Making diving headers on the soccer field or climbing the toughest walls of rock, Mardi Slote lives life to the fullest. Like her father, she fearlessly "pushes the envelope" in all she does. But when her father announces that he is going to climb the world's tallest mountain, a mountain that has already claimed more than a hundred lives, Mardi is afraid.
The Call of Sagarmatha follows David Slote's battle for survival against the elements on Mount Everest, or Sagarmatha, as the native people of Nepal refer to it. Meanwhile, Mardi must come to grips with her anger over that climb, an anger which threatens to destroy her zest for life, and tear her family apart. In a novel which captures the drama of climbing, from the rocky cliffs of New Hampshire to the slopes of Mount Everest, the greatest struggle is in the soul of a twelve year-old girl.