I’m always looking for interesting outdoors books, especially ones that might appeal to my kids. Pretty exciting then, when my 13 year old daughter told me she was reading a pair of books about a teen climber: Peak and its sequel The Edge, by Roland Smith. I decided to read them myself to see whether they were as good as she said.
I really enjoyed the books, pretty well written, but in a mix of styles not everyone appreciates (my 15 year old son hated it) and there were times I wished it was more consistent. The books cover a lot of ground, literally and figuratively.
Peak Marcello (yes, Peak is his name) comes from a climbing family, has twin piano-prodigy half-sisters, and isn’t sure of his place in the world. Peak explores teen angst, their father-son relationship, travel, friendship, and more set against the backdrop of an Everest summit attempt. The Edge covers much of the same ground, but the mother-son relationship takes the forefront, along with young love, and the perpetual struggle between wants and needs.
The climbing itself is very detailed, from the high elevation mountaineering in Peak to traditional and sport climbing in The Edge. While definitely not a how-to manual, there is enough material on how to climb to whet a kid’s appetite to try it out.
Well-written (if you enjoy the author’s style), with enough issues covered to keep things interesting, wrapped up in a travel and climbing scaffold that takes it beyond many teen novels. Suggest these to your kids if you want them to get inspired to go climbing while enjoying a good read.
Any other books I should be suggesting to my kids?