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Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Used in Worn Condition. No CD or Access Code. Ex-library books. Some Markings. Small tears and wear on corners and edges
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Peak Paperback – August 1, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 308 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Peak Series

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up—In this high-altitude adventure, 14-year-old Peak Marcello's passion for climbing is clearly in the genes, but when he is arrested for scaling tall buildings, his mom and stepdad make a deal with the judge to ship him out of the country to live with her ex-husband and squelch the media attention that might inspire "Spider Boy" copycats. The teen's father, Josh, and his Himalayan expedition company are preparing teams to climb Mount Everest and suddenly Peak is faced with the possibility of becoming the youngest climber to reach the summit. Excited about the adventure, he learns that Josh may have less-than-fatherly motives involving publicity and financial gain for his company, at the expense of his paying customers. Peak is handed off to his father's head Sherpa for training and altitude acclimation with a Nepalese boy his own age, named Sun-jo. At the same time, a media crew gathers at base camp to witness the climb, and an overzealous Chinese police captain doggedly searches for passport violations and underage climbers. Facts about Mount Everest, base camps, and the dangers of climbing are plentiful, depicting an international culture made up of individuals who are often self-absorbed and indifferent to the Tibetan Sherpas, who risk their lives for them. Peak's empathy for Sun-jo helps him make a critical decision as they near the summit, revealing his emotional growth and maturity. A well-crafted plot and exotic setting give the novel great appeal to survival adventure fans.—Vicki Reutter, Cazenovia High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Fourteen-year-old New Yorker Peak ("It could have been worse. My parents could have named me Glacier, or Abyss, or Crampon.") Marcello hones his climbing skills by scaling skyscrapers. After Peak is caught climbing the Woolworth Building, an angry judge gives him probation, with an understanding that Peak will leave New York and live with his famous mountaineer father in Thailand. Peak soon learns, however, that his father has other plans for him; he hopes that Peak will become the youngest person to climb Mt. Everest. Peak is whisked off to Tibet and finds himself in the complex world of an Everest base camp, where large amounts of money are at stake and climbing operations offer people an often-deadly shot at the summit. This is a thrilling, multifaceted adventure story. Smith includes plenty of mountaineering facts told in vivid detail (particularly creepy is his description of the frozen corpses that litter the mountain). But he also explores other issues, such as the selfishness that nearly always accompanies the intensely single-minded. A winner at every level. For more mountaineering adventures, suggest Edward Meyers' Climb or Die (1994) and Michael Dahl's The Viking Claw (2001), both for a slightly younger audience. Todd Morning
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt; 1 edition (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152062688
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152062682
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.7 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (308 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Have you ever wondered what inspires people to climb mountains? What drives some to the highest peaks? Fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello was born to climb. Born to a couple of dedicated "rock rats," Peak has climbing in his blood.

Peak's parents are divorced. He hasn't heard from his father for years. Suddenly, after being arrested for illegally climbing a skyscraper, Peak finds himself on his way to Kathmandu to join his dad, famous climber, Joshua Wood.

Forced to leave his mother, stepfather, and half-sisters behind, Peak has mixed feelings about the trip. It means spending time in some of the best climbing territory in the world. It also means spending time with a man who never answered his letters or bothered to get to know his own son.

Once Peak arrives in the neighborhood of Mt. Everest, the real plan becomes evident. Joshua Wood runs an adventure/expedition company struggling to make ends meet. Taking the youngest ever person to the summit of Mt. Everest would assure the continued success of his company. Peak is just the fourteen year old for the job. Can he survive the brutal conditions and make it to the top? Will his father be able to protect him from the foreign authorities who have other ideas about who should be allowed to climb in their country?

Peak Marcello is about to have the adventure of a lifetime. His mental as well as physical strength will be tested, and what is truly important in life will be revealed.

Roland Smith, well-known for his adventure books, provides another great story for his fans. The struggle to survive on Mt. Everest, in addition to the thrilling attempt to reach its summit, makes for some fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat reading. I recommend PEAK for any teen collection.

Reviewed by: Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky"
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A Kid's Review on October 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In the book Peak, Roland Smith tells a realistic fiction story about a fourteen-year-old boy who gets a chance to summit Mt. Everest. But, when Peak gets up to Base Camp he discovers the good and bad sides to this climb.
The story begins with Peak at home in New York where he attends a special school called GSS. They don't specialize in climbing though. Eventually, he discovers another talent, writing. So his new English teacher gives him an assignment to write in moleskin journals about anything interesting in his life. Then his desire to climb gets him into a lot of trouble with the law. So his mom and step dad, make a bargain with the law, which includes going to live with his father who is a well-known professional climber. So he sets off to Nepal with his dad, and learns more about climbing, family history and to appreciate his step dad and sisters.
Also on this thrilling adventure, he gets to know many people other than his dad Sun jo a Nepalese boy who's grandfather Zopa is accompanying them up to Base Camp. Another climber, Holly Anglo who is a reporter who wants to tell the story bout the youngest person ever to summit Everest. Which if everything goes okay then that will be Peak.
Zopa is trying to hide Sun jo on the Tibetan side of the mountain with a crazy Captain Shek who is after illegal climbers. Shek is constantly trying to find Sun jo and deport him to Nepal.
On top of all his discoveries there are so many obstacles on the mountain itself than Peak can imagine. He and Sun jo must help each other make it to the top. Their biggest problem though is the oxygen. There isn't any. The higher they go there is less oxygen and more breath taking obstacles and sights there are.
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Format: Paperback
Peak is a coming-of-age story that avoids being preachy, contrived, or formulaic. Its lively first-person narrative also incorporates authentic detail and climbing terminology without seeming flooded with jargon. Terms and descriptions are clearly articulated but do not detract from the humanity of the protagonist and the different events and decisions that pull him up Mt. Everest. A young adult novel, the book would also be an good read for motivated elementary students and was just as engaging for me. Put briefly, I like it.

P.S. The protagonist is on the cusp of his 15th birthday (a significant detail in the plot). The level of writing is surely beyond what most modern 15-year-olds produce, but wouldn't it be nice if it could be a motivation for adolescent readers to want to be good writers?
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this teen boy adventure. Peak Marcello is a 14-year-old boy, the son of two well-known mountaineers, so he hardly can help it that climbing is in his blood. But when he’s caught climbing a New York skyscraper, he only escapes jail when his father, Josh, shows up and offers to take him back to Thailand with him until things cool down.

But Josh has never been part of Peak’s life. He left when pregnancy and then a serious fall caused Peak’s mom to give up the sport. Peak hopes for a meaningful time with his dad, and he’s stunned to find out Josh’s motivations are primarily financial. Josh wants Peak to climb Mount Everest. If he succeeds, he’d be the youngest climber ever, which could only benefit Josh’s guide business.

This is a fantastic adventure novel. Not only do we have a well-rounded character in Peak with a tough predicament, we get to climb Mount Everest with him! The context is a virtual crash course in procedure, equipment, hazards, glories, geography, and topography. It got my blood pumping, I’ll tell you! In addition, we’re introduced to several sherpas, those unsung heroes who guide climbers to the top, making the trip again and again. It was an interesting look at the local people who live, work, and often die tragically on Mount Everest. We even get a taste of the restrictive politics of China (Tibet), which shares the mountain with Nepal.

Peak becomes close friends with a local Nepalese boy named Sun-jo whose grandfather is a sherpa. Without giving away anything, let me just say the friendship does much to drive the story into deeper levels and illustrate who Peak really is, deep down.
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