Peak, by Roland Smith, is a novel that came out in 2008 – telling the story of Peak Marcello, a young mountain climber given the chance of a lifetime: to summit Everest. Roland Smith’s characters are well-written and his book is intriguing: it held my interest up until and through the very end.
Though I had never heard of Roland Smith, his writing is fresh and easy to read. Written from the perspective of a 15-year-old boy, the main character takes an interesting stance in observing the other characters around him. The author (who is likely “Vincent”, Peak’s teacher, in the book) did an excellent job of personifying Peak – I immediately connected with him and resonated with his trouble.
Peak has never known his true father well. Though he loves his twin sisters, his step-father annoys him and he often feels stifled in New York City. As a hobby, he began climbing skyscrapers for fun. When he is caught, Peak believes he will be facing years in prison for his deed. Rather unexpectedly, his father flies in from Asia and takes Peak with him to Thailand.
His father keeps a tight lip, and Peak doesn’t know what is going on; until they get in a pickup truck and drive to Nepal, where at last Peak learns the truth: his father wants him to be the youngest person ever to summit Mt. Everest. This brings up an interesting dimension in their relationship: does Peak’s father simply want to use him, or does he truly want a relationship with his son?
The characters are what make this book interesting. As I wrote before, the book is written from the perspective of a teenager, and the book is written in a journal format, making the perspectives on different people interesting (and sometimes amusing). We get an inside view at Peak’s emotions and thoughts, and follow him as he begins his difficult task.
Peak is an excellent book; though written for middle-school age readers, I found the book equally interesting as a high-schooler. It tells a story that only a teenager can tell, and watching Peak mature and change is interesting. I recommend that you check this book out on your next library call if you can.
Published on 22 February, 2011. Last updated on