Project Description


Death Mountain

by Sherry Shahan

An afternoon hike in the Sierra Mountains turns into a struggle for survival when two teenage girls become hopelessly lost in an electrical storm and must rely on their own wits and strength to endure.

Almost a year ago, Erin’s mother Lannie suddenly left home without any explanation. Now Lannie wants to see her. “Give your mother a chance,” Gram tells Erin as she takes her to the Greyhound station. But Erin feels miserable and unsure about seeing Lannie.

When Erin loses her bus ticket, she hitches a ride with Mae and her older brother, Levi. Erin, an experienced outdoor enthusiast, joins the two siblings on a hike along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The trails are crowded with hikers as a deadly storm suddenly descends upon the mountain. When lightning strikes, everyone scrambles for safety and Erin and Mae become separated from the others. As the days pass, the two stranded and lost girls must rely on their own determination and skills, as well as each other, to survive hunger, freezing nights, exhaustion, and injuries.

Author Sherry Shahan has created sympathetic, memorable characters in Erin and Mae. Her dramatic story displays perceptive insights into the conflicted hearts and minds of teenagers, as well as a thorough understanding of the natural world and technical details of mountaineering. An afterword includes an explanation of Shahan’s own harrowing alpine adventure that inspired the novel.

Hardcover: $15.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-353-5
Total Pages: 176
Size: 6 x 9
Language: English
Paperback: $7.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-428-0
Total Pages: 208
Size: 5 1/4 x 8
Language: English
Format: E-book
ISBN: 978-1-56145-679-6
Age Range: 10-14
Language English
Accelerated Reader
AR Quiz#: 102987
AR Reading Level: 4.3
AR Points: 6

F&P (Fountas & Pinnell)
F&P Level: U
F&P Grade: 5

Reading Counts
Reading Counts Level: 3.5
Reading Counts Points: 11
Reading Counts Interest Level: 6-8


“A great addition to the adventure-survival genre.” ―School Library Journal


Kentucky Bluegrass Awards (Master List, grades 6-8) ―Kentucky Reading Association, Kentucky School Media Association 2007

Pennsylvania Young Reader’s Choice Awards (nominee, grades 6-8) ―PSLA 2008-2009

Book of the Winter (nominee, young adult category) ―New York Library Association 2006

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America’s Battle of the Books (6th-8th Grades) ―America’s Battle of the Books Association 2012

Popular Paperbacks (nominee, Adventure Seekers category) ―YALSA 2012

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Meet the Author

Sherry Shahan is a photojournalist and the author of numerous books for young readers, including Death Mountain and That’s Not How You Play Soccer, Daddy!. Shahan lives in California.