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My Side of the Mountain (Puffin Modern Classics) Paperback – April 12, 2004
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"An extraordinary book . . . it will be read year after year."
An extraordinary book... it will be read year after year. ("The Horn Book")
About the Author
Jean Craighead George (1919–2012) was the author of more than 100 beloved books for young people, including the Newbery Medal–winning Julie of the Wolves and the Newbery Honor–winning My Side of the Mountain. She was a lifetime naturalist and was beloved by generations of nature-loving children. Two of her children, Craig and Twig, helped complete her last novel.
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Be careful, it might give kids ideas. It did to me while reading this as a child ("sure, how hard could this be?"). There is a lot of common sense baked into the main character/kid in this book that is not found today. If a kid tried to do this today, he would not likely be able to start a fire, make a trap, etc.
Rereading this as an adult, it is remarkable about how every one of these adult characters today would be turned into the authorities for not stopping the kid from going into/going back into the woods.
Many have complained that they do not understand the plot and that the action moves to slowly. Personally, I find the pace of the novel to be quite refreshing. What we are given is a story about how someone can learn to become one with nature. This process was nto immediate and it took time to develop so Jean Craighead George allowed the story to move at a natural pace.
I first read "My Side of the Mountain" about 20 years ago when I was still in grade school. Oddly enough, of the dozens of books that I read from that time of my life only "My Side of the Mountain" and "Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing" are the only ones that I actually remembered. It is pretty rare that you can find a book that you enjoy as much when you are 33 as you did when you were 11 years old.
"My Side of the Mountain" is written for children and adults alike. We all can dream about what life would be like on our own mountain. Maybe this isn't a book for everyone, but if you or your child enjoys camping, hiking, or just being outside this will probably become one of your own personal classics.
Lots of terrifi descriptions about something every young kid thinks about at least once (running away). Very, very well imagined and executed.
Recommended without reservation.
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