Born in Massachusetts, Peter Seibert loved to ski. It was only natural that he would enlist during World War II in the 10th Mountain Division to serve as a soldier who fought on skis.
In spare, brief free-verse lines that will enable readers’ eyes to slide effortlessly down the pages, Borden relates the story of a boy who grew up skiing, doing whatever he could to get out on the snow. Talented and skillful, Seibert was winning races in his teens. After enlisting, followed by many months of training in the Rocky Mountains, he was sent to war in Italy’s Apennines, towering heights that were held by the Germans in seemingly unassailable positions. Hiking up in darkness and snow, Seibert’s division positioned itself for a surprise dawn attack, described with ample suspense. Although that attack was successful, only days later Seibert would be badly injured in another battle, ending his war but beginning a long recuperation driven by his determination to ski again. Like many members of the Mountain Division, Seibert was a pioneer in the American ski industry and would go on to found the ski resort of Vail. An accurate, high-interest narrative focused on a mature topic but written at an accessible reading level is a rare gem. Many period photographs are included (revealing Seibert and his fellows to be white), as is excellent backmatter.
A fascinating and inspiring tale. (Verse nonfiction. 10-16)