Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Learning About Teamwork from the Lives of Hillary and Norgay, by Brenn Jones

Brenn Jones gives young readers advice on working together and a small history and geography lesson in his Learning About Teamwork from the Lives of Hillary and Norgay. He frames the stories of Hillary's and Tenzing's lives around the idea of working together to accomplish great things. He shows that it took a lot of people to get these two men to the top of the world, and that even when they were alone on their summit day, they depended upon on another for survival. Jones covers their early lives, gives a quick nod to Mallory and Irvine, and then gets to the meat of the story: how a team works together to climb a great mountain. It's to bad Jones missed how Hillary and the Sherpas worked together to build the schools and hospitals in the Solu Khumbu region. Jones does mention towards the end that Hillary and his family helped to build the schools, but I was said to see that Jones fails to acknowledge the other half of the team, the Sherpas, who provided some of the materials and much of the labor for building and maintaining these public works.

I would expect someone like Jones, who has written a guide to children's literature and reviews books for a living, to be a little more meticulous in his own writing. There were several factual errors in this book, such as Tenzing stopping partway up the summit climb to brew some tea or Sherpas normally calling Everest Sagarmatha, its Nepali name. He includes a picture of "Mount Everest" that is some other mountain and a picture of "Sherpas" who look quite Hindu. Also, he misspells the names of both Tom Bourdillon and Charles Evans. I could go on, but this is getting boring. Time to move on to another book!

No comments:

Post a Comment