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UP - A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure

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  • True Story
  • Who knew girls could be so adventurous?
  • Heartwarming
  • Your kids should be so lucky
  • About the Author - PATRICIA ELLIS HERR holds a master's degree in biological anthropology from Harvard University and homeschools her two daughters. She lives in Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
41 new from $6.50 49 used from $0.01 2 collectible from $7.77

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Product Description

UP - A Mother and Daughter's Peakbagging Adventure is a fascinating book about a mother who lets her daughter have the freedom to hike that some of us can only dream about. When Trish Herr became pregnant with her first daughter, Alex, she and her husband, Hugh, vowed to instill a bond with nature in their children. By the time Alex was five, her over-the-top energy levels led Trish to believe that her very young daughter might be capable of hiking adult-sized mountains. In Up, Trish recounts their always exhilarating--and sometimes harrowing--adventures climbing all forty-eight of New Hampshire's highest mountains. Readers will delight in the expansive views and fresh air that only peakbaggers are afforded, and will laugh out loud as Trish urges herself to "mother up" when she and Alex meet an ornery--and alarmingly bold--spruce grouse on the trail. This is, at heart, a resonant, emotionally honest account of a mother's determination to foster independence and fearlessness in her daughter, to teach her "that small doesn't necessarily mean weak; that girls can be strong; and that big, bold things are possible.".Author - Patricia Ellis Herr.Binding - paper.Pages - 256.Publisher - Random House.Year - 2012.ISBN - 9780307952073.

Product Details

Color: Paperback
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8 inches ; 7.2 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Origin: USA
  • ASIN: 030795207X
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #157,287 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

When you're done with the book (it's a quick read of just a few hours), you will want to know more.
Joel Avrunin
The author is so very supportive of her children that one does not doubt that Alex will deftly overcome the inevitable sexism she will face throughout her life.
When Herr's 5 year old daughter Alex fell in love with hiking, mother and daughter set a goal to hike all of New Hampshire's 4000 ft peaks.
Elizabeth S. Gallaway

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Dienne TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 9, 2012
Color Name: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I basically enjoyed Patricia Ellis Herr's account of her year spent hiking all forty-eight 4,000+ peaks in the state of New Hampshire with her five-year-old daughter Alex (and sometimes three-year-old Sage as well). Herr and her daughters are clearly plucky, confident and strong young ladies who not only bit off an ambitious project but doggedly chewed it to the finish. The story is easy reading and engaging enough that I cared about Alex and cheered for her when she achieved her goal by summiting 4,802 foot Mount Mousilauke, although I never doubted along the way that she could do it.

That said, there are some elements of Herr's writing style and tone that set me a bit on edge and spoiled the reading experience for me. Primarily my concern is that she focuses too much on finding Messages in each experience and hitting her readers over the head with them rather than just letting the story - and Alex's bold personality - unfold naturally and allowing readers to take their own messages from it. The result is oftentimes clunky, self-conscious, over-thought and occasionally rather defensive.

One of the best illustrations of this is the chapter entitled "To Get Where She Wants to Go, a Girl Must Punch Through Rotting Snow". This hike, Alex's thirtieth peak, takes place in early spring, a time when the snow on the mountains is melting and mushy, making the going quite rough as one frequently plunges thigh-deep into the slushy stuff. Along the way Alex says, "Jacob told me I can't be good at math because I'm a girl." Now, call me simplistic, but this seems like a no-brainer to me for someone whose daughter has hiked twenty-nine mountains: "Yeah, and you're not supposed to be good at climbing mountains either because you're a girl. So what do you think about such silly ideas?
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By T.M. Reader on May 25, 2012
Color Name: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
OK, I'll be one of the few that are not going to offer a glowing endorsement of this bizarre travel/adventure book. (But stay with me, it ends on a surprising up-note).

I'll cede the obvious here, which is that the notion of taking one's child on a series of challenging outdoor adventure hikes is a wonderful thing: Wonderful one-on-one time with the child. Wonderful physical exercise and accomplishment. Wonderful learning experience and confidence builder. Wonderful exposure to the beauty of creation.

I decided to read this book after having just read Joe Glickman's, To the Top and am considering some peak climbing projects with my young grandsons. But the beauty of the whole package as I worked through Up was increasingly ruined for me as I was repeatedly distracted by the author's "baggage".

To be fair, Patricia Herr, or rather Patricia Ellis Herr, has accomplished some great things here. The personal climbing achievements with her daughter Alex, and the permanent gift of the memories and confidence will remain. And recording it all in book form. Nice accomplishment. Nice that Herr is financially privileged to have the resources to do all of this (vacation home and travel budget, homeschooler with open schedule, rock-solid wage earner husband). Wealth honestly earned is always deserved, so I have no problem there. But . . .

I guess I am just a different kind of person than Herr. When I give thanks to a diety, it's always to the God of the bible, not to "Mother Earth". That grated on me. When I drop an M&M on the trail, I'll just leave it for the squirrels (or pick it up and eat it) rather than collect it for packing out and eventual transfer to the local landfill. It's just food. Let it lay.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Sottelbaum on May 20, 2012
Color Name: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There sure are a lot of hiking stories/memoirs getting published lately. This one brings something new to the table: a child, while, unfortunately not the main "character," is the main focus of the story. That is, the daughter in the story is the one trying to achieve the goal of hiking the 4000ft summits. While this has a likelihood of greatly appealing to those of us with kids, the book itself is lacking in a very important facet.

So mom and daughter start hiking, and soon daughter decides she wants to hike all the peaks. OK, interesting enough. The book discusses the mom's feelings of how things are going, how great mom thinks her daughter is, how mom has to explain to daughter about bigotry in the world, how mom "casually suggests" how advanced daughter is for her age, how mom...wait a minute! I wanted to hear more about the DAUGHTER. You know, the 5 year old that mom has to defend when other hikers thinks she's crazy for bringing her out. Yeah, the same 5 year old that mom has to watch out for when weather turns bad, and that mom...

Granted, a book written by a 6 or 7 year old isn't going to be great, but the insight into what the kid is thinking is so thin that, to me, the book basically turned into a "My daughter is great, and here is proof that she's great, and I'm a great mother." Roughly the equivalent of talking to any stranger about their kids.

Perhaps my hopes were inflated after having read AWOL on the Appalachian Trail and
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