Plot: Dominic Alexis has an older brother, Chris, who is the youngest and one of the best mountain climbers. However, the American Junior Alpine Association is putting on a contest, and four lucky young winners will get the chance to climb Mount Everest summit. Dominic is one of those lucky winners, now all he has to do is out-pace all the other winners and possible contestants so gain his place on the summit. He knows he doesn’t stand a chance, being the smallest and youngest person to try and place, but he keeps trying anyways. When the time comes to choose the four climbers, Dominic is surprised to find himself on the list and his brother not on the list. While training, tragedy befalls one of the other climber and Dominic had learned just what he got himself into with this climb.
Review: This is a great adventure of a young boy who wants to climb Mount Everest. When given the opportunity, Dominic realizes just how difficult of a task this is going to be. More people of died from trying to climb Mount Everest than any other summit. People are going to get hurt, it’s going to be tough, cold, dark, and a great struggle, so does Dominic have the stamina and drive to keep going and making to the top? Korman has created an adventure that is filled with suspense and the daring achievements of one boy who never though he would actually get the chance to try out his skills on the most deadly mountain, Mount Everest. Keep reading Dominic’s story with the sequels to the The Contest, and find out if he survives the summit.
Reading Level/Interest Level: 5.1/3-6 graders
Similar Materials: Go Big or Go Home, by Will Hobbs, Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen
Reader’s Advisory: This is the first book in a trilogy, the next two are The Climb and The Summit. Gordon Korman has a lot of trilling adventure books for children. This one caught my interest because I think climbing Mount Everest is a bit crazy and for a young boy to do it seems extreme. There were parts of the book where I was holding my breath because I feared for his life. It’s a great read for those kids who like a thrill and an adventure.