Thursday, September 24, 2009

Death Mountain by Sherry Shahan

Title: Death Mountain
Author: Sherry Shahan
ISBN: 9781561454280, Peachtree Publishers, 2007
Genre: Young Adult, Survival
Rating: B

First Line: Erin kicked a rusty bottle cap across the two-lane highway in front of the bus station.

Erin's not overly upset when her bus ticket is stolen. She didn't really want to visit her mother in the first place. She hitches a ride with Levi and Mae, a brother and sister planning a short hike in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The hiking trail is crowded when disaster strikes: a deadly storm hits. Amid lightning strikes and torrential rain, everyone runs for safety, and Erin and Mae find themselves separated from everyone else.

In the days to come, Erin has to use all the survival skills her grandmother taught her to keep Mae and herself going. Are the two young girls going to make it back before their luck runs out?

Based on an actual event in author Sherry Shahan's life, Death Mountain is a swiftly paced and engaging read. It's interesting to see the power shifts and personality differences between Erin and Mae as they make their way down the mountain. The relationship between Erin and her grandmother (shown in flashbacks) is a very close and special one, and I liked seeing how the older woman kept trying to reconcile her daughter and granddaughter.

But it's not all interpersonal relationships on Death Mountain; there are lots of adventures and survival tips. One of the things I liked most in reading this book after such books as Hatchet and The River was the fact that this time it was two young girls lost in the wilderness trying to find their way to safety. Why let the boys have all the fun?

[Review copy from author. Thank you, Sherry!]


  1. I'm really curious about this since it's based on an event in the author's life.

  2. I'm going to add this to my wish sounds really good.


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