Monday, March 19, 2012

To the Top!, by Kramer & La Padula

I apologize to Sydelle A. Kramer and Thomas La Padula for my earlier post on their To the Top! While the book isn't the greatest kids' story on the first ascent of Mount Everest, it isn't nearly as bad as I made it out to be. Kramer tells the story, focusing on Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay (only mentioning that there were 14 climbers on the trip, without naming names). Though the author leaves out some details to focus on her main subjects, what she does include is mostly true. The book is geared towards Grades 2-4 and seems to read pretty well for that age. La Padula's illustrations are dramatic, though not heavily researched, with minor things askew, such as improperly depicted gear and a cover illustration of the pair climbing to the northwest of Everest. There are also a few photographs from the first ascent included in this book. At the end of the book, Kramer acknowledges some of the later history of Everest climbing, quickly mentioning Bonington's computer modeling, the Italians' use of helicopters, and Reinhold Messner's solo ascent.

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