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On the Far Side of the Mountain Paperback – May 21, 2001

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On the Far Side of the Mountain + Frightful's Mountain + My Side of the Mountain (Puffin Modern Classics)
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Life in the wilderness has just become a lot thornier for young Sam Gribley. For the last two years he's been living in a hollowed-out tree in the Catskill Mountains, hunting and gathering his food supply and befriending the critters in his "neighborhood." Sam's peaceful existence is abruptly shattered when an environmental conservation officer confiscates his peregrine falcon, Frightful. To make matters worse, Sam's sister Alice, who has been living with him for the past year, has disappeared. This double blow quickly puts Sam on the trail to the far side of his mountain, pursuing a multifaceted mystery that, ultimately, will force him to make the biggest decision of his life.

Thirty years after the publication of her Newbery Honor Book, My Side of the Mountain, Jean Craighead George rewarded her many fans with an exciting sequel. This remarkable author of over 80 books and recipient of more than 20 literary awards (including the Newbery Medal for Julie of the Wolves) is a passionate advocate for the environment. Her knack for naturalist writing that crackles with life will have readers of all ages chomping at the bit for the third novel in her trilogy, Frightful's Mountain. (Ages 9 to 12) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of My Side of the Mountain will be delighted to find that Sam Gribley still lives in a hollow tree with Frightful, his faithful falcon. Sam has neighbors now: his sister Alice lives in a nearby treehouse and his old friend Bando has bought a nearby cabin. Sam's summer plans are disrupted when a conservation officer accuses him of harboring an endangered species and confiscates Frightful. Sam is so devastated by the loss of his companion that several days pass before he realizes that Alice has left home. Setting out to track his sister down, Sam crosses paths with a band of falcon smugglers and is given the chance to take back Frightful for his own. Faced with a difficult decision, Sam chooses wisely and the story ends on a satisfying note, full of hope for the future. Since nature has become chic in the years since Sam's first adventures were published, sophisticated readers will enjoy the author's wry references to the new fashion for Adirondack furniture and her description of an eatery that specializes in gourmet wild foods. Filled with accurate details (it is possible to trace Sam's journey on a map), likeable characters and plenty of backwoods lore, this sequel is worthy of its predecessor. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 0760 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; 1st edition (May 21, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141312416
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141312415
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.6 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,649 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jean Craighead George was born in a family of naturalists. Her father, mother, brothers, aunts and uncles were students of nature. On weekends they camped in the woods near their Washington, D.C. home, climbed trees to study owls, gathered edible plants and made fish hooks from twigs. Her first pet was a turkey vulture. In third grade she began writing and hasn't stopped yet. She has written over 100 books.Her book, Julie of the Wolves won the prestigious Newbery Medal, the American Library Association's award for the most distinguished contribution to literature for children, l973. My Side of the Mountain, the story of a boy and a falcon surviving on a mountain together, was a 1960 Newbery Honor Book. She has also received 20 other awards.She attended Penn State University graduating with a degree in Science and Literature. In the 1940s she was a reporter for The Washington Post and a member of the White House Press Corps. After her children were born she returned to her love of nature and brought owls, robins, mink, sea gulls, tarantulas - 173 wild animals into their home and backyard. These became characters in her books and, although always free to go, they would stay with the family until the sun changed their behavior and they migrated or went off to seek partners of their own kind.When her children, Twig, Craig and Luke, were old enough to carry their own backpacks, they all went to the animals. They climbed mountains, canoed rivers, hiked deserts. Her children learned about nature and Jean came home and to write books. Craig and Luke are now environmental scientists and Twig writes children's books, too.One summer Jean learned that the wolves were friendly, lived in a well-run society and communicated with each other in wolf talk -- sound, sight, posture, scent and coloration. Excited to learn more, she took Luke and went to the Naval Arctic Research Laboratory in Barrow, Alaska, where scientists were studying this remarkable animal. She even talked to the wolves in their own language. With that Julie of the Wolves was born. A little girl walking on the vast lonesome tundra outside Barrow, and a magnificent alpha male wolf, leader of a pack in Denali National Park were the inspiration for the characters in the book. Years later, after many requests from her readers, she wrote the sequels, Julie and Julie's Wolf Pack.She is still traveling and coming home to write. In the last decade she has added two beautiful new dimensions to her words beautiful full-color picture book art by Wendell Minor and others and - music. Jean is collaborating with award-winning composer, Chris Kubie to bring the sounds of nature to her words.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Curtis J. George on July 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
ON THE FAR SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN is the sequel to the Newbery Honor Book, MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN. Jean Craighead George waited 30 years before writing this sequel, mostly under the pressure of her beloved readers. The sequel is just as good, if not better, then the original. It continues the story of Sam Gribley's adventure when he ran away to live off of the land in the Catskill Mountains. This is the story of both Sam and his independent younger sister, Alice, who has joined him in her own treehouse nearby. The story is based on his life after his falcon Frightful has been confiscated by a conservation officer and his sister disappears. Sam leaves his home and a searches for his sister with the help of his friend Bando.
George's children books are the best that I have read on survival and the outdoors. I have read them several times and have shared them with many of my students. Just reading them makes me want to escape on a camping trip to the mountains.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Josh on February 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
On The Far Side Of The Mountain, is sequel to My Side Of The Mountain. It is about a boy who runs away into the wilderness to live on his own. I liked this book because it is very adventourous and surprising. You never know what will happen next! If you have read Hatchet or My side of the Mountain you will love this book! You will also like it if you like action!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 11, 1998
Format: Paperback
I tend to like books where a teenager goes into the wilderness and has to survive on their own, so I got this book. I loved it! It was adventurous, daring, and full of drama. I recommend it to anyone who loves adventurous books!
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Matt Hetling on November 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
The continuing adventures of Sam Gribley, who left his life in the civilized world to go live on a homestead on a mountain when he was just a young teenager. The first book dealt with Sam overcoming the harshest of conditions in his new life and coming to terms with his family, who initially want him back. With that conflict settled, this book centers around two interlocked crises; first, Sam's peregrine falcon companion is taken by a thief posing as a conservation officer; second, Sam's younger sister Alice disappears (she has been living with him for a while now), and he decides to track her down.

The Good and the Bad:

I may have just gotten to this book too late to derive the childhood joy that it is meant to impart. The characters all seemed wooden, the plot contrived and predictable, and the action unrealistic. The original book was one of my favorites as a young boy, and I imagine that I just missed the boat on this one. I did enjoy some of the ingenious survival skills Sam employed, and also liked that I can now recognize a few of the plant names that Sam mentions. And it is also a little thrilling to me to recognize that the tale takes place in the Catskill mountains, not far from my own childhood home. From outside the book, I can praise its politics, which are indicated by a bevy of strong female characters and a pure environmentalist ethic put into practical living.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CKE TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 18, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"My Side of the Mountain" My Side of the Mountain (Puffin Modern Classics)is a timeless classic that describes a young boy becoming one with nature. It is one of the rare stories that can appeal to both young and old. "On the Far Side of the Mountain" (OTFSOTM) is the sequel that takes place about a year later.

Amazon does a great job of capturing what the story is about so I will not go over the basics of the plot. However, "On the Far Side of the Mountain" is unable to recapture all of the original's charm. One of the problems is that the story is complicated and made messy - compared to the simple "Boy vs. Nature" conflict/theme of the original. OTFSOTM focuses less on "Boy vs Nature" and more on "Boy vs. Man" and the exploitation of the environment - you get the impression that Jean Craighead George is more intent on making a point about protecting endangered species and less on how Sam is able to enjoy his natural environment (which I found a powerful statement in the original). In fact, Sam focuses less on his love for his natural surroundings than his disdain for the ways of society - such as his refusal to eat at a restaurant.

Overall, I would still highly recommend OTFSOTM for both kids and adults. However, I do think that kids could learn a lesson on the need to protect animals and the environment. 4 stars
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By vtown on November 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
On the Far Side of the Mountain is the second book in the series. It is about Sam Gribley and his adventures on the Catskill Mountains. In this book his family moves off the mountain because they could not farm the land. Sam's sister Alice convinces their parents to let her stay on the mountain with Sam. Sam dose not want her there but his dad says that she will probably be begging to leave in an hour. Alice is well adapted to living on the mountains and loves it there so she dose not tire of it. When Alice lives there thought she wants things that Sam has to build and make for her. Alice is doing well on the mountain and is almost living on her own. When some events happen Sam must leave the protection of his mountain home and explore new lands in order to save a life. What I liked about this book is that it is filled with action and adventure. I also liked his sister she was a great character in the book. What I didn't like about the book is that some on the decision that Sam makes I do not agree with. I know I said I liked Alice in this book but the spent the whole book talking about her and it was too much.

People that would like this book are people that enjoy the outdoors and nature. People that also like to go out in the woods and spent the night or have ever wondered what it would be like of a mountain.
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