My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
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My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George is a children adventure novel first published in the year 1959. The story is based on a teenage boy who discovers courage, independence and the importance of companionship as he starts living on a farm. The plot revolves around a fourteen-year-old boy Sam Gribley who does not like living with his parents and eight brothers and sisters in a small New York apartment. He decides to run away and live his life in the farm abandoned by his great-grandfather in the Catskill mountains.
Sam reads avidly in the nearby library and is able to survive in the wilderness on his own. He starts fishing and trapping small animals and deer as his food. He also builds a home in the trunk of a giant hemlock tree. He pets and trains a falcon to hunt for him which he named Frightful. Sam continues to live in harmony with nature in the Catskill mountains. After several months and few adventures and a few visits from passersby, the word goes out about him living as a wild boy in the locality. The reporters and photographers come to know of his story and come to investigate his story of survival in the wilderness. Close to a year after his adventures, Sam’s family joins him in the farm. They decide to build a home in the Catskill mountains where Sam has been living.
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George received critical applause after its publication in 1959. The audiobook is written in a simple yet in an engaging manner. The details of the man and nature connection are detailed out beautifully by the author. The adventure of Sam Gribley is timeless and have inspired other children and teenagers to test their survival skills.
Sam’s adventures in the farm like befriending animals, hunting for food and making suits from animal skills are all very amusing and entertaining to read. The audiobook has won several accolades. It was named to the Newbery Awards Honors list. It was also an American Library Association’s notable book for 1959. It was given the Lewis Carol Shelf Award in 1965 and George G. Stone Centre for Children’s Book Award in 1959.
The audiobook is a timeless classic and continued to be read and enjoyed by the readers today also.