The Top of the World: Climbing Mount Everest
Written by: Steve Jenkins
Scholastic Reading Level: 4.9
The Top of the World is a cut-paper collage picture book about climbing Mount Everest. It covers topics such as the first climbers to summit, the varying ecosystems and temperatures (very interesting!), and what frostbite is – complete with a collage of blackened fingertips. The story takes the reader on a trek from Kathmandu to base camp, then up to the summit. Glaciers, snow plumes, and the Death Zone are described along the way.
At first glance, this wasn’t really the type of book I was looking for to learn about Everest. I wanted one with real photographs, but all the others at the library were already checked out.
I was only a few pages in when I realized I actually really liked it. The collages are very detailed and well done, right down to the light coming from the hiker’s headlamps and the mountain peak reflection in their sunglasses.
The information covered was interesting and at an appropriate level for the kids. Grace and Lainey both were glued to the book as we read it, but apparently all Grace got out of it were death and dying.
So I concede, I like this book and am glad I checked it out. I satisfied my need to show the girls real pictures by using Google.
(And no, the picture above was taken in Wyoming, not Nepal)
Grace’s Review: I thought it was scary. The frostbite, dying and dead bodies you might find along the trail were not cool.
Lainey’s Review: I thought it was scary but interesting. I would probably look at the pictures again but not read it again.
Christian Friendly: Yes. There is some discussion of temple worship and visiting a Buddhist temple. It was a good cultural/religious talking point and not done offensively.
Sensitive Readers: Caution
I am honestly surprised that both girls were a little freaked out. Maybe this isn’t one to read to really sensitive or young children, especially as a bedtime story. I am not sorry we read it though.