Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Mystery on Everest: A Photobiography of George Mallory

Mystery on Everest: A Photobiography of George Mallory

Audrey Salkeld
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
National Geographic Children's Books, 2000   ISBN: 978-0792272229

When George Mallory was still a little boy, his sister Avie quickly learned that it was not wise to tell her little brother than something was "impossible" to do. George saw the word as a challenge, and he would do his best to prove his sister wrong. This determination to do "impossible" things would drive George Mallory to take on one of the greatest physical challenges faced by man.

At school, George was a good student and when he was a teenager, he went on a mountaineering holiday in the Alps. Though he an his friend got altitude sickness, George "fell in love with climbing mountains," and whenever he could he would tackle some new peak. While in university, George went climbing in Wales and climbed a "totally impossible" rock face that was thereafter called "Mallory's Pipe."

George went on to become a teacher and, in 1914, he married Ruth Turner. He served his country in the World War I, and after the armistice was signed, he went back home to his wife and his job. George could not quite adjust to the quiet life however. He wanted something new to do and that was how he came to join the Everest Reconnaissance Expedition in 1921. George and his team tried to reach the top of the great mountain but were driven back by fierce winds. Though the mountain had won the first round, George Mallory was not ready to give up.

In this wonderfully written story, readers will get to meet George Mallory, one of the world's greatest mountaineers. Readers will get a sense of how brave and tenacious Mallory was, and will read about the mystery surrounding his death on Everest. Did Mallory get to the top of the mountain, or was he felled before he was able to attain this coveted goal?