My Side of the Mountain Review

May 29, 2009
By Cameron Sasaki BRONZE, Ewa Beach, Hawaii
Cameron Sasaki BRONZE, Ewa Beach, Hawaii
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Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain takes place in the bustling city of New York. This is the story of Sam Gribley, a thirteen-year-old boy, who runs away into the wilderness, armed with a hatchet, forty dollars, a ball of cord and a flint that he buys from a Chinese store. Sam catches a ride with a man who is heading for his family’s farm north of New York city, near Catskill Mountains. After setting off on his journey, he finds an elderly man named Bill. Bill teaches Sam key survival skills but, lacks confidence in Sam’s success. Soon after, Sam is on his own, accomplishing many tasks. One in particular is raising a falcon that he names Frightful. Then, Sam meets a teacher named Bondo. Once thought of as an escaped criminal, he chooses to stay with Sam. After a brief summer, Bondo leaves with the intentions of returning the following winter. Sam is found by his father who joins them for a Christmas in the forest. Soon after leaving, Sam begins to make a guest house in his small dwelling for his much anticipated visit from his whole family.
This was a great story. I greatly admired the plot sequence as well as the events that were written in the novel. This story also brought a lot of emotion to me. One example is when Sam first found Frightful. It was heart warming because of the connection that the two formed later in the book and because I am a sucker for animals. However, I felt sorrow when Frightful is sick. It also created suspense leaving me at the edge of my seat. When Firghtful gets sick I also felt the pain and suffering. What really caught me off guard is Sam’s father coming to visit Sam and found him living a rather successful life in the outdoors.
Many events were realistic. The meeting of Baron, the weasel, and Jessie Coon James, the raccoon, make the story feel realistic. The scavenger like aspects of both the weasel and the raccoon show the natural behaviors of the two animals.
Another big factor my really loving this book is because of the nature that is incorporated. For any person who loves nature and the outdoors, I would highly recommend this book. The imagery really put a detailed picture in my mind as I read this book.
Overall, this was an inspirational boo that allowed me to enjoy the natural environment without ever leaving my room. I would, without a doubt, recommend this book to a friend. I would honestly give this book a ten out of ten because of the awesome descriptions, the suspenseful plot, and the awe-inspiring characters.

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