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Peak    by Roland Smith order for
by Roland Smith
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2007 (2007)
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

What would a world famous mountain climber name his son? Peak - which isn't too terrible, when you realize that Glacier, Abyss, and Crampon were all on the list. Fourteen-year-old Peak hasn't seen his biological dad since he was seven. When he gets in trouble scaling skyscrapers in New York City, Peak is surprised when his dad flies half way around the world to help him. Peak is in the base camp at Everest before he realizes that his dad has plans for him, other than saving him from juvie.

If Peak can climb Everest before his birthday he'll be the youngest person to reach the summit. His dad runs a company called Peak Experience, that was not named after his son. The company specializes in climbing adventures. If Peak can complete the climb while he is fourteen, the publicity gained for Peak Experience should make the company solvent. Peak doesn't like being used, but he's a climber. Being able to summit Everest would be the adventure of a lifetime.

Climbing at this level requires more than being in shape. A climb can fail because of bad weather, altitude sickness, inability to adjust to the thinning air, and viruses that regularly run through the camp. All seem to be adversaries in the race Peak finds himself in to reach the summit. Peak's school journal allows the narrative to be told in his own unique voice. The setting is enthralling and the plot is filled with adventure, intrigue, and competition. Peak has a lot to offer. Don't miss it.

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