“Spread your wings, girl.”
Those words begin the toughest climb of eight-year-old Harriet’s life: to the top of Longs Peak in Colorado. To get there, she’ll have to overcome steep slopes, a freezing blizzard, and what her wise trail guide calls “surprises.” But she simply must try—both for herself and for the mother she has lost.
Climbing this mountain means she will also need to climb an even bigger mountain down inside. Yet if she succeeds, she will spread her wings and fly…high as a hawk.
Based on the historic 1905 ascent by the youngest person ever to climb Longs Peak, this book combines T.A. Barron’s powerful, poetic writing with Ted Lewin’s magnificent, evocative paintings. Together, they make a truly inspiring journey.
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“Ted Lewin’s magnificent watercolors always enhance a story, but this tale is a winner in its own right. It is based on the real-life feat of 8-year-old Harriet Peters, who in 1905 became the youngest person to reach the 14,255-foot summit of Longs Peak, Colo. Harriet was accompanied by guide Enos Mills, whose efforts on behalf of preservation in the area led to the creation of Rocky Mountain National Park. Barron imagines what the pair’s day must have been like, and Lewin depicts the ascent — complete with an elk stampede and a hailstorm — with his trademark command of vista, detail and, above all, light.”
— Washington Post
“It is a tough climb and we watch as Harriet, in her little sunbonnet, struggles to the top. Blisters, elk, snow and rocks don’t stand a chance with this determined little girl. She makes it and feels ‘high as a hawk.'”
— Indiana Post-Tribune
“Dramatic and splendid watercolors… A fine, unusual, and inspiring read.”
— Kirkus Reviews
“This is a handsome book, no doubt about it… It’s hard to imagine artwork more perfect than Lewin’s to chronicle this remarkable journey. Sweeping vistas, tinted with just the right light, are juxtaposed against near-photographic depictions of Harriet and Mills forging their way up the mountain.”
— Booklist (Boxed review)
“This exciting, inspirational story is based on the real Harriet Peters and her successful journey. …Ted Lewin’s watercolors are magical. He uses light to capture the suspense and beauty of the climb. He paints the mystery and fear of the dark forest and the surprise of a great bull elk bounding out of the trees. The joy of success explodes in the light blue of the sky, the upturned arms and the souring hawk on the last page. Barron’s prose is inspirational as he tells of the child heroine and wonders about her impact on Mills. His story stirs a desire to climb and see this great work of Mother Nature so one can more than imagine the ‘string of lakes gleaming like a blue necklace’ from the summit, to feel As High as a Hawk .”
—Children’s Literature Review
“Suspenseful and dramatic.”
— The Horn Book Magazine
“This tale and the panoramic views will capture the interest and invite discussions with students in grades two through five. …T.A. Barron thinks it is important both to have heroes in your life, and to be one.”
— The School Librarian’s Workshop