We all know, “How do you solve a problem like Maria?” but perhaps we should have taken a page from rock climber, Ashima Shiraishi’s book, How to Solve a Problem: The Rise (and Falls) of a Rock-Climbing Champion. Shiraishi shows how she tackles the issue of getting the perfect climb. Everything is a problem you can break down and work out. And when you fall, that is just another problem to solve. And we learn that not only is a boulder a problem, but the problems of our lives are problems and should be handled the same way.
At first blush, she seemed like any other teenager (into hip hop and books), but the way she takes on the challenges are anything but typical. Shiraishi has been climbing since they were able to climb out of their crib. First climbing in Central Park, she has become one of the youngest climbers in the world, winning teen championships several years in a row and tackled problems (climbs) that some adults will not partake in. She has been the youngest to do some problems, and the first (and only) woman to do others.
Yao Xiao compliments the text with bold, detailed, and richly colored illustrations. They show not only the artistic aspects (Shiraishi’s colorful clothing) but the scientific and mathematical ways the problems are solved.
If this powerhouse is the first and only woman to ascend a V15 bouldering problem (from what I understand calling it a very difficult is an understatement) we can attack the everyday problems we all face.