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Every boy should read Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman. In fact, every father should read it, too, and have the privilege of reading it to his son.
Rudi Matt's father was the finest mountaineer in the Alps, but while Rudi was still an infant, his father died attempting to save the life of a man who had hired him to be his guide. Fearing the same fate for her only son, Rudi's mother refuses him his destiny, and so Rudi washes dishes in the village hotel.
The crippled man for whom he works in the hotel kitchen was his father's climbing companion on the ill-fated attempt to climb the Citadel – the last unconquered peak in the Alps. Old Teo, who accompanied Ridi's father on the fateful climb, watches the boy struggle with honesty and deceit, irony, and ridicule.
Be forewarned: Ullman's skill as a storyteller can induce sweaty palms as you cling to cliffs and hear the granite crumble at your feet. This is adventure, integrity, love, loyalty, and nearly every other virtue wrapped up in an altogether captivating tale. And it's terrific for girls, too.
Banner in the Sky by James Ramsey Ullman is featured in Vol 4 No 5 of The Storybook Home Journal.