their physical bodies fidgeted in the chapel, constricted by grief and tight collars. But their minds were still on the other side of the globe, five miles straight up, in the Death Zone.

They had that much in common with their unfortunate friend. It was a place they might never truly leave.


Dominic Alexis arranged the caps and wrappers on his bedroom carpet and examined them for at least the hundredth time:


He rummaged through the shoebox, searching for the V he knew was not there. R's. T's. Dozens of E's. He had counted once -- more than fifty, and that was weeks ago. Even a few extra S's. Not a single V.

That was how these contests worked. Millions of the other letters were stuck under the caps of Summit Athletic Fuel and on the inside wrappers of Summit Energy Bars, distributed to stores all around the country. Then they printed up a grand total of three V's and shipped them to nonexistent addresses in Antarctica, fourth class.

He was exaggerating, of course. There were V's out there, even if just a handful. Over the past weeks, the TV news had shown clips of ecstatic young climbers who had spelled out EVEREST to qualify for the five wild-card spots at boot camp. Four of those places had been filled. Only one chance remained.

At boot camp, the five lucky winners would join the American Junior Alpine Association's fifteen top young mountaineers for intensive training and competition. It promised to be a brutal month of six-hour workouts, night climbs, and marathon hikes carrying heavy packs. But the end result was worth it. The top four climbers would earn places on SummitQuest -- Summit Athletic's Everest expedition, the youngest team ever to attempt the world's tallest peak.

A shout from downstairs interrupted his reverie. "Where's my sand?!"

It was Christian, Dominic's older brother. Chris didn't have to scramble around garbage cans and recycling bins, scrounging for caps and wrappers. His place at boot camp was already secure. He was the number-two-rated under-seventeen climber in the country -- second only to the Z-man himself, Ethan Zaph.

Chris was talking about his good luck piece -- a small glass vial of sand from the Dead Sea. It had been a gift from their grandmother, brought back from a trip to Israel when Chris was a baby and Dominic hadn't even been born. Chris loved the idea that the sand was from the lowest point on the globe. When he started climbing, he strung the vial on a leather cord so he could wear it around his neck. "I'm taking this sucker vertical!" he would say before an ascent. And at the top of the rock, or cliff, or mountain, he would talk to it: "Far from home, baby! You're far from home!"

It was natural that, as Chris became more accomplished as a climber, it would one day cross his mind to take his good-luck piece from the bottom of the world to the top of the world at the summit of Everest. Now, finally, he was getting his chance.

Pounding on the stairs. "Come on, Dom! I'm packing up my stuff for boot camp!"

There was no question that, right then, Dominic needed good luck more than Chris did. The necklace clutched in his fist, he opened the sash of the window and expertly eased himself outside.

In many neighborhoods, it would probably raise eyebrows to have a thirteen-year-old climbing out a second-story window, but it was a fairly ordinary occurrence around the Alexis home. Sometimes it was just the easiest way down. Vertical was a forbidden direction for most people; for Chris and Dominic, it was as simple an option as left or right. Years before, as little kids, Chris had become the town hide-and-seek champion by scaling a fifty-foot tree for aerial surveillance every time he was "it." Even Mr. Alexis, when he needed to go up on the roof to check a flapping shingle, never bothered with a ladder. He had grown up in Switzerland, in the shadow of the high Alps, and was responsible for introducing his two sons to "this climbing foolishness." (Their mother's opinion.)

And anyway, a thirty-second climb was better than a face-to-face with Chris over a stolen -- ahem -- borrowed good luck charm.

As far as degree of difficulty went, the front of the house was pretty pathetic. Dominic started down, jamming the edges of his sneakers into the narrow spaces between the bricks.

As he passed the picture window in the living room, he caught an exasperated look from his mother. He couldn't actually hear her, but instead read her lips as he dropped to the flowerbed:

"We have a door..."

But Dominic was already sprinting along Mackenzie Avenue. Preparing for an ascent of Everest required workouts in the five- to seven-hour range, and he had been matching Chris step for step running and hiking, pedal for pedal, and stroke for stroke. Only when climbing did Chris still hold an advantage. He was almost sixteen, bigger, taller and stronger than Dominic. He could haul himself up fixed ropes as naturally as a yoyo returns to the hand playing with it. Dominic was just a month past his thirteenth birthday, and small for his age.

The Mackenzie Avenue 7-Eleven, his home away from home. Dominic estimated he had drunk more than forty gallons of Summit Athletic Fuel in the process of spelling E EREST. He'd tried his share of the bars too, but Summit Energy Bars were like quick-drying cement. After a few of them, your insides turned to concrete. Better to stick with the liquid.

One more bottle. One last try.

Out of habit, he checked the recycling bin behind the store first, but it was empty except for a couple of soda cans. Inside, he grabbed a bottle of Fruit Medley -- the flavors didn't matter with Summit Athletic Fuel; it all tasted the same -- like weak, slightly salted lemonade backwash. He paid, walked out, and flopped down on the wooden bench next to the store.

Before popping the cap, he addressed the good luck charm the way he'd seen his brother do it. "Find me a V and it's Everest or bust! I'll take you to the top of the world!"

Sheepishly, he looked around to make sure no one had overheard. When Chris talked to his little vial of sand it always seemed cool. But in the 7-Eleven parking lot, it was just plain embarrassing.

He twisted the cap off and peeked underneath.

Another E.

Until the wave of disappointment washed over him, he hadn't realized how much faith he'd had that his brother's good luck charm would deliver.

The leather strap slipped from his fingers, and the vial dropped to the pavement and began to bounce down the small strip mall's parking ramp. Horrified, Dominic stumbled after it. Losing a shot at Everest was nothing compared with what he'd have to face if he came home without Chris's Dead Sea sand.

He scrambled like a crab, but the bottle rolled ahead of him, just out of reach. As he ran across the garage entrance, a hulking SUV roared up suddenly. The driver slammed on the breaks, and the big car squealed to a halt just inches from the boy.

"What's the matter with you, kid? Why don't you look where you're going?"

"Sorry." Dominic picked up the vial and scooted out of the way. Mom had continuous nightmares that climbing would kill at least one member of her family. I'll bet she wasn't expecting it to happen like this, he reflected, a little shaken.

The SUV accelerated up the ramp, pausing at the top. The driver tossed a candy bar wrapper into the trash barrel and drove off.

It was a Summit Energy Bar. Dominic recognized the logo from where he stood, rooted to the spot. He had climbed towering cliffs, yet walking up this gentle slope to get that piece of paper seemed much, much harder.

He reached into the garbage and fished out the sticky wrapper. In a way, he almost knew what he would see before he turned it over.

A V!

It was a ticket to the top of the world.

Meet the Author

Gordon Korman is the author of The 39 Clues Book 2: One False Note, which debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list, and The 39 Clues Book #8: The Emperor's Code. Gordon has written more than sixty books for kids and young adults, including Zoobreak, Swindle, and Son of the Mob, as well as the On the Run series and the Island, Everest, Dive, and Kidnapped trilogies. A native of Ontario, Canada, Korman now lives with his family in Long Island, New York.

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The Contest (Everest Series #1) 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You have to read ALL 3 books of Everest! Once I pick one of them up i cant put them down. They are definitly my favorite books ever. It makes me feel like i want to climb Everest myself!!! Gordon Korman ROCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the book and series, though it looks like a cheesy book, it is a read that will keep you hanging until the end of the series to see who the youngest person to climb everest is; and to see who is e-mailing the National Daily day by day events to put in the paper and put the expedition leader's career in jeopardy.
Anonymous 6 months ago
I have always loved Korman's books, but this triology is one of my favorites. I loved how it was realistic, somewhat humorous, and "un-put-downable." (I think I just invented a new phrase) I totally recomend this for kids from 10-13! Great book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book1 part 1: the nieghbor * * * It was a hot summer day in brooklyne for 17 year old angie, the 'cutie bop' at her school, because, well...she was a cutie. With her perfect doll face, blonde curly hair, blue eyes, light skin, and naturely pink lips, she was the barbie of westmount highschool. She looked out her 2nd story bedroom window that faced the window of the empty house next door. Creepy. She felt the suns rays and thought, 'perfect tanning day.' She slipped on her smallest bikini, so most of her breast and under thigh would get tanned. She slathered on SPF15 and went downstairs. Her mom was watching JEPORDY and barley noticed her, like always. Angie sighed and said, ''hey mom, i'm gonna jump into a snake pit, so, bye.'' Her mom snorrted and said, ''okay honey. Have a nice time.'' Angie stompped out of the house, angry with her mom.she quickly unfolded a chair in the front yard, layed down, looked over the fence, and gasped. There was a family moving into the house nextdoor, wich she thought was weird since it was old and creepy, but what really caught her attention was the teenage boy liftting a box. The HOT teenage boy liftting a box. Chapter 2 coming soon
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book
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i love this book so much that it became my new favorite! this is my first time reading one of his books and i loved it! it made me feel like i was there with the characters the whole time!!! now i really want to climb everest myself! i cant wait to read another trilogy of his!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WTDROX More than 1 year ago
Have you ever had that feeling after finishing a book in a trilogy and you want to got straight to the next one? That's the exact feeling I got after reading the first book in the Everest Series. I opened the first page and couldn't put it down. I'm not that avid a reader in the first place so when i got a hold of this, it was amazing. At a 60ph clip, I finished it in a day, but I felt like I had run the 90 miles that they had to in the book and climbed the rock walls they tried to conquer. I had never felt an experience with such great characters and conflicts. So, if you want some excitement and well rounded characters, pick up the introduction to the Everest Trilogy and if you're in the mood, pick up the other two. You could finish three masterpieces in one day.
HPANAI More than 1 year ago
this book is awesome i first heard it in 5th grade my teacher read it 2 the class n i jus had 2 buy it 2 finish it n once i did i was captivated! ive read all 3 books at least 5 times n ill STILL keep reading them! there the type of books that u can read over n over again cause there jus so good! the way dominic conquers everything despite his size the way ... wait i better not tell u nemore cause then u wont have 2 buy the book ull jus read this n know wat happens! well if ur reading this know that everything i said is true n i really hope u buy this book its awesome n ull love it (n if ur a teacher ur class will like it 2! =D
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
When a friend recommended this book I didn't think I'd be able to get into it but I totally did. I loved Sammi's character. Gordon Korman has done it again, fantastic!
Guest More than 1 year ago
These books were so good I coudn't put it down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was so intense,my favorite part was when Bryn slept walked off the mountain and Dominic Alexis saved her! That book I DEFINITLY recommend this book to action cravers!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It¿s about a boy who gets in a contest to see who can reach the top of the mountain Everest fist. People do get hurt in the story and of course they have training to do before climbing the mountain. People do get eliminated! If you love the show called Survivor you will love this book. It¿s almost like it. But not the very beginning, you read on you will see the compares to the show Survivor and this book. What I did like about the book was that you don¿t want to put it down on the last few chapters. What I don¿t like is that the begging had no action in it You have to reads the book in order so you know what¿s going on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, I'll admit I haven't actually finished this yet, but so far it's great! I should've ordered these books from the book list at school but I didn't. If you are obbsessed with Everest you must read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is a good book. The main characters, Chris and Dominic, are brothers in this book. Chris is one of the best climbers in the world. He is tough, strong, and fit. Dominic is determined and willing in the training camp. The genre of this book is an adventure book. The story takes place in a country called Nepal. The theme of this book is kids that have to win a contest to be able to go to training camp. But even though if they win the contest they could still be cut. This is what made this book exiting. If you are the type of person that likes adventure and excitement you should read this book. In my opinion I liked Everest better than Island, but Island is a great book also. They are both written by Gordon Korman. I think that Everest is better than Island because the adventure in Everest makes it more exciting than Island. I was shocked with some of the kids that they cut from the training. This book is one of the best adventure books that I have ever read. It is a good book for kids because it boes not have alot of big words that are hard to understand. I think it is better to read the book for a good 30 min. so you have time to get the emotions and get into the book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a really great book. When I checked it out, I did it b/c it was there and there was nothing else for me to read, I wasn't a big fan of mt. everest, I just thought it was neat. But then I read this book and it really made me want to read more of his books, this is really great and I totally recomend it. E me with good books like the ons I reccomended, I like medival books, and stuff like that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the most wonderful book and also its seques. Korman has outdone himself in this book. Stay away from the computer and read it! You won't be dissapointed. Believe me!