Two at the Top

Two at the Top

A Shared Dream of Everest

Written by: Krishnaswami, Uma
Illustrated by: Corr, Christopher
ages 3 to 6 / grades P to 1

Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary each tell their story, culminating in their thrilling ascent of Mount Everest.

Tenzing Norgay grew up in Nepal, herding yaks in the shadow of Chomolungma, the mountain also known as Everest. He has always dreamed of climbing to the top. He becomes a guide, leading treks through the Himalayas, and finally attempts the highest mountain himself, but doesn’t make it. 

Across the ocean, in New Zealand, Edmund Hillary grew up tending his father’s bees. He climbed his first mountain at sixteen and has climbed all over the world ever since. He tries Everest, with no success.

In 1953, the two men set out on the same expedition to climb Everest. Their party numbers four hundred, counting all the guides and porters. But the climb is grueling, and eventually Norgay and Hillary are the only two determined to continue. They tramp over windswept glaciers, crawl across rope bridges, hack footholds in the ice … until finally they reach the top of the world!

This remarkable true adventure story, told in a dual narrative, includes illustrated backmatter rich in geography, history and science.

Key Text Features

author’s note

bibliography

facts

further reading

historical context

illustrations

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3
With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3
Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary each tell their story, culminating in their thrilling ascent of Mount Everest.

Tenzing Norgay grew up in Nepal, herding yaks in the shadow of Chomolungma, the mountain also known as Everest. He has always dreamed of climbing to the top. He becomes a guide, leading treks through the Himalayas, and finally attempts the highest mountain himself, but doesn’t make it. 

Across the ocean, in New Zealand, Edmund Hillary grew up tending his father’s bees. He climbed his first mountain at sixteen and has climbed all over the world ever since. He tries Everest, with no success.

In 1953, the two men set out on the same expedition to climb Everest. Their party numbers four hundred, counting all the guides and porters. But the climb is grueling, and eventually Norgay and Hillary are the only two determined to continue. They tramp over windswept glaciers, crawl across rope bridges, hack footholds in the ice … until finally they reach the top of the world!

This remarkable true adventure story, told in a dual narrative, includes illustrated backmatter rich in geography, history and science.

Key Text Features

author’s note

bibliography

facts

further reading

historical context

illustrations

Correlates to the Common Core State Standards in English Language Arts:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3
With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3
Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

Published By Groundwood Books Ltd — Oct 1, 2021
Specifications 32 pages | 8.75 in x 11 in
Written By

UMA KRISHNASWAMI was born in India and now lives in Victoria, British Columbia. Her other publications include Two at the Top, illustrated by Christopher Corr; Book Uncle and Me, winner of the ILA Social Justice Literature Award, illustrated by Julianna Swaney; and The Girl of the Wish Garden, illustrated by Nasrin Khosravi. She has been nominated twice for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. Uma teaches Writing for Children and Young Adults at Vermont College of Fine Arts.

Illustrated by

CHRISTOPHER CORR received an MA in illustration from the Royal College of Art in London, England, where he continues to live, teach, paint and work in animation and book illustration. He has illustrated books for publishers all over the world, including The Goggle-Eyed Goats by Stephen Davies. Christopher's travels in the Himalayas have inspired his art for this book. He is currently working on a series of large paintings for The Campaign for Wool, and he also holds gallery exhibitions of his work.

Audience ages 3 to 6 / grades P to 1
Reading Levels Fountas & Pinnel Text Level O
Guided Reading O
Key Text Features author’s note; bibliography; facts; further reading; historical context; illustrations
Common Core CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.3
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.3

[A] lyrical, clear, and narratively sophisticated picture book. STARRED REVIEW

” —Kirkus Reviews

A great choice for biography sections needing fresh perspectives on historical figures. STARRED REVIEW

” —Winnipeg Free Press

The book may inspire young readers to aim for their own incredible dreams.

” —Winnipeg Free Press

An inspiring book for young adventurers.

” —Calgary Herald

Praise for author Uma Krishnaswami and illustrator Christopher Corr for Two at the Top:

Globe 100 List, 2021

CBC Books Best Canadian Picture Books of 2021

"A lyrical, clear, and narratively sophisticated picture book." — Kirkus, starred review

"A great choice for biography sections needing fresh perspectives on historical figures." — School Library Journal, starred review

"The book may inspire young readers to aim for their own incredible dreams." — Winnipeg Free Press

"An inspiring book for young adventurers." — Calgary Herald

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