My Side of the Mountain
This adventurous coming-of-age book is first in the "My Side of the Mountain" trilogy by Jean Craighead George and is published by Puffin, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.
My Side of the Mountain is written for kids ages 9 to 12. The age range reflects readability and not necessarily content appropriateness.
Crude or Profane Language
Drug and Alcohol Content
Other Negative Elements
Twelve-year-old Sam Gribley decides to run away from home in May 1959. He doesn't dislike his large family, but he dislikes his dependency on them, and he believes he can build a good life for himself in the Catskill Mountains. Thanks to his avid reading, Sam is able to survive alone for many months in the wilderness, save the company of a few friendly strangers. Sam fishes in the stream and traps small animals and deer for food and supplies. He also builds a home in the trunk of a giant hemlock tree, and he trains a wild falcon as a pet. Eventually, Sam entertains visitors, including his father. Reporters and photographers uncover Sam's story of survival after several months and come to the mountain to investigate the "wild boy." Nearly a year into his adventure, Sam's family joins him and decides to build a home on the land where he's been living.
When Sam wanders into town on a Sunday morning, he notes that most of the townspeople are in church. He talks briefly with a man named Aaron, who has come to the Catskills to be involved in Passover activities.
Other Belief Systems
Sam reminisces about Halloweens back home and even throws a Halloween "party" in which he puts out food for the local animals to enjoy. However, Sam's party gets out of hand when some raccoons break into his winter food supply and a frightened skunk sprays him.
Heck and gosh each appear once. A mother falcon attacks Sam as he takes one of her babies from its nest.
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Readability Age Range
9 to 12
Jean Craighead George
Puffin, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.
Newbery Honor Book, 1960; George G. Stone Center for Children's Books Merit Award, 1969