Book Review: My Side of the Mountain

Rating: ★★★★★

A wonderful story of survival, in which Sam, a 12-year-old boy, leaves New York City and heads to his grandfather’s abandoned farm in the Catskills to make his home. There is a definite romantic appeal in his detailed story of survival.  Although the story does lack some danger in the form of large predators or venomous snakes/insects, the threat of hunger and cold are enough to generate excitement and suspense. A wonderful aspect of this story is the warmth with which Sam relates to his father and the rest of his family – he is in the wilderness because he loves the wilderness, not because his family has betrayed or let him down, and not because they’ve driven him out. He is respectful of older people and friendly to younger people, and after proving that he is capable of living in the wild alone, he ultimately decides to live in society again. The text is augmented by a number of sketches showing how to build a shelter, how to make a fishhook and snare, and other interesting minutae.

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Publication Information: George, Jean Craighead. My Side of the Mountain. . 1959. ISBN: 0141312424.
Categories: 5 Stars, Age 08-12, Book Tree,, Honey For a Child's Heart, NEH Summertime Favorites, Read-Aloud Handbook
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Posted on April 7, 2009

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