How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion
How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion
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Annotation: From Ashima Shiraishi, one of the world's youngest and most skilled climbers, comes a true story of strength and perseve... more
Catalog Number: #206824
Format: Library Binding
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Random House
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: 1-524-77328-X
ISBN 13: 978-1-524-77328-1
Dewey: 904
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
A philosophy for life, built word by word, hold by hold, climb by climb.Japanese American teen rock-climbing champion Shiraishi narrates the story of how she navigated one of her biggest climbs with patience, perseverance, and creativity. Problems, whether on rock or in life, can look "tremendously endless" to anyone, even Ashima, depicted here as a 13-year-old. But when she compares individual holds to the shape of her mother's bolts of fabric or of her father's elbow in a dance, she connects with the route, finding her way up the rock. However, her ascent isn't perfect, and her first fall is depicted, boldly, on a vertical double-page spread. She "listens" to the climb, regroups with her father's help, and approaches the rock with renewed mental and physical strength. Her summit, illustrated in a strong, striking pose—arms spread wide, fingers gripping the rock—portrays the perseverance, reflection, and tenacity Ashima demonstrates in every climb. Backmatter both narrates and visually depicts the author's rise through the annals of climbing, including her completion of a formidable boulder problem, the first woman to do so. Vivid, clean-lined illustrations by debut artist Xiao immerse readers in sweeping, earth-toned vistas of rock and sky that form Ashima's world. Lively endpapers show Ashima in various body positions common to the sport of rock climbing.Both a riveting narrative and an excellent guide for young readers to try, try again. (Informational picture book. 5-8)
School Library Journal
K-Gr 3 A teen rock-climbing star describes how she approaches a climb, mapping it out one step at a time. Olympic-hopeful Ashima Shiraishi addresses readers directly, explaining that climbers call the rocks they face "problems." Her first-person narration is relatively simple, often featuring a single line on a page. Shiraishi describes facing one difficult climb, breaking it down into familiar steps and using similes to identify each distinctive part. She climbs, falls, and climbs again "with the new information / the fall had given me." This New Yorkborn, Japanese American phenom is given a heroic treatment in digital illustrations by illustrator Xiao. The cover showcases Shiraishi hanging by her fingertips, almost flying, against a backdrop of sky and mountain. Early spreads showcase her climbs in Central Park before attempting the challenge at the heart of her story. After tracing her path up the rock, Xiao depicts Shiraishi reaching for a path through the stars. A final spread repeats the night sky motif with a more detailed history of her accomplishments through age 15. Publisher Christopher Myers introduces this teen author and athlete as someone who is "one of the best in the world at what she does" but with a secret superpower: "the ability to try again after failing." VERDICT A well-told story that could be an inspiration to young readers. Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A philosophy for life, built word by word, hold by hold, climb by climb.Japanese American teen rock-climbing champion Shiraishi narrates the story of how she navigated one of her biggest climbs with patience, perseverance, and creativity. Problems, whether on rock or in life, can look "tremendously endless" to anyone, even Ashima, depicted here as a 13-year-old. But when she compares individual holds to the shape of her mother's bolts of fabric or of her father's elbow in a dance, she connects with the route, finding her way up the rock. However, her ascent isn't perfect, and her first fall is depicted, boldly, on a vertical double-page spread. She "listens" to the climb, regroups with her father's help, and approaches the rock with renewed mental and physical strength. Her summit, illustrated in a strong, striking pose—arms spread wide, fingers gripping the rock—portrays the perseverance, reflection, and tenacity Ashima demonstrates in every climb. Backmatter both narrates and visually depicts the author's rise through the annals of climbing, including her completion of a formidable boulder problem, the first woman to do so. Vivid, clean-lined illustrations by debut artist Xiao immerse readers in sweeping, earth-toned vistas of rock and sky that form Ashima's world. Lively endpapers show Ashima in various body positions common to the sport of rock climbing.Both a riveting narrative and an excellent guide for young readers to try, try again. (Informational picture book. 5-8)
Reading Level: 1.0
Interest Level: P-2
Lexile: AD650L

From Ashima Shiraishi, one of the world's youngest and most skilled climbers, comes a true story of strength and perseverance--in rock climbing and in life.

To a rock climber, a boulder is called a "problem," and you solve it by climbing to the top. There are twists and turns, falls and scrapes, and obstacles that seem insurmountable until you learn to see the possibilities within them. And then there is the moment of triumph, when there's nothing above you but sky and nothing below but a goal achieved.

Ashima Shiraishi draws on her experience as a world-class climber in this story that challenges readers to tackle the problems in their own lives and rise to greater heights than they would have ever thought possible.


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