My Side of the Mountain

by Jean Craighead George
Series: Mountain Series #1
177 pages, Historical Fiction
Reviewed by bookRacoon

A tale of one boy surviving in the wild.


Sam Gribley, a boy from New York City, runs away from home to live in the Catskill Mountains. This book is written in the first person as a compilation of Sam's thoughts and notes about his first few months of living in the Catskills, learning the ways of the wild and how to survive in it. The book closes with "the city coming to him."


Sam runs away from home. He tells his parents, and they let him, thinking that he will come home back after a few days. Also, Sam steals some hunters' deer during hunting season. However, he only does so if they cannot find the deer after they shoot them.

Spiritual Content

This book does not really mention God. Sam and his friend, Bando, do sing some Christmas carols during Christmas time.


Hunting season is a part of the fall season of the story so there is death and further preparation into food of animals; Sam's falcon claws his shoulder a few times when it is a baby.

Drug and Alcohol Content

None. In this book, "smoking" something means that Sam is preserving it for the winter, rather than literally smoking a cigarette.

Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content



I thought this book was as a fascinating adventure story. As its tag line says, this is a "classic story of wilderness survival." I don't think anyone should run away from home under normal conditions, but Sam and his family are still close, as the ending shows.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 4.5
Written for Age: 11-12

Review Rating:

Average rating: 5 stars
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