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Tenzing Norgay was the son of poor Tibetan immigrants living in Nepal. He longed to see the world but was told he could aspire to be little more than a servant. While Edmund Hillary was a humble beekeeper from New Zealand, who spent his youth dreaming of adventures he could never hope to experience. And Everest was the ultimate adventure. The mountain’s peak was the highest point on Earth, stretching beyond the clouds. So dangerous and challenging, Everest had never been successfully climbed and many had died trying. In 1953, Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary joined a team of explorers determined to reach its top. Alone at the top of the world with their oxygen running low, they faced off against the brutal elements and new dangers at every turn. And they were armed with little more than their courage, their determination and a belief in each other. But would that be enough to achieve the impossible, what no man had done before?
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This is the story of Ehrich Weiss. If you don't recognise this man's name, that is because the world came to know him as the one and only Harry Houdini. George Bernard Shaw once remarked that Harry Houdini is the third most famous name in history after Jesus Christ and Sherlock Holmes. While that might be a bold and debatable statement, there is no doubt that Houdini is the most famous magician to have ever lived. Almost a hundred years after his death, his name is still synonymous with death defying stunts and unimaginable escapes. His ability to get out of seemingly impossible situations, along with his knack of dealing with the public and the press, made him a legend in his own time. Some of his most notable escapes, which still cannot be explained, were the Mirror Handcuff Challenge, the Milk Can Escape, the Chinese Water Torture Cell and the Suspended Straitjacket Escape. How did a poor, uneducated boy rise out of poverty and become the greatest illusionist of the 20th century? The story of Houdini's life is not only entertaining, but also educational. His struggles in life and his determination to succeed are a lesson to all.
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Painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer, Leonardo da Vinci was a genius who was well ahead of his time and the best example of the Renaissance man. This is the story of one of the greatest painters of all time, and perhaps the most diversely talented person ever to have lived. Leonardo grew up in the hamlet of Anchiano in Tuscany where he received an informal education. Young Leonardo had an unquenchable curiosity in life and moved to Florence where he took an interest in painting. At the age of fourteen, Leonardo began an apprenticeship with Andrea del Verrocchio. Here, his talent blossomed and as fate would have it, he was soon employed by the rich and powerful Duke of Milan. Soon, Leonardo moved to the city of Rome, where some of the greatest artists of the time lived. This tale traces the fascinating life of one of the best and most famous artists that the world has ever seen.
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Muhammad Ali. His ferocious skill inside the ring made him a champion, his gentle spirit outside made him a hero, and his courage in life made him a legend. Like David taking on Goliath, he fought against the biggest and the strongest and managed to come out on top. Like a modern day Robin Hood, he gave his wealth to the poor. He had the good looks of a movie star and the words of a poet, and left his fans and critics absolutely spellbound every time. He soon became the champion of the world, but gave it all up by standing for what he believed in. Refusing to abandon his Muslim faith, and refusing to fight in the Vietnam War, cost him the best years of his career, and nearly stripped him of his freedom. But Muhammad Ali survived it all, and fought his way back to the top all over again.
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In 1948, justice and equality were outlawed in the country of South Africa. The people needed one voice to speak up when the world fell silent. They needed one leader to stand up when the world looked away. One man answered that call, one man who sacrificed his own future for the future of his people and transformed a nation. The story cuts back to Mandelas childhood where we see him going through school and then university and finally, to when he gets his first job as an articled clerk. The narrative focuses on him as being a positive leader and the face of change in South Africa, omitting later criticisms, like his lack of action in trying to stop the sweep of AIDS in South Africa when he was president.
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