MG – Everest: The Remarkable Story of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay

Stewart, Alexandra. Everest: The Remarkable Story of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Bloomsbury, 2020. 978-1-547-60159-2. 64 p. $21.99. Grades 4-8.

A book about the first two men in history to reach the top of Mount Everest, this illustrated biography presents the lives of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay from birth to their famous expedition and beyond. It relays stories of failed attempts that came before theirs and details their triumphant climb from start to finish. In addition, it gives credit to other important figures who made the climb a success, such as inventors who developed equipment to protect the climbers and those who went ahead to set out food rations (to name a few). Detailed illustrations and an accessible layout that includes many brief captions and small blocks of text make this an engaging read for young learners.

THOUGHTS: Overall, I found this book captivating and very informative. I did, however, feel it was missing a few elements. First of all, it seemed to cover Edmund Hillary’s life more thoroughly than it did Tenzing Norgay’s life, especially following their successful climb. Secondly, I was a little surprised that there were no additional resources, such as a bibliography or further reading section, added to the end of the book. I feel that the book does a nice job of piquing the reader’s interest, but it fails to provide the reader with any direction if he/she wants to learn more about the men or their expedition. Still, this engaging title definitely deserves consideration for any collection serving young readers.

796.522 Mountain Climbing          Julie Ritter, PSLA Member

Elem. – Great Races (Series NF)

Great Races. Momentum, The Child’s World, 2020. $20.95 ea. $167.70 set of 8. 32 p. Grades 3-6.

Ford, Jeanne Marie. Race Around the World. 978-1-503-83219-0.
Havemeyer, Janie. Race to Mount Everest. 978-1-503-83223-7.
Hutchinson, Patricia. Race to Space. 978-1-503-83220-6.
Maurer, Gretchen. Race to the Bottom of the Ocean. 978-1-503-83224-4.
Perdew, Laura. Race to Discover Energy Independence. 978-1-503-83222-0.
—. Race to Renewable Energy. 978-1-503-83226-8.
Rea, Amy C. Race to Develop the Atomic Bomb. 978-1-503-83225-1.
—. Race to the Poles. 978-1-503-83221-3.

Author Amy C. Rea taps into touchstones of world history in these concise overviews. Race to the Atomic Bomb provides the highlights of the creation of the atomic bomb, starting with brief background of founding scientists and ending with a mention of the post World War II proliferation of nuclear weapons. Aimed at a young audience, the thirty-two page book traces the development of the atom bomb from the British James Chadwick’s discovery of the neutron in 1935 to Albert Einstein’s prodding Franklin Delano Roosevelt to form the Manhattan Project to the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Black and white photographs of major scientists and scenes give context for young readers. The book concludes with probing critical thinking questions. Includes contents, glossary, resources, index.

THOUGHTS: Young readers who need some knowledge of these topics may benefit from this series. Though the facts are true, they just skim the surface. For example, Harry Truman’s decision to drop the atom bomb merits a few lines. Relaying the number of deaths and including Truman’s reflection on the dreadfulness of the atom bomb does not convey the impact of such devastation. This series seems directed at a younger audience who are just learning about these events.

355.8 History          Bernadette Cooke, School District of Philadelphia