In anticipation of Community Read Week (January 4-6), Middle School students and teachers received a copy of the book “Peak” by Roland Smith this week.
The community read concept endeavors to entice and encourage our students to read more. In addition, the book and the accompanying activities during a community read serve to bring a sense of unity and common understanding amongst students, parents, and faculty. This year’s book discussion groups will include an evening session with parents. Adding the parent book group to the Middle School Read allows families to share this experience, and furthers parents' ability to connect with their children’s learning. Activities during the week will include special snacks/lunches, classroom activities, a Skype with the author, and a themed home-clothes day as a finale.
After 14-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 Peak quickly learns that his father's renewed interest in him has strings attached. Big strings. He wants Peak to be the youngest person to reach the Everest summit — and his motives are selfish at best. Even so, for a climbing addict like Peak, tackling Everest is the challenge of a lifetime. But it's also one that could cost him his life. He encounters the dangers of climbing, experiencing physical and emotional challenges that bring him to critical decisions testing his strength and maturity.
Middle School Librarian Ms. Chessman shared her thoughts about the book:
“In my personal experience, “Peak” has been incredibly popular with both boys and girls of various ages. The reading and interest levels of students in Grades 5 to 8 vary drastically. “Peak” is a book that has adventure enough to keep reluctant readers interested, and is thoughtful enough to keep thinkers interested. The Read Committee likes that the book discusses not just physical challenges, but also emotional ones. It addresses a boy's relationship with his parents, with divorce, with the city, with struggling nations, with other children, and with expectations. Everest also opens up many curricular connections which students will be encouraged to explore—not just the history of Everest and the climbing experience, but also topics like Tibet, Nepal, the environment, economics, and much more. This book has something for everyone!”