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(Peak #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  19,154 ratings  ·  2,622 reviews
The only thing you’ll find on the summit of Mount Everest is a divine view. The things that really matter lie far below. – Peak Marcello

After fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello is arrested for scaling a New York City skyscraper, he's left with two choices: wither away in Juvenile Detention or go live with his long-lost father, who runs a climbing company in Thailand. But Pea
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published May 1st 2007 by Clarion Books
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Addison Fransen It is because he is writing it like a journal entry for school.
Sofia Well yes, I am a student and I am not a big reader either, but I can read books fully when I am interested in them. Peak is a good book and gets you i…moreWell yes, I am a student and I am not a big reader either, but I can read books fully when I am interested in them. Peak is a good book and gets you interested on what is going to happen.(less)

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Average rating 3.98  · 
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everest is a giant mountain that people climb when they want to die. there is no other reason to climb it. is there a mac-and-cheese restaurant at the top?? no. is tamerlane up there?? nope. do you get free rent for life if you succeed? no way. so what's the allure??

the thrill of danger?? throw a rock at a bear. it will take less time and you are less likely to freeze to death. a sense of achievement? run a marathon - you will probably not lose any toes. wanting to be among an elite group of smu
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
Peak Marcello is fourteen years old and like most fourteen year old boys (that I have encountered) he is kinda dumb. He has been climbing skyscrapers in New York City because I guess he is bored. He gets busted after climbing one of them and is given a choice..go to Juvenile Detention or go live with his dad. Peak doesn't really have the typical type of parents..back in the day his mom and dad were known as rock rats..they would climb any mountain. Mom calmed down after she broke her back climbi ...more
Roland Smith has captured the ever elusive thoughts and feelings of a teenaged boy who journals his thoughts, life and experiences on his climb up Mt. Everest and most importantly, his new found maturity and values as he braves frigid temperatures, a death-defying climb and the gritty side of human nature, as well as the best humanity has to offer. Welcome to the world of Peak, bundle up, grab some oxygen, and settle in for a breathtaking read for all ages!

Born to climb, born to parents who live
May 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: middle school boys

"I have climbed my mountain, but I still must go back and live my life."----Tenzing Norgay on the summit of Mount Everest

Peak Marcello is a fourteen year old boy living in New York City who illegally climbs skyscrapers to satisfy his passion for climbing, handed down to him from both of his parents. Unfortunately, his last illegal climb of a skyscraper hands him a harsh sentence from a Judge who is trying to make an example of him. Peak's father steps in and offers to finish raising the boy half
Oct 31, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: pre-teens and young teens; those interested in mountain climbing
Recommended to Ashley by: school bookclub
Shelves: for-book-club
In the beginning, fourteen year old Peak Marcello winds up getting arrested for illegally climbing skyscrapers in New York City. This leads him to his long-lost father and to a climb that changed everything- a climb on Mount Everest.

I learned three main things from this book...

1) "...what makes a story unique is not necessarily the information in the story but what the writer chooses to put in or leave out. (pg. 146-147)"

2)"You don't have to be alone to feel alone. (pg. 154)"

3) Sacrifice. Thin
Jan 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
I have several students who jokingly tell each other, "Climb high, sleep low," when they have a problem, great advice from Peak! This is definitely a book that adds to your schema for all things Everest. I learned so much from this book--the types of people drawn to mountain climbing, technical terms for gear and mountains, and the dangers of attempting to reach the summit.

A great coming of age story which parallels the mountain climb.
Sherwood Smith
Copy provided by NetGalley:

Peak Marcello is fourteen, and at the start of the novel he's clambering at the side of a New York skyscrapers, which he has climbed using his mountaineering training in order to tag. He's arrested and the authorities want to throw the book at him for maximum sentence as a warning.

So his absent mountain climber dad swoops in for the first time in Peak's life. Helps out, promising to whisk Peak off to Tibet and private school, until the notoriety dies down. But what his
Duffy Pratt
Jun 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Asked why he wanted to climb Everest in 1023, George Mallory quipped "Because it's there." The mountain killed him soon thereafter. He was last spotted 800 feet from the summit, and disappeared after that. Seventy five years later they found his body, and from the examinations that were done on it, it sounds like it was mostly intact, basically frozen for eternity or until discovered. There's still some debate over whether Mallory got to the summit, and if he did, whether that counts as the firs ...more
Allison Tebo
Dec 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Once in a while, there is a piece of YA fiction with a style that is borderline genius – and that would undoubtedly be Peak. An incredibly strong style and voice utterly captivated me – more specifically I was utterly captivated by it’s narrator – Peak, a fourteen year old climber. From the very first sentence, I was instantly transported into this boy’s smart mind, hurting heart, and incredible integrity and strength. Peak was the first person this year to join my Hall of Favorite Characters an ...more
There are good books and then there are books you cannot put down. Peak was one of those books for me. I took it with me everywhere. I read it during every spare moment I had - even during boring parts of a movie I "watched" with my sister. I was, quite literally, on the edge of my seat through the whole thing.

In first person, written as a story for a school assignment, Peak tells the story of, well, Peak. A fourteen, almost fifteen, year old boy who loves climbing. Because he lives in New York
May 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fans of not just climbing, but fiction about family as well
"Peak" is about fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello who has just been arrested for climbing a skyscraper in the center of New York City. He has the choice of rotting away in juvy, or escaping with his father to climb Everest (although he doesn't know it at the time). It's no wonder he decides to go with his neglectful father, who wants Peak to call him Josh. The rest of the book is about Peak's adventure climbing the legendary mountain, including Josh's incentive and motivation to get his son up the ...more
Oct 04, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Named Peak by his obsessed by mountain climbing father, Peak finds himself in court about to be sent to juvenile detention cell, for climbing a skyscrapper. Peak is snapped away to China for an attempt on Mt Everest with his father. Peak can not decide if his father is there to use him or because he thinks Peak can make it. A gripping story with great characters, be sure to read this somewhere warm, because PEAK radiates an icy chill that settles into your bones.
Julie Suzanne
Sep 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Smith is popular with boys Grades 6 & 7 in my library. I've never been interested in reading any of the books because the topics never interest me. Due to Peak being selected for the Battle of the Books club this year, it became required reading.

I was gripped by the beginning, which surprised me, but then I persevered through a mildly interesting plot for most of the rest of it. The amount of climbing and climbing jargon did not hold my interest...again, not my kind of topic. I wondered if the
Suzanne thebookblondie
Peak by Roland Smith (#69 in 2020)

At 14 years old, Peak gets arrested for climbing a skyscraper in New York City. His punishment could result in either time in juvie OR he could go away to live with his father, an accomplished mountain climber who lives in Thailand. When Peak chooses to live with his estranged father, he learns that his father has big plans for him. Peak's father wants him to be the youngest person to ever climb Mount Everest...

Whenever I read something from the YA genre, I have
Jun 10, 2022 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Have you ever wondered how climbing is really like? What kind of things happen while people are climbing and how long it takes to climb to get to your destination? Peak gives you all of the information about it. And including a story line to go with it, not just facts on climbing. Being the kind of reader I am (reading mysteries and crimes and such), this book is actually fascinating. It actually caught me onto some spots in the book where there was a twist and it got me more into it and wonder ...more
☼Bookish in Virginia☼
What a great little book. PEAK is an action adventure that is imminently readable, and suitable for anyone who likes the description and who can read at the Lexile: 780L level. [That would be Accelerated Reader 5.0 with 9pts.]

The story is about Everest and rock climbing. It's also a story about what makes a family a family.


PEAK is the name of 14 year old boy. The offspring of two rock climbers and as the book begins Peak is getting into serious serious trouble for climbing a building in NYC.

Rebecca Weimert
Rebecca Weimert

Peak Marcello was caught climbing the Woolworth Building in New York and is sentenced to live with his is biological father in China. Peak believes he will be attending a private school, but to his surprise his father has other plans. His father Josh owns a mountain climbing company and has decided to take Peak to the top of Everest so he will become the youngest person to climb up the entire mountain. At first Peak is upset with the idea, but just as he was getting excit
Cameron Paynter
Feb 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: term-2
This book was a bout a boy Peak and his life, it took place mostly at Mount Everest. found this book very interesting because it was cool to see what peak did in his life because he is the same age as us. This is about Peaks life it first took place in the city living with his Mom,but peak got in deep trouble and and his dad took him to mount Everest. Peaks Dad is a famous mountain climber and Peak is trying to be the youngest kid to climb to the summit of Mount Everest. Read this book to find o ...more
Laura Galindo
Apr 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviews
One of the most fascinating and informative books I have ever read. The retelling of the journey to the summit of Mount Everest had me completely immersed in research for weeks. I never thought I would become interested in the action type of literature, but this book proved me wrong in all aspects.
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Peak is the kind of book that you will never read because the title looks boring, But i actually pick up the book and read it. It is a very inspirational where it teaches to never give up even when things go bad. You would never think anything about the ending. Another great book by Roland Smith
Julia Lopez
Nov 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One of the best books ever! Luv it
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: teen
This book was recommended for my son by a friend of mine who teaches troubled young men at a Christian School. Many might disagree with me on giving this book five stars. I might possibly agree with them if they gave it a three or four star rating. However, that rating comes from my adult perspective. My teenage son struggles with reading and quite frankly hates it, until Peak and Mr. Roland Smith. Mr. Smith is not really writing to old guys like me. He wrote this for the younger crowd. This is ...more
Gabriella Nestor
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing

The novel Peak is written by Roland Smith expressing the physical and emotional tolls on a fourteen year old boy Peak Marcello as he climbs to reach for Mount Everest. In the opening scene, Peak writes about his outrageous stunt in scaling the Woolworth building in New York City to tag his blue mountain on them. Nevertheless, his plans rapidly come to a complete end, as he is caught and arrested for vandalism, and climbing. His stunt goes public and Peak is in deep trouble and has to
Valerie McEnroe
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
How does this book not have well over 4 stars, and how has it taken me so long to read it? This is without a doubt one of the two best children's books about survival and adventure. The other is Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. Seriously, I can't see any kid, especially boys, not devouring this book. Now that so much about Mt. Everest is on the internet, every kid who reads this is going to be searching the internet for pictures of dead bodies, trash, base camps, and the summit. It's just fascinating m ...more
Feb 14, 2022 rated it it was amazing
It was amazing! Like I was actually on mount Everest except for I was just reading! But it was so awesome and I was scared for Peak when he was almost at the summit!
I loved it and want to read more!!
Madeline Lara
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I can't wait to read the next one! It really shows what no oxygen can do to you. There are many struggles for Peakincluding to climb Mount Everest. ...more
Oct 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is a great YA book about 'Peak'', a 14year old who, after being arrested for scaling a skyscraper in New York, goes to live with his father in Thailand. Peak's parents are divorced, and his dad runs a climbing operation for Mt. Everest. The story is about Peak's climb and all the events surrounding it.
This is a great story, and reaffirms my decision to never go climbing.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great read. Peak is sent to live temporarily with his father who is a famous mountain climber after he gets in trouble scaling buildings in NYC. He doesn’t realise that he is being taken to climb Everest. This is a great page turner and it very clearly describes mountain climbing. The author obviously has mountain climbing experience, so it is very well described. Although I guessed it was a really tough sport, I had no idea about the constant acclimation that had to happen - climbing up and d ...more
Elizabeth O
Jun 17, 2011 rated it really liked it

The book that I had just finish reading is called "Peak" written by Roland Smith.This book is about a 14 year old boy named Peak who had illegally tried to climb up the skyscrapers and gets in trouble with the police. He goes on trip to tibet with his father and climbs Mount Everest.If he gets to the top, he would be the youngest person to stand above 29,000 feet.But in order for this to this to happen, he can't get cought by the chinese.If he does get cought, he gets arrested.In
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Roland Smith is an American author of young adult fiction as well as nonfiction books for children.
Smith was born in Portland, Oregon, and graduated from Portland State University and, following a part-time job at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, began a 20-year career as a zookeeper, both at the Oregon Zoo and the Point Defiance Zoo in Tacoma, Washington. After working to save wildlife following the E

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18 likes · 4 comments
“The only thing you'll find on the summit of Mount Everest is a divine view. The things that really matter lie far below.” 72 likes
“You don't have to be alone to feel alone.” 55 likes
More quotes…