My Side of the Mountain

I guess I’m on a bit of a survivalist streak. I’ve run across several great books at the thrift shop that I recognize, but hadn’t read – I guess that’s the best explanation as to why now.

Sam feels confined and unhappy sharing the small New York City apartment with his large family. When his dad mentions that Sam’s grandfather has a plot of land in the mountains, Sam decides to try his chances.

His dad doesn’t really believe he’ll stay out in the wilderness on his own. Sam is determined to prove him wrong.

Sam hitchhikes out to the mountain and finds his grandfather’s land. He’s only brought a penknife, a flint and steel and the clothes on his back. Not only does he have to learn how to live on this land, he realizes he has to hide or someone will turn him in and he’ll have to go back to the city.

So Sam figures out an ingenious home. He befriends animals who hang around his home – to a point. He figures out how to store up food for the winter, weatherproof his home, and make his own clothes.

He befriends a teacher lost in the woods, but mostly stays out of the way of people, fearful they’ll force him to leave his new home.

Highly recommended for ages 10 and up.

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