The Impossible Climb (Young Readers Adaptation): Alex Honnold, El Capitan, and a Climber’s Life

Blackstone. Apr. 2021. 542p. adapted by adapted by ­Hampton Synnott. $16.95. ISBN 9781665036412.
Gr 6 Up–The Synnott couple compress husband Mark’s 2019 bestseller to share with younger readers Alex Honnold’s thought-to-be-impossible feat of solo free climbing—as in no ropes, no harness!—Freerider, El Capitan’s notorious 3,000-feet vertical route in Yosemite National Park. Perhaps aware that adults might argue against glorifying such dangers for impressionable younger audiences, Mark Synnott, also a notable climber, interweaves plenty of his own challenging experiences—which tend to be considerably tamer, as if offering somewhat less risky examples of how to enjoy the not-always-death-defying sport. Here, narrator Roger Wayne sounds slightly more gravelly than Mark Deakins who voiced the original; Wayne is also more animated, clearly aware he’s vying for the attention of youngers ears. Honnold provides quite the unique character to embody: his live-off-the-grid-in-a-van lifestyle, his aloneness, his challenging neuroscience.
VERDICT Wayne provides a thrilling aural ride.

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