One of my favorites lines:
“When people think of Everest, they most often think of its enormous height and the challenge of reaching the summit. But Everest is more than a mountain carved of rock and ice. It is Chomolungma and Sagarmatha–home to the Sherpa who have served as its spiritual caretakers for hundreds of years. “

Sacred Mountain Everest is written by award-winning author Christine Taylor-Butler and published in 2009 by Lee & Low Books, one of the most awarded independent publishers I know.

I have read several children’s books on Mount Everest, but strangely enough most of them focused on the “challenge” aspect and record-setting performances of those who either attempted or successfully climbed the majestic mountain. Sacred Mountain Everest took a different approach. The author begins each paragraph with a quote that explores what the mountain means to the people who were touched by its proximity, people who often lived there. Christine Taylor-Butler introduces us right away to the other names of the Mount Everest, names used by the locals: Chomolungma and Sagarmatha.

Quiz: what do you know about the spiritual aspect of Mout Everest? If you’re like me, not much initially. I therefore enjoyed reading about it. To some, Mount Everest is related to gods and goddesses. By also feeding us with that information, in addition to the facts and numbers than we learn of–populations, climbers, height & more–we are given the unique opportunity to relate to the mountain from the point of view of the natives. I loved it and found it quite unique.

Christine Taylor-Butler raises awareness on just how endangered Mount Everest currently is. There is hope for the future, but there is still much to do.

The pictures are gorgeous and its great to have a glimpse at Sherpa children’s lives through them. It would be amazing to have the pix in PowerPoint in a classroom while reading the book loud. Let a sister dream. But seriously, what an impact it would have on kids.

The book has already won several awards, including Best Children Book of the Year from the Barnes & Noble Review. For a complete list, visit the publisher’s website.

About the author
Christine Taylor-Butler has written more than forty books for children, including biographies, state histories, and several science and fiction series. An avid reader since she was a child, Taylor-Butler believes that for many children books are their introduction to the vast diversity on our planet. Taylor-Butler is a past president of the Missouri Writers Guild, sits on the board of their children’s literature chapter, and is a member of the MIT Regional Educational Council. She lives in Kansas City, Missouri, with her husband and their two daughters. Visit her online at

Disclosure: I purchased the book and I’m considering including it in a library donation project currently in progress.

4 thoughts on “NonFiction Review: SACRED MOUNTAIN EVEREST, by Christine Taylor-Butler

  1. I purchased this book for my oldest god-daughter and she loved it! I love that Christine put the spotlight on the Sherpa people.

    And the photographs are gorgeous.

    You could tell that Christine put a lot of thought and research into this project.

    Great review Nathalie.


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