- Age Range: 12 and up
- Grade Level: 7 and up
- Lexile Measure: 610 (What's this?)
- Series: A Peak Marcello Adventure
- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (October 6, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0544341228
- ISBN-13: 978-0544341227
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 44 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #462,360 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Edge (A Peak Marcello Adventure) Hardcover – October 6, 2015
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What can fans of Peak expect in this new adventure?
In The Edge, fifteen-year-old Peak Marcello heads to the Pamir mountain range in the Hindu Kush with the camera crew from Everest and his very famous climbing mother. The climb barely begins when Peak’s mother is kidnapped, along with several other members of the climbing party. It’s up to Peak to save them all.
Can you tell us something about the kind of research you had to do for Peak and The Edge?
When I was young, I was a climber, but not a high-altitude climber. Because of this, I had to do a lot of research for Peak. Fortunately, there are hundreds of books about climbing Mount Everest. I guess writing books is what Everest climbers do if they make it back to sea level alive. Aside from traditional book research, I took advantage of local resources here in the Pacific Northwest––home of several Everest outfitters. I suspect that there are more Everest climbers per capita here than anywhere in the U.S. I know several local high-altitude climbers. Their firsthand experience was very helpful. The climb in The Edge is completely different from the climb in Peak. It’s rock-climbing territory, a technique I’m more familiar with from my youth.
Peak has appealed to both boy and girl readers. Why do you think that is?
There is no way for me to really judge this except from the fan letters and email I receive, but I think all of my novels are read by both girls and boys. I’ve been asked hundreds of times, mostly by girls, “Why do you always write from a boy’s point of view?” The easy answer is because I am a boy. The truth is that there are usually very strong female characters in all of my novels. In Peak, the primary female character is Peak’s mom. She’s as much a mentor to him from thousands of miles away in New York as the Buddhist monk Zopa is on Everest. And then there are Peak’s twin half sisters, who are always on his mind. He misses the girls in his life, which leads him to conclude in the very last paragraph of Peak, “The only thing you’ll find on the summit of Mount Everest is a divine view. The things that really matter lie far below.” In The Edge, Peak’s mother is with him, and he will sacrifice anything to get her back home to the twins.
Have you done any mountain climbing yourself?
A bit. Years ago I worked the graveyard shift at the zoo for about a year. Just me and the animals, and a security guard who happened to be an avid climber. When our shift ended, we would head up the beautiful Columbia Gorge, rain or shine, and climb. He was a great climber and a good teacher. He taught me a lot of climbing techniques, but the most important thing he taught me was how to climb safely.
What to you is the most terrifying thing about the climbs Peak does in the two novels?
Peak is a much better climber than I ever was. He’s a pure climber, meaning he cannot help look at a vertical surface without figuring out how to get to the top of it. Climbing can be done safely, or at least you can minimize the risk. What you cannot control is the people you are climbing with, the environment, or the weather. The trouble with getting back to Mother Nature is that sometimes Mother Nature gets back at you.
If you were to take on an outdoor climbing expedition, what two books would you bring with you?
I’d take my e-reader, which has about eight hundred books on it, but if that wasn’t possible and I was limited to two books, one would be To Kill a Mockingbird (which I have read at least a dozen times), and the book I was reading at the time of the climb.
Without giving anything away, what’s your favorite sequence in the book?
I think my favorite scene is the one in which Peak is racing across a plateau, playing a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse with a snow leopard and a pair of kidnappers who are trying to kill him and his friends.
Describe The Edge in five words for the casual reader to draw them in.
A deadly climb in the Hindu Kush. Oops, I guess that’s six words.
From School Library Journal
Gr 6–10—Six months after a perilous attempt to summit Mount Everest in Peak (HMH, 2007), 15-year-old Peak Marcello and a film crew are off to climb the Pamir mountains of Afghanistan. Dubbed the Peace Climb, in which 200 international teens are climbing the world's various mountains simultaneously, the event offers Peak an opportunity to exercise his Spiderman-like skills on something other than the tall buildings in his native New York. Joined by his mother, Teri, an experienced climber who was known as The Fly in her day, and by Zopa, a respected Sherpa friend from Everest, Peak is more focused on the climb than on Afghanistan's outlaw factions, which pose more than a slight travel risk. When kidnappers kill the documentary director and two guides and take Teri, Zopa, and others in the middle of the night, Peak and ex-Marine climber Ethan set out to rescue them. A budding romantic interest in one of the teen hostages, French climber Josette, is one more reason Peak runs into the face of danger with no weapon, no means of communication, and temperature extremes that ensure an untimely death. All the while being tracked by a shen (snow leopard), the unlikely heroes pool their military and outdoor survival knowledge for a nail-biting rescue attempt that will have middle school and older reluctant readers turning pages. VERDICT Extreme sports meets ruthless killers in a survival-of-the-fittest chase.—Vicki Reutter, State University of New York at Cortland
"Extreme sports meets ruthless killers in a survival-of-the-fittest chase."
—School Library Journal
"This sequel easily stands by itself, though readers new to Peak's world are likely to be so enthralled by the mountain-climbing action that they will go back to the previous book to tackle Everest with Peak as well."
—Horn Book Magazine
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Top customer reviews
I had to wait until this year's group of seventh graders finished PEAK before I could start, so their was a great deal of anticipation building especially when my co-teacher came in starting to talk excitedly about the book and I had to stop him. It did not disappoint - what a ride.
I have used PEAK with seventh graders since the novel came out and know the characters and Roland's writing maybe better than he does. (just kidding, Roland). Thank you Roland Smith for including Zopa. When I talk to students about which characters would have to stay if there was a sequel Zopa is always at the top of the list and the two Peas not far behind. Also, it was thrilling to have Teri in the picture as well - what a great Mom.
I would disagree with those who compare PEAK to this novel. While they have some of the same characters and oh, how I love the characters, they are two very different books. PEAK is clearly about Peak and Everest. I believe THE EDGE is truly about the hope for PEACE. When Zopa tells Peak to ask the other characters how he wants the story to end... BRILLIANT!! Students could spend a week discussing all of the elements of literature!! And for those who just want to read and not analyze, it is a quirky twist that shows how we as a society need to take back the narrative. The snow leopard shadow is has to be my favorite as I believe animals are truly intuitive!
Books should make us feel and think - - this novel does that in a divine way. Thank you, Roland Smith!