My Side of the Mountain - Mountain, Bk 1 Author:Jean Craighead George Sam Gribley is tired of living in a crowded New York city apartment, so he runs away to the Catskill Mountain wilderness to forge a life of his own. With only a penknife, a ball of cord, an ax, $40, and some flint and steel, he must rely on his ingenuity and on the resources of the land to survive. And survive he does. This is Sam's fascinat... more »ing account of his life in the wild and what he learned about the wilderness -- and himself -- in the process.« less
Every kid thinks about running away at one point or another; few get farther than the end of the block. Young Sam Gribley gets to the end of the block and keeps going--all the way to the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. There he sets up house in a huge hollowed-out tree, with a falcon and a weasel for companions and his wits as his tool for survival. In a spellbinding, touching, funny account, Sam learns to live off the land, and grows up a little in the process. Blizzards, hunters, loneliness, and fear all battle to drive Sam back to city life. But his desire for freedom, independence, and adventure is stronger. No reader will be immune to the compulsion to go right out and start whittling fishhooks and befriending raccoons.
Jean Craighead George, author of more than 80 children's books, including the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves, created another prizewinner with My Side of the Mountain--a Newbery Honor Book, an ALA Notable Book, and a Hans Christian Andersen Award Honor Book. Astonishingly, she wrote its sequel, On the Far Side of the Mountain, 30 years later, and a decade after that penned the final book in the trilogy, Frightful's Mountain, told from the falcon's point of view. George has no doubt shaped generations of young readers with her outdoor adventures of the mind and spirit. (Ages 9 to 12) -
daboss reviewed My Side of the Mountain (Mountain, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 3
This was my favorite book from childhood, and one which I later read to my own children. Unfortunately, I lost my copy in a fire about ten years ago. So, imagine my surprise when for my birthday last year my girlfriend presented me with an autographed and inscribed copy of all three of the books in this series! She remembered what I told her about the book, located the author, explained my history with the book, and the author sent me a new copy, autographed and including a note thanking me for being so devoted to the book.
The book itself is the first of the "My Side of the Mountain" trilogy, and introduces the wonderful character of Sam Gribley, a young boy from New York City who runs away to the Catskill mountains, to live on the land owned by his family. His adventures, and the lessons he learns as he grows to be a young man, have captured the hearts of generations of children. But no matter what your age, you owe it to yourself, and to your children, to sit down and share this tremendous story with them. It took Jean 40 years to complete the trilogy, and it was well worth the wait.
A young boy relates his adventures during the year he spends living alone in the Catskill Mountains including his struggle for survival, his dependence on nature, his animal friends, and his ultimate realization that he needs human companionship.
From the Publisher
Terribly unhappy in his family's crowded New York City apartment, Sam Gribley runsaway to the solitudeâand dangerâof the mountains, where he finds a side of himself he never knew.
From The Critics
Young Sam Gribley lives a comfortable life in New York City. But tired of urban living, he, with his parents' knowledge, runs away to the Catskills Mountains, determined to live on the site of his great-grandparents' old homestead. Leaving the city with few possessions, he sets off on the adventure of a lifetime. His initial nights on the mountain prove difficult as he struggles to stay warm and find food. Eventually, Sam adjusts, learns much about himself and becomes a true backwoodsman, eating off the land, making deerskin clothes, hollowing out the base of a large tree to live in and becoming part of the wilderness environment. He steals a baby peregrine falcon from its nest and adopts the bird he names Frightful. They become inseparable as Frightful helps his new 'parent' hunt for food. This is a richly detailed book, filled with tales about living off the land. Nonetheless, it requires much suspension of disbelief concerning Sam's impressive, albeit somewhat implausible, ability to survive alone in the wilderness and his parents' willingness to let him do so. Still, this award-winning book has much to appeal to young readers searching for literary adventures. 1991 (Orig.