This appealing and informative guide to Everest may well have children dreaming of their own expeditions.

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EVEREST

A detailed look at Mount Everest, the tallest peak in the Himalayan mountain range.

This handsome publication provides a holistic perspective on Everest, broken up into different sections starting with the origins of the Himalayan mountain range and its flora and fauna. Various myths and legends surrounding Everest are woven in among accounts of the numerous attempts at climbing the mountain and details of conditions at the summit. Francis describes the mountain as “a place of invention, imagination and discovery.” She also weaves in elements of science geared to pique a child’s curiosity, such as how a mountain is measured and inventions that have helped make mountain climbing easier over time. With simple, accessible writing, short chapters, and stunning illustrations, the book guarantees to interest and engage readers to learn about not only this natural wonder of the world, but also how it has inspired people in the past and its continuing footprint and evolution as time passes, taking care to sensitize readers to the environmental challenges faced at Everest with increased waste and climate change. Feng’s vibrant illustrations have the look of mid-20th-century lithographs and complement the engaging text perfectly. The limited palette is dominated, unsurprisingly, by icy blues and whites, with pops of russet in the display type and picture accents.

This appealing and informative guide to Everest may well have children dreaming of their own expeditions. (glossary, further reading) (Informational picture book. 8-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 2, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-911171-99-7

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Flying Eye Books

Review Posted Online: Sept. 2, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2018

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An apt choice for collections that already have stronger alternatives, such as R.J. Palacio's Wonder (2012).

UGLY

A memoir of the first 14 years in the life of Australian Robert Hoge, born with stunted legs and a tumor in the middle of his face.

In 1972, Robert is born, the youngest of five children, with fishlike eyes on the sides of his face, a massive lump in place of his nose, and malformed legs. As baby Robert is otherwise healthy, the doctors convince his parents to approve the first of many surgeries to reduce his facial difference. One leg is also amputated, and Robert comes home to his everyday white, working-class family. There's no particular theme to the tale of Robert's next decade and a half: he experiences school and teasing, attempts to participate in sports, and is shot down by a girl. Vignette-driven choppiness and the lack of an overarching narrative would make the likeliest audience be those who seek disability stories. However, young Robert's ongoing quest to identify as "normal"—a quest that remains unchanged until a sudden turnaround on the penultimate page—risks alienating readers comfortable with their disabilities. Brief lyrical moments ("as compulsory as soggy tomato sandwiches at snack time") appeal but are overwhelmed by the dry, distant prose dominating this autobiography.

An apt choice for collections that already have stronger alternatives, such as R.J. Palacio's Wonder (2012). (Memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 6, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-425-28775-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 18, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2016

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A splendid volume for young adventurers.

SURVIVOR KID

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

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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