Review Blog

Aug 05 2019

Everest by Sangma Francis

cover image

Illus. by Lisk Feng. Flying Eye Books, 2018. ISBN: 9781911171430.
(Age: All) Highly recommended. Themes: Mount Everest, Mountains, Environment, Climbing. Everything you ned to know about the magnificent Mount Everest is told within the covers of this highly readable book. Aimed at mid to upper primary, as an older adult, I found it riveting, using the contents pages to go back and glean further bits of information, following the references given to find out more and reading the glossary enthusiastically. I missed having an index. From its start 300 million years ago when the huge land mass, Pangaea was formed, to 50 million years ago when the Eurasian and Asian continents pushed against each other to form the Himalayan Mountains, the history of Mount Everest makes fascinating reading. Supported with lots of diagrams, illustrations and maps, the book is informative and highly illustrated.
Chapters on the mountain's environment includes facts about the flora and fauna, and this then goes on to what lures climbers to try to climb the mountain. Readers will find lots of stories of the attempts to climb Everest plus a short story about the first climbers who made it, and a fascinating double page about inventions that have been made for climbers on this mountain. The trail taken by most of the climbers is detailed, followed by several pages looking at the mess they leave behind, now a problem which other people have to clean up.
For people like me who wanted to know about deaths on Everest see here for the story of the 200 plus bodies left on the mountain. The mountain's part within the two religions of Buddhism and Hinduism is outlined as is the part played by the Sherpa, a Buddhist group of people who live in the Khumbu Valley and have led many expeditions to the mountain because of their extraordinary skills at surviving all that happens there. A double page is devoted to the Story of Shambhal, while the myth of the Yeti is also discussed.
All in all a fascinating and informative read, one the holds interest with its stories and illustrations. I can imagine many mid to upper primary people poring over it.
Fran Knight

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