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Secrets of the Sky Caves: Danger and Discovery on Nepal's Mustang Cliffs by [Sandra K. Athans]
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Secrets of the Sky Caves: Danger and Discovery on Nepal's Mustang Cliffs Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 4–6—For thousands of years, secret caves have been tucked away in steep cliffs in Nepal, and mountain climbers and scientists have begun to explore them. Through their discoveries, they are able to learn about this remote area, its history, and the people who once lived in these caves. The author (a sister of one of the mountaineers) takes readers on a fascinating journey, blending adventure, science, and history. Sidebars of information add a depth of information from topics as varied as what gear a Mustang rope rigger needs to an explanation of a Bon manuscript dating back to the mid-1300s. The book design is attractive and accessible and includes quality photographs and clearly labeled maps. The book will enlighten young readers to one of the most fascinating explorations and discoveries happening today. Seven pages of back matter provide a plethora of additional information. This well-executed narrative envelopes readers in a captivating tale of true mystery and adventure.—Helen Foster James, University of California at San Diego --This text refers to the library edition.

Review

"For thousands of years, secret caves have been tucked away in steep cliffs in Nepal, and mountain climbers and scientists have begun to explore them. Through their discoveries, they are able to learn about this remote area, its history, and the people who once lived in these caves. The author (a sister of one of the mountaineers) takes readers on a fascinating journey, blending adventure, science, and history. Sidebars of information add a depth of information from topics as varied as what gear a Mustang rope rigger needs to an explanation of a Bon manuscript dating back to the mid-1300s. The book design is attractive and accessible and includes quality photographs and clearly labeled map. The book will enlighten young readers to one of the most fascinating explorations and discoveries happening today. Seven pages of back matter provide a plethora of additional information. This well-executed narrative envelopes readers in a captivating tale of true mystery and adventure." ―starred, School Library Journal

Journal Published On: 2014-03-01

"Athans, who chronicled the adventures of her mountaineering brother Pete Athans in Tales from the Top of the World, returns with the story of his collaboration with archaeologists to explore once-inhabited caves in the former kingdom of Mustang, on Nepal's border with Tibet. Following brief chapters on the geography of the remote region, the story of the contemporary cave expeditions begins when the team arrives with a limited thirty-day permit to explore the caves, though they are not allowed to disturb or remove anything found therein. Hoping to find Buddhist monuments called kabums, they in fact discover elaborate cave paintings and a cache of illuminated paper documents, which obviously call for deeper investigation. Further expeditions are authorized, each involving more scholarly personnel and an expanded brief for removing artifacts and human remains to a more secure location for further study. Discussion of caving techniques and the team's relationship with Nepalese government and religious leaders opens a window to the more knotty technical and bureaucratic aspects of archeology. Meanwhile, the informal color photographs are particularly effective in conveying the scale of the terrain and blend of tradition and modernity throughout the region. Often, though, the text is marred by missed opportunities (description of grave gods is unspecific) and unexplained incongruities (e.g., few plants are present, but farmers raise wheat and barley). Nonetheless, rich end matter comprising glossary, index, timeline, source notes, and bibliography, will be a boon to report writers, and the melding of rock climbing and archaeology may entice a range of armchair adventurers." ―The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Journal Published On: 2014-06-01

"Mountain climbers, scientists and scholars use their special skills to unearth the mysteries of a cave city in the Himalayas.
In a remote area of the world, mountain climbers scaling Mt. Everest come across an incredible man-made cave village hidden away in the mountain range. The cave dwellings, part of the former kingdom of Mustang (now part of Nepal), were once part of a thriving community. The climbers received permission from the Nepalese government to study the caves, and the team grew to include those with the skills to interpret the remains, artifacts and other findings. This volume describes the projects that answered many of the questions raised by the discovery of the caves and in doing so demonstrates the special qualities of each of the specialties involved―not the least of which is mountaineering. The author's brother was one of the original climbers, lending authenticity to the account. The text, which provides a solid history of the region, is supplemented by many photographs of the explorers as well as the items from the excavation. There is rich backmatter: a roster of those involved, a timeline, source notes, glossary, selected bibliography, suggestions for further exploration, photo credits and an index.
Though it's too bad the voices of the Nepalese scholars involved are not heard, overall, it's a satisfying exploration." ―Kirkus Reviews

Journal Published On: 2014-03-01 --This text refers to the library edition.

Product details

  • ASIN : B00HNXC0HS
  • Publisher : Millbrook Press ™; Illustrated edition (January 1, 2014)
  • Publication date : January 1, 2014
  • Language : English
  • File size : 71828 KB
  • Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting : Not Enabled
  • X-Ray : Not Enabled
  • Word Wise : Not Enabled
  • Print length : 64 pages
  • Lending : Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.1 out of 5 stars 10 ratings

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