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My Side of the Mountain (Mountain, #1)
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My Side of the Mountain (Mountain #1)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  35,035 ratings  ·  1,672 reviews
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 spellbindi...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published May 21st 2001 by Puffin (first published 1959)
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Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteElla Enchanted by Gail Carson LevineBecause of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamilloHatchet by Gary PaulsenRamona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary
Newbery Medal Honor Books
23rd out of 306 books — 247 voters
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'EngleMy Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead GeorgeBecause of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamilloBridge to Terabithia by Katherine PatersonPrincess Academy by Shannon Hale
Newbery Honor and Medal books
2nd out of 19 books — 6 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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karen
on the other side of the hatchet/island of the blue dolphins spectrum is this book. its not about the necessity of living in the wilderness, but more of a baby-walden choosing to live in the woods, with the pompous philosophy stripped away. its exciting to learn about the ways people can compensate for the privations this kind of living imposes, but knowing he can, say, go to the library any time he wants to kind of undermines any tension this book could have. its a fun read, and has several use...more
Jessica C.
People, this book was written in the late 50s, and things were a bit different back then. Trying to place it in the now does not work. Yes, there are many unbelievable parts, but it is a children's fiction book, not a survival guide. This charming story brings me back to my youth and reading other George books. Escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life is something many of us imagine for a time. I know I did, judging from journals from when I was young. Thinking it is bad or stupid because...more
Keely
I think the best thing a survivalism book can do is help to redefine your connection to the natural world and your reliance on the human. Unfortunately, even reading this book as a child, I found it to be too fantastical to be entirely enjoyable. Though George trades in Paulsen's vomit for pleasant fancy, this book at once made me want to go out and live such a free life and convinced me that such a thing would be impossible.

I read many such books as a child, and also experienced in television a...more
Bruno Manning
Hey Folks! This one's for kids. You were expecting Muir?
Ramona
i really enjoyed this book. this young boy goes out on his own and uses his skill to survive. what i really liked is the fact that he WANTED to, where as, most books, he would have been lost, or forgotten. and if you liked this,you should read "hatchet"
Steph
I read this book several times in elementary school. I lived and died on the advice of the school's librarian, and she had convinced me to read every Newberry award winner in the library. I felt like I was reading something important every time I did.

Who doesn't want to run away sometime in their life? That's not the aspect of the book that most drew me, but what a great a way to start the story. I doubt I had many survival skills under my belt when I read the book, but heaven knows I wished I...more
Jerrit 811
Jerrit Schramm
2-2-09
8-1
My Side of the Mountain

The story “My Side of the Mountain” is, of the most part, one of those classic stories about wilderness survival. The main character, Sam Gribley is your average teenage boy who has big dreams and a wild imagination.
The story starts out when a teenage boy living in New York City isn’t very happy about living in the city. He had a plan to run away to the Catskill Mountains but it never really got off the ground. But after a day gone badly, he decides...more
Ellinor
I don't understand why this book received so many awards. I thought it was so completely unrealistic.
The book is about a boy who runs away from home and decides to live in the woods on his own. Now I have read and enjoyed books of people living in the wilderness. Hatchet by Gary Paulson was one of the best books I read last year. The difference between those two is that in Hatchet the boy is forced to live and survive in the wilderness because of a plane crash. In this book however the boy decid...more
Gretchen
I read this book a long time ago when I was younger. I decided to read it again to refresh my memory of this story. I wanted to see if I could use it in my classroom. It is an amazing story about a young boy who runs away and makes a life on a mountain. It is impressive how smart he is and is able to use natural resources from the land to survive. It just shows how much we take for granted and what a huge importance nature is. I cannot believe that people used to live that way. It proves that we...more
Jennifer Margulis
My 9-year-old son and I read this book together and now we are writing a review. He thought the book was really good, and so did I. "It was pretty cool how he got a falcon," my son says. It's exciting and fascinating to read the adventures of feisty, live-off-the-land Sam Gribley, who fulfills his boyhood dream of running away from his crowded New York City family life. He lives in a hollowed out hemlock, uses turtle shells for bowls, and digs tubers from the ground, catches fish in the stream,...more
Liz
I did enjoy this book. It was a quick read. Right now my students are reading action/adventure/western literature. I joined in. With the exception of the transcendentalists, wilderness/mountain books are not my favorite. I did like some of the descriptions, but the book just seemed so improbable. Maybe I am subconsciously jealous of Sam: I always wanted to run away, but always came home for dinner.
Adam
Nov 24, 2009 Adam rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: idiots
Recommended to Adam by: some teacher
Ughhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.........

Why do they make so many survival stories for children, and then force us to read them in school?

There are so many other wonderful genres that are not about overcoming the elements and proving to yourself that you can accomplish anything.

I would argue that the same message can be found in a lot of literature that doesn't require me to read about how some kid survived in the woods for X amount of years/months/whatever.

I can't even remember the particular details of thi...more
The other John
This book struck me as being like a dramatization of the Boy Scout Manual. (Not that I ever read the Boy Scout Manual--I washed out after the first year of Cub Scouts.) It's the tale of young Sam Gribley, a New York City lad who runs away to his ancestral lands in the Catskill Mountains and starts to live off the land. He describes all his methods of obtaining food, shelter and clothing, equipped only with a penknife, a ball of cord, an ax, some flint and steel and $40. On one hand, all the surv...more
Ben Davis
My Side of the Mountain is about a boy named Sam Gribley who ran away from his home because he thought that he was kind of left out with his 8 other brothers and sisters. Also his dad told him that every boy should run away at some point. When Sam told his dad that he was going to find the Gribley farm his dad thought he would not even be able to find the land. In fact Sam did find the place he was looking for and he planned to survive there. Sam meets many people as he is surviving out in the...more
Rachel
A classic of young-adult literature, this is a tale of self-reliance and wilderness survival that is almost unfathomable today: Sam, a 12-year old New York City boy living in a small apartment with many siblings, decides to run away and live in the Catskills. By himself. With his father's permission. Even in 1959, when the book was published, a 12-year-old kid was more self-reliant and capable than today's 12-year-old. By modern standards, Sam's dad was highly irresponsible, but in the context o...more
Jacqueline
I read this all the way through in one sitting. I realize that it's only about 165 pages or so, but that's still not something I do quite often.

As a woman who's spent quite a bit of time outside and isn't afraid of the outdoors, I found this to be a very interesting read. It's about a boy who runs away from home to live in the wilderness - and he succeeds. I have friends who 'live off the land,' without running water, without electricity, without plumbing, but this beats all that in a way that I...more
gummy bear ( Brianna S)
1. When Sam held frightful and he listens to her little heartbeat. I like that passage because its meaningful and was special. I also like the description.
2. 1. Why did Sam runaway in the first place? 2. Why did Sam live in a tree and not a cave? 3. When Sam’s family comes to the woods why doesn’t Sam hide?
3. This book is about survival and another book I have read was warriors and that is about living out in the wild too.
4. it was amazing with the details and drawings .I liked this book bec...more
Emily
So many mixed feelings about this book.

We had a copy of My Side of the Mountain (this edition with the movie-still cover) which I read multiple times as a child. Although it wasn't an absolute favorite, it was a book that I lived. My neighborhood was firmly suburban, which made living off the land a little tricky, but we had a small wooded plot of land next to our house ("the woods") in which I would periodically build "houses" by propping up large fallen branches against a tree trunk and interw...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
I read this a long time ago. I used to be really interested in the idea of surviving in the wild with very few tools, etc. This book was a great read for a young person with such interests. There are some very beautiful ideas embedded within the straight forward prose (this is a "young adult" book so it's not going to be too complex in style by definition)--beautiful, simple notions about what it means to be human and to be a part of the natural processes that keep the world turning, ideas about...more
Laura
This book is almost a joke after reading Robinson Crusoe. Sam decides he wants a shovel, so he whittles one with his pocket knife. He needs bowls, so he promptly finds a vast reservoir of clay, builds an oven (!?!) and and bakes the clay in the shape of bowls. He builds traps big enough to catch deer (!?!) and never knows a hungry moment (except on the first day). Compare this to Robinson Crusoe who reports with painstaking detail the HOURS of back-breaking work it takes to manufacture the simpl...more
Diane
This is a fun story about a boy who runs away from New York City to live in the woods. He builds a bed in a hollowed-out tree trunk, he fishes, he hunts and he makes friends with a falcon. I'm a sucker for books that feature junior housekeepers (such as The Boxcar Children, Dandelion Cottage and The Children Who Lived in a Barn), and part of their charm is the fantasy that adults would allow kids that much freedom. But the children always triumph. Hooray for spunk!
Colleen Houck
I read this in school and was inspired by the bravery of the boy living all alone. It reminds me a little of the Tom Hanks movie Castaway.
Heather
I read this allowed to my 10 year old son and we both enjoyed it. He was intrigued by the idea of living inside a tree and living off the land, hunting with a falcon, etc. It is a fun adventure story. As a mom I appreciated that, while Sam had run away to the Catskills to get away from his families crowded living situation, he did begin to miss them. He was glad to see them when they came to take him home a year later. It was clear that he really did love his family and they loved him. We are l...more
Paradoxical
The nice thing about nostalgia is that when you look back, all of the books you read were great, you loved them all, and you never had any problems with reading any of them. Err, at least for me, anyway. Which usually means once you reread it you sort of just stare at the book in your hands and go, "This is different from what I remember." For me, My Side of the Mountain did exactly that.

I remember being excited about reading the book, but now I read it and go, "This is pretty choppy." It's stra...more
Timberley Mouat
My Side of the Moutain
by Jean Craighead Geoge
Change edition

If you like the wilderness then you came to the right place! In this book you'll find a boy named Sam who lives in the city but he runs away to the great outdoors!!Here is a little more information.

"Hey mom and dad I am going to run away", Sam said. His parents said, "why are you going to run away"? Sam said, "I dont really know why I just am". So all he packed was clean underwere and a letter to send to his mom because his mom
wants to...more
Chris
This was fun youth fiction. A boy roughing it in the wild, very similar to Hatchet by Paulsen. It's every child's dream to be able to survive in the woods, using only a penknife and the most basic provisions to make a life. The boy even trains a hawk to hunt for him.

The character/plot development leaves much to be desired, and definitely keeps the risks to a Sesame Street setting. The boy runs away from home to live in a remote area of the wilderness outside of town, and nobody worries about hi...more
Melissa
I had just read some of the author's other works (Julie and the Wolves series) and had enjoyed them for the most part. So I decided to venture into some of her other books that didn't involve Julie. My Side of the Mountain, while interesting, only ranked average for me.

Sam is tired of his life in the city in a small apartment shared with many other siblings. He runs away from home and goes to some old family land in the Catskill mountains where he plans to live by himself and without any help ex...more
Book Concierge
2.5**

Sam Gribley hates living in crowded New York City. Captivated by stories of his great-grandfather Gribley’s farm in the Catskills, he decides to head for his family land and make a go of it on his own. He studies up on wilderness survival at the library, and tells his parents he is leaving. Realizing there is little a father can do to stop a 12-year-old intent on “running away,” his father tells him he can go as long as he lets someone in the nearby town know his whereabouts. Buying a bus t...more
Deirdre
Jean Craighead George apparently always wanted to run away from home and survive in the wilderness alone. She tried one day, but was back home a few hours later. Instead, she decided to live vicariously through her character, Sam Gribley. Sam runs away from home and we meet him as he is holed up for winter in the woods.

From there, the narrative backtracks, and Sam tells us about his first lessons on his own and how he came to set up camp where he did. Many times in the book, he tells us that he...more
Christina
Honor book be damned--Okay, I am not a survivalist and, by extension, not a huge fan of books that pit MAN against n MOTHER NATURE. Still, you have to give this to the author: he makes a really compelling argument for survival as a means of self-discovery--humanely speaking, that is. His young protagonist even utters such sensitive words as, "One day I was in the valley digging tubers and collecting the tiny new dandelion shoots when Frightful saw another duck hawk and flew flew from my shoulder...more
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Jean Craighead George wrote over eighty popular books for young adults, including the Newbery Medal-winning Julie of the Wolves and the Newbery Honor book My Side of the Mountain. Most of her books deal with topics related to the environment and the natural world. While she mostly wrote children's fiction, she also wrote at least two guides to cooking with wild foods, and an autobiography, Journey...more
More about Jean Craighead George...
Julie of the Wolves (Julie of the Wolves, #1) On the Far Side of the Mountain (Mountain, #2) Julie's Wolf Pack (Julie of the Wolves, #3) Julie (Julie of the Wolves, #2) My Side of the Mountain Trilogy (Mountain #1-3)

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