THE CLIMB by Carol Carriek


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Like the Carricks' Christopher stories, this is a small vignette in which much is unobtrusively accomplished. Brendan is reluctant, at first, to climb the mountain with older cousin Nora; and she is contemptuous, at first, of his fear. But when they reach the treacherous rocky part, she realizes he is genuinely frightened; and aided by her quiet reassurance and sensible advice, he manages to complete the climb. What then follows assumes perhaps too complete a turnaround on Brendan's part, but it will thoroughly satisfy youngsters of his age: Nora plans to frighten him on the way down by hiding in a cave and growling like a bear, but instead gets stuck and frightened herself--while Brendan waits composedly outside, knowing all the time where she is. A last, small scare is shared by the two, now comrades and peers. With the children's fears empathically pictured--you are on that rocky ledge, in that moldy cave--a more than ordinarily convincing projection of what it means to get in a tight spot, a less than ordinarily pat (at this age-level) demonstration of how to get out of it, even apart from the shifting relationship between the two cousins that constitues the basic story.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Clarion/Houghton Mifflin