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.
Who has not ever thought about running away from home? This book speaks about a boy who acted on his instincts and actually did so. For a chapter book written around 50 years ago, it's still relevant today as it was back then. It's ideal for an older elementary or younger middle school student who has a vivid imagination. The author's ability to create a picture of the boy's adventures is outstanding. A must read for boy or girl.
Classification: Young Adult A Newbery Honor book. Also an ALA Notable book.
Sam Gribley is terribly unhappy living in New YOrk City with his family, so he runs away to the Catskill Mountains to live by himself. With only a penknife, a ball of cord, forty dollars, and some fiint and steel, he intends to survive on his own. Sam learns about courage, danger, and independence during his yhear in the wilderness, a year that changes his life forever.
Author has also written JULIE OF THE WOLVES, which won the Newbery Medal.
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.
An interesting book that older children and adolescents would enjoy. You have to suspend disbelief and realize the author is not writing a "how to survive in the wilderness" book but simply creating a fantasy of living in the woods with lots of detail how a boy would go about doing it.
A wonderfu, wonderful book for kids 4th grade and up. I remember reading it as a kid and it making me want to learn camping and exploring the wilderness. It is devoid of the REAL fears of living alone in the wilderness so it is a bit misleading to kids but it is great as a romanticized version of nature and of a boy living his dream.
I couldn't really get interested in this book. Maybe it's because I'm from Alaska and get more than enough wilderness in my everyday life, maybe it's because I have no interest in the outdoors or wilderness survival, or possibly it's because the book is written from the standpoint of surviving in the wilderness of New York, so a good portion of the tactics would be useless here in Alaska (different plants, trees, and weather). Whatever it is, I had trouble making it all the way through the book. The story itself is really good, about a boy running away from home to live in the wilderness. If it had stuck more to that story, and had less instructions and manual-like content about exactly how to do specific tasks, I would have enjoyed it far more. So, a good story, but not my kind of book. It'd almost definitely appeal to pre-teen boys and outdoorsy girls though.
"Aren't you scared to stay here by yourself?" asks the driver.
"Heck no!" Sam shouts, swinging down from the truck. He's come from the city to live in the forest for a whole year. All he has with him are a knife, an axe, and flint and steel for making a fire--no matches, no food, no tent.
But this first night he can't get a fire going. Hungry and cold, he sits shivering, listening to the wild cries of night creatures...
Now he is scared!!!
Would make a wonderful book for any Middle school child!
sam gribley is tired of living in a crowded new york city apartment, so he runs away to the catskill mountains wilderness to forge a life of his own. with only a penkinife, a ball of cord, an ax, $40, and some flint and steel, he must rely on his inegenuity and on the resources of the land to survive.
I'm an outdoorsy gal and when I read this as a young teen is was a wish that I could be this character. Gutsy and self sufficient! I hunted it down and found a copy now that I'm a Mother and made sure it was available in my Family library for my children and other prosperity to come. In my book it's a must read!!
I read this book when I was my son's age and had him read it for a book report. He enjoyed it as much as I did. I re-read it just for fun. Looking back on in at an adult the book may not be realistic but the magic of running away appeals to all ages.
An extraordinary classic ---- about Sam Gribley who runs away from NYC to the Catskills and must rely on his ingenuity to survive. This is the story of what Sam learns about himself and the wilderness in order to survive! Recommended!
A wonderful story about a young boy named Sam who runs away from home - to live in the forest. He becomes entirely self-sufficient, living on mussels, acorns, berries, frogs' legs, hickory nuts, wild onions (ramps), fish, venison, etc. and even learns how to make salt and flour from the same. He builds himself an ingenious shelter, a fireplace, clay "jars," utensils, musical instruments, fishing gear, and even sews new clothing when his old clothes start falling apart. He tames a falcon, and this falcon becomes his closest and necessary companion. All in all, this is truly a remarkable and eye-opening tale of survival, courage, determination, gladness, appreciation and renewed love for all of God's creation, big and small.
Sam Gribley is terribly unhappy living in his family's crowded New York City apartment. So, armed with just the bare necessities -- a penknife, a ball of cord, some flint and steel, and the clothes on his back -- he runs away to the mountains. There, Sam must rely on his own ingenuity and the resources of the great outdoors to survive -- and he discovers a side of himself he never knew existed.
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, as 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 fascinating account of his life in the wild and what he learns about the wilderness-and himself-in the process.
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 flint and steel, he must rely on his ingenuity and the resources of the land to survive.