“This engaging, appealing introduction to a fascinating figure could inspire children to climb their own mountains, literal and figurative.”



This book is designed to make Sir Edmund Hillary accessible to younger children. Written to celebrate the Everest conqueror’s 99th birth anniversary, it introduces the reader to the small shy Ed from New Zealand who grew up to become the world’s best mountaineer.

The story is simple and focusses on Hillary and Tenzing’s difficult ascent, talking about the black sky like space above the peak and trying to make the experience come alive. Hill’s narrative is helped by Phoebe Morris’ illustrations and the clever graphic use of font sizes which highlights the important points and counterpoints what is happening in the narrative by setting a kind of rhythmic pace.

For a retelling of Hillary’s story, Hill deftly brings in Hillary’s partnership with Tenzing Norgay, emphasizing that Norgay helped Hillary to set foot on the top with his skill, courage and knowledge of the mountain. The focus on young Ed’ shyness is likely to make the book even more appealing to children who are worried that they do not have the calibre to become heroes.

Hill’s story emphasises that courage and determination are what matter most.


Reviewed by:

Anjana Basu

Added 6th May 2019

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Anjana Basu