Friday, March 21, 2008

Cliff Hanger

Author: Jean Craighead George

First line: Axel washed his tin cup at the hand pump outside the Teton Mountains Climbing School hut and looked up.

Why you should read this book: Newbery-winning author George is known for her sensitive depictions of children and their interaction with animals and the environment, and this book paints a masterful picture of a long moment in the life of a child who loves both. Axel, whose father runs the climbing school, is chagrined to learn that his dog, Grits, has been left on the mountain as a terrible electrical storm approaches. What follows is both a display of courage, love, and determination as well as a great technical description of a challenging climb under less-than-optimal circumstance.

Why you shouldn't read this book: Even the mere suggestion of height in an illustration gives you vertigo.

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