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On the Far Side of the Mountain Paperback – May 21, 2001
"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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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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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
It is an adventure that is written so gently. Each chapter presents the boy with a problem he has to overcome and then takes us through his adventure.
Yes, it is very old fashioned but a lovely antidote to all the dystopian fantasy fiction that is around at the moment for kids.