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January 10 , 2009

Death Mountain


Almost a year ago, Erin's mother Lannie suddenly left home without any explanation. Now Lannie wants to see her. "Give your mother a chance," Gram tells Erin as she takes her to the Greyhound station. But Erin feels miserable and unsure about seeing Lannie. When Erin loses her bus ticket, she hitches a ride with Mae and her older brother, Levi. Erin, an experienced outdoor enthusiast, joins the two siblings on a hike along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The trails are crowded with hikers as a deadly storm suddenly descends upon the mountain. When lightning strikes, everyone scrambles for safety and Erin and Mae become separated from the others. As the days pass, the two stranded and lost girls must rely on their own determination and skills, as well as each other, to survive hunger, freezing nights, exhaustion, and injuries. Author Sherry Shahan has created sympathetic, memorable characters in Erin and Mae. Her dramatic story displays perceptive insights into the conflicted hearts and minds of teenagers, as well as a thorough understanding of the natural world and technical details of mountaineering. An afterword includes an explanation of Shahan's own harrowing alpine adventure that inspired the novel.
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