67 pages 2 hours read


Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2007

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more. For select classroom titles, we also provide Teaching Guides with discussion and quiz questions to prompt student engagement.



  • Genre: Fiction; young adult adventure
  • Originally Published: 2007
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 760L; grades 5-9
  • Structure/Length: 30 chapters; approx. 246 pages; approx. 7 hours on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Fourteen-year-old Peak Marcello joins his father in Thailand to avoid juvenile detention after his attempt to climb a city skyscraper results in arrest. There, Peak faces the climbing challenge of a lifetime: Mount Everest.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Mild profanity (2 instances)

Roland Smith, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1951 in Portland, Oregon, where he still lives; studied English at Portland State University; began working at a local children’s zoo, which led to a successful career in zoo keeping and animal care; finds inspiration for book ideas in his work with animals and his associated travel experiences
  • Other Works: Zach’s Lie (2001); Jack’s Run (2005); Elephant Run (2007)
  • Awards: Starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist (2007); National Outdoor Book Award Winner (Children’s; 2007)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Friendship
  • Fatherhood
  • Risk and Obsession

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Develop an understanding of social and geographical contexts regarding Mount Everest and its climbers that influence the decisions of the main character and the people around him.
  • Analyze short, paired texts and other resources to make connections via the text’s themes of Risk and Obsession and Fatherhood.

Related Titles

By Roland Smith