PEMBA SHERPA

After climbing Mount Whitney in California, I returned home and found an offer to illustrate this charming story by Olga Cossi about the first female sherpa. An empowering tale for girls telling the story of how Yang Ki, first rejected by her brother who must carry wood for the fire for his schoolhouse. She later saves his life to earn her place in history as the first female porter (sherpa) on Mount Everest.

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"An exquisitely illustrated story wherein a brother and his younger sister face a life-threatening and life-changing landslide. Pemba and his younger sister Yang Ki both yearn for roles as guides and porters to the high country of the Himalayas. While such a goal is well within Pemba s reach, his seven-year-old sister faces an obstacle, mainly because girls aren't encouraged, let alone accepted, as porters or guides. As Pemba begins his predawn hike to gather firewood for their school, Yang Ki trails a few feet behind him, resolute in the face of this admonitions to remain at their hut. The trail is sharp, and lose rocks erupt into a landslide that leaves Pemba dazed and desperate for help. As he and Yang Ki resolve the peril of the landslide, both brother and sister reach beyond their perceived limitations to regain safety as well as alter viewpoints about societal roles."