October 08, 2011

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

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 except that he can find for himself in the wild. He spends his days looking for food and building shelter, and also training a very special falcon named Frightful to hunt for him. But he encounters visitors as one does anymore no matter where you go and he has to decide if he wants to let them into his life or not.

For characters, Sam is interesting but seems to be able to survive a little too well for his age. Things come a little easy and while I know this is a fictional kid's book, there has to be some reality. For example, this is what bothers me about the rest of the characters in this book. No one seems to have a problem with Sam running off and living in the wilderness on his own. I would think that at least one of the adults he encounters would have a problem with this and put a stop to it, but none every do. It is just hard for me to suspend belief for that.

This is a slow moving book and may not be appropriate for all children due to that or hold their attention. It does give a lot of good detail and information about the plants you can eat and other wilderness survival tactics. Whether or not this information is completely factual I cannot say as I don't know that much about it, but it sounded believable.

While I prefer her other works, I may check out the rest of this series. It would be interesting to see what happens to Sam and see if the books go to being more realistic.

My Side of the Mountain
Copyright 1959
177 pages

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