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The Lives of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay

by Lewis Helfand & illustrated by Amit Tayal

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 2011
ISBN: 978-93-80741-24-6
Publisher: Campfire

The exploits of two young men mad for climbing mountains are retold in graphic panels.

Trading off narrator duties, Norgay and Hillary trace their childhoods and early lives. The Sherpa was a driven youth who earned a reputation for solid reliability working for European expeditions tackling various Himalayan mountains, while the Kiwi was the restless son of a beekeeper, who satisfied his yen for heights and adventure by making connections with renowned climbers. A third-person voice takes over for their ultimate meeting on Everest’s slopes and the heroic trek to the summit. Tayal captures their likenesses in flurries of small but visually varied cartoon scenes, often placing figures in front of reworked photos of forbidding ice fields and peaks. Helfand fills the dialogue-heavy narrative with specific biographical details and exciting accounts of some of the great triumphs and tragedies of Himalayan mountaineering. He rounds out the lives of his two subjects with highlights of their later careers and closes with quick looks at modern teenagers who have climbed Everest.

A vivid double character portrait, enhanced by equally sharp glimpses of climbing techniques, strategies and hazards. (Graphic nonfiction. 11-13)