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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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Banner in the Sky Paperback – April 15, 1988


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen; Reprint edition (April 15, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0064470482
  • ISBN-13: 978-0064470483
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #164,739 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

It was a quick read and hard to put down.
Michael Long
If Rudi Matt can do this, if he can climb the Citadel, he will be the first one ever to climb it.
B G
I read this book with my 13 year old son as part of our homeschool curriculum.
J. Boman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Nina M. Osier on August 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
Sixteen-year-old Rudi Matt works as a hotel dishwasher in the 19th Century Swiss village of Kurtal. Every day of his life he's stared up at the Citadel, the one remaining unclimbed peak in the Alps. Fifteen years ago three men tried that climb. One, the hotel cook who is Rudi's boss, came back crippled. Two were carried down dead: Guide Josef Matt, Rudi's father, and his "herr" or client, a great English mountaineer.

Rudi understands why his mother forbids him to follow his father's profession, even though her brother - Rudi's Uncle Franz - is one of Kurtal's most successful guides. Rudi will learn the hotel business, first in Kurtal and later in Zurich. His mother has already given one man to the Citadel and its fabled demons. She won't risk giving another. But Rudi can't help himself. He has to climb. When he meets another famous English mountaineer, Captain John Winter - and proves his strength and skill by saving Winter's life - it's only a matter of time. The Citadel waits to be climbed, and Josef Matt's son knows he's the man who must climb it.

This is another re-read for me, a book I loved in girlhood and find myself loving even more many years later. BANNER IN THE SKY started me reading mountaineering books despite my personal hatred for both heights and cold weather, and I've savored many such tales - some true life, some fictional - since then. This remains my personal favorite in the latter category. It's smoothly yet colorfully written, and anyone whose youthful dreams a careful parent couldn't share is sure to experience Rudi's coming of age right along with him.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kyle Shepherd on March 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have mixed feelings about this book, so I'll deal with the positive first, and then the negative.

The book is about a young man, Rudi Matt, who lives in the village of Kurtal, a small village at the foot of the Alps. Mountaineering is in the blood of every man in the village, and every nearby peak has been conquered...except for the last and greatest peak, the Citadel. No man has succeeded in climbing this one perilous peak that dwarfs all others around it. Josef Matt led an expedition fifteen years ago, but of the three men, two died in the attempt (including Josef) and the third was badly injured. Despite popular beliefs and fears about the mountain being cursed, Rudi dreams of conquering the mountain and fulfilling his father's quest.

In the past fifteen years, no one has tried to climb the mountain--and anyone who gives any serious thought about doing so is considered crazy and foolish--and no one besides Rudi gives it serious thought. However, things change when renowned climber Captain John Winter arrives at Kurtal: he is determined to climb the Citadel, and Rudi is equally determined to go with him. Thus the catalyst for the adventure.

It's a great read, and the literal cliff-hangers held my rapt attention, even though I'm nineteen. The trials and obstacles of mountain climbing are presented well, and the reader walks away (or should I say "climbs down") from the book with a good sense of what it's like to be a mountaineer. That is, as close as one can get to actually clinging to the near-vertical edge of a rock with a few fingers and the toe of one boot--with a yawning mile-deep empty space below.

The above praise aside, the book is nevertheless tainted to some extent.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
I gave this book, Banner in the Sky, five stars because it was very absorbing and suspenseful. I liked this book because it showed how much a little boy was dedicated to climbing a mountain. He wanted to climb the mountain because his father wanted to prove it could be done, and in the process he died. What made me read faster and faster was that at every time I turned the page questions kept popping in my head. The questions were, "Will he listen to his mother or will he not?", "If he doesn't listen to his mother will his surprise acquaintance help him?", and, last but not least, "If he doesn't listen to his mother will he succeed?" My heart was beating faster and faster by the second as I read. It's a book you won't want to put down until you read from cover to cover.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on April 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
A Banner in the Sky is an adventure about a kid named Rudi who tries to climb the greatest mountain in the world. His father, who was the greatest mountaineer even attempted to climb it 15 years before him but failed and died. Rudi's father died when Rudi was very young so, Rudi didn't have any feelings for the death.

This book was the best book I've ever read. Every page was fulled with excitement, and interesting events. I never wanted to put this book down it was so good. I read it as fast as I can and finished it in one day.

This book reminded me of a few things. The mountain that Rudi climbed was like present day Mt.Everest. Also this book reminded me about when my aunt died I was very imature and young and I didn't understand her death; kind of like how Rudi's father died and he didn't understand his death.

The setting of the book took place in multiply places. The main setting was on the mountain. Mr.Ullman used great description to describe the mountain. I good picture the mountain so clearly in my mind. The book also took place in the town under the mountain. The town contained a hotel for tourists, many mountaineer shops, and houses for the people living there. The people living in the town got all their money form the tourist. There was only one main character in Banner in the Sky. The main character is Rudi. Rudi has a lot of heart and courage. The mountaineers said that he was to small to climb and he would never be like his father but he never listened to them and climbed the greatest mountain of all time. Banner in the Sky has one Newberry award and it also been a movie. James Ramsey Ullman was born in NYC in 1907. He is a write, world traveler, and a mountaineer. He was on the 1st voyage on Mt.Everest.
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