Peak- Roland Smith
Rating: **** Very Good
By Aidan Thirsk
Peak is one of the greatest books I have read, it is a truly great story that really gets the reader emotionally involved. It’s aimed at teenagers for the reading level, so it is a very easy read, but doesn’t detract from how outstanding the story is.
Peak is a story about a boy, named Peak, who gets caught climbing a skyscraper and spray painting by the police and when he is tried in court, he is bailed out under the condition that he moves to his fathers, in Thailand. What Peak doesn’t know is that his father, Josh, plans on having Peak climb Mount Everest with him. Since Peak is only 14 years old, Josh wants to have Peak become the youngest person to climb Everest, in order to do that, Peak has a quick deadline till he turns 15. Before the climb Peak meets up with another boy, Sun-jo, and the rest of the group planning on climbing Everest (Josh is a guide who climbs Everest regularly). Peak and Sun-jo befriend each other and help each other along the very rough trip to the summit of Everest. As the group climbs the mountain, they experience deathly cold weather, lack of oxygen, and social skirmishes. Peak bears even more than the others, being so young, and being seen as getting a free ride to the top because of his father being the guide. Finally after the long journey and having deaths and severe illnesses, Peak and Sun-jo make it to the Summit of Everest. Peak is about to climb the final stretch, but after finding out Sun-jo’s father died saving Josh and that Sun-jo is 14 as well, Peak helps Sun-jo reach the top before him, making Sun-jo the youngest person to ever climb Everest.
I think what made the story so great for me is the fact that a 14 year old boy was able to accomplish such an amazing feat. Peak being so close to a High School students age made me connect with the story a lot more than I would have if it were just a story about an adult. It also makes climbing Everest, a seemingly impossible endeavor, so much more impressive. The story really makes me appreciate the hard work and preparation that the people who have climbed Everest have put in. The way the journey was described sounded unbelievably extreme and it shows the kind of passion the people have for being able to deal with the harsh conditions and pushing till they get to the end.
Smith, Roland. Peak. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Children's, 2007. Print.