A fine choice for both young and older, less-skilled readers.


From the Totally True Adventures series

Edmund Hillary is generally recognized as the first man to reach the summit of Mount Everest; his Nepalese climbing partner, Tenzing Norgay, has received far less attention.

In brief chapters, Herman first describes early efforts to scale Everest, one of which led to the deaths of George Mallory and Andrew Irvine in 1924. She includes basic information about the many challenges climbers faced: poor equipment, avalanche danger, extreme cold and severe storms, and, especially, oxygen deprivation at high altitudes. Biographical information about Mallory, Norgay, and Hillary adds context to their intrepid, driven efforts. Information about the essential role played by numerous skilled Sherpas adds a multicultural element. The rest of this engaging nonfiction tale focuses on Hillary and Norgay's shared climb, truly a team effort that the two men spent most of their lives preparing for. Appealing cover art and a high-interest topic that pairs well with other recent Everest-focused books help make this an easy sell for reluctant readers. Follow-up information on the surviving climbers, a description of a 50th-anniversary expedition to the summit by the sons of Norgay and Hillary in 2003, a list of Mount Everest records, and maps and illustrations (not available for review) round out a balanced and entertaining presentation.

A fine choice for both young and older, less-skilled readers. (Nonfiction. 7-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 4, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-553-50986-1

Page Count: 112

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: June 6, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2015

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A splendid volume for young adventurers.



Based on her work with middle-school students, Long offers lessons on how to stay healthy and out of trouble while awaiting rescue, the same lessons taught to adults in her survival classes.

Her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone will play well with young readers, and the clear writing style is appropriate to the content. The engaging guide covers everything from building shelters to avoiding pigs and javelinas. With subjects like kissing bugs, scorpions, snow blindness and “How going to the bathroom can attract bears and mountain lions,” the volume invites browsing as much as studying. The information offered is sometimes obvious: “If you find yourself facing an alligator, get away from it”; sometime humorous: Raccoons will “fight with your dog, steal all your food, then climb up a tree and call you bad names in raccoon language”; and sometimes not comforting: “When alligators attack on land, they usually make one grab at you; if they miss, you are usually safe.” But when survival is at stake, the more information the better, especially when leavened with some wit. An excellent bibliography will lead young readers to a host of fascinating websites, and 150 clipart-style line drawings complement the text.

A splendid volume for young adventurers. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-708-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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A football fan’s treasure trove of magic seasons and moments.


Storied football teams are ranked and compared.

After an introduction that establishes the subjectivity of any sort of greatest rankings (“Because the only thing better than watching football is arguing about it afterward”) and defines the familiar-to-sports-fans acronym G.O.A.T. (Greatest Of All Time), this book sets out to build cases for which teams (and players) were the best. An unsurprisingly NFL–heavy book, the first chapter covers 20 top NFL teams season by season; this makes up roughly the first half of the book. The selected seasons range from 1940 (the Bears) to 2016 (the Patriots), with some franchises appearing more than once. Alongside narrative highlights of the team’s season, each set of two spreads includes sidebars covering impressive team statistics and interesting anecdotes (such as the first player to dump Gatorade on a coach, strange sports superstitions, and a prank involving an alligator in a shower). The second chapter breaks from the team focus to select individual NFL players at each position, and the third chapter branches out to single-season college teams (limited to 10, which is sure to disappoint readers from unrepresented college football towns). Then the book returns to the NFL with blurbs about the best year for each franchise, takes a break to highlight a single team from a handful of other leagues (including Canadian and a women’s league), before returning to the NFL for a collection of top-10 lists by team stats.

A football fan’s treasure trove of magic seasons and moments. (index) (Nonfiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-68330-072-4

Page Count: 144

Publisher: Sports Illustrated Books

Review Posted Online: July 24, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

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