Sunday, August 11, 2013

Hillary and Norgay's Mount Everest Adventure, by Jim Kerr

Jim Kerr writes for kids about the first ascent of Everest in Great Journeys Across the Earth: Hillary and Norgay's Mount Everest Adventure. He tells, in pretty good detail, about preparations, travel to the mountain, the climb, and its after effects. The main narrative sticks to the storyline, while Kerr fills in the details and background with sideline explanations. The illustrations work well with the storyline, including several that are used to make a point, rather than just look good on a page or simply fit somehow with the storyline. I appreciated Kerr's attention to detail, and his avoidance of lionizing his protagonists. Even if he doesn't mention the entire team by name, he focuses the story on "the climbers" and what they were doing, rather than how great or brave they were. I liked the excerpts from participants' diaries he included, and that he explained their success as a combination of planning, technology, determination, and luck. I wish his explanation of Sherpas had been a bit better, as well as of the national rivalry for Everest, but I was very pleased with his treatment of the expedition and the story overall. A great book for kids! Highly recommend!

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