Title: Sacred Mountain Everest
Author: Christine Taylor-Butler
Publisher: Lee & Low Books
Concepts: natural resources, human resources, services, pollution, tourism, scarcity
Review: For more than five hundred years, the Sherpa have traveled through the Himalaya mountains to trade wool, meat, salt and silk for grains, sugar, and pepper. More recently, since the early 1920s, many Sherpa have found paid work as porters and guides in expedition groups bound for the top of Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in this range and the highest point on earth. Towering 29,035 feet (8850 meters) above sea level, Mount Everest presents a host of challenges to those brave enough to attempt the climb. Extremely high winds, bitter cold, deep chasms, sudden snow storms, avalanches, and inadequate oxygen have not only deterred most recreational mountain climbers, these obstacles have also claimed the lives of numerous experienced climbers, including the Sherpa. High fees (as much as US$ 100,000) and restrictions imposed by the Tibetan and Nepalese governments have also served to limit the number of climbers attempting to reach the peak.
Sacred Mountain Everest presents a fascinating historical account of the people whose livelihoods are deeply intertwined with this majestic mountain. Closely integrated into the writing are a number of important economics lessons surrounding the trade routes, environmental tourism, employment creation, and economic development associated with Mount Everest. The striking photographs, text boxes, and charts further add to the appeal of this interesting and informative book.
Review by: Rutgers University Project on Economics and Children