Peak by Roland Smith
From the back of the book:
For a climber, saying that you are stopping by Everest is like saying you are stopping by to see God.
When fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello’s long-lost father presents the opportunity for them to summit Everest together, Peak doesn’te ven consider saying no — even though he suspects there are 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 sky-scrapers to (illegally) scale.
This is a great “guy” read, though I believe female readers will enjoy it as well.
Peak was considered and rejected for the 2011-2012 Pikes Peak Battle of the Books List. Now that I’ve had a chance to read the book, I think it is a shame that it was not added to the list.
What I liked about the book: The adventure. Smith has created a well plotted story with lots of spine tingling thrills. The story also contains messages about facing the consequences of your actions and making sacrifices for others. The messages are clear, but not presented in an overbearing manner. Young readers don’t mind having a message in their reading, they just don’t like to be hit over the head with it. I like that the story is told in Peak’s voice. It helps pull the reader into the story.
What I didn’t like about this book: I liked it all, but to be honest – I started reading this book with the preconceived notion that I would not like it. A colleague had read the book and was insistent that it is not suitable for 5th graders. However, the book appears on several 5th grade reading lists. I usually try to read books with an open mind. I almost didn’t read this book because my colleague was seemed so certain about it. There is one line in the book that she felt was too mature for fifth graders. Though I agree that that particular line does not add to the story, I also feel that I would have never noticed it if I hadn’t been looking for it. I rather doubt the 5th graders noticed either.
I highly recommend this book for readers who enjoy adventure stories. It would be an excellent read for a guy’s book club as well.