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My Side Of The Mountain

Updated on October 6, 2013

My Side of the Mountain: Living Alone in the Woods

A coming of age story about a boy who goes to the woods of upstate New York to live on his own for a year. He lives in a hollow tree, eats only what he can trap, fish or gather. Though he has some survival skills when he starts out he soon discovers that a trip to the public library is necessary.

This book was written for all those children who dream about what it would be like to run away, who believe that it is possible to make it on their own in the wild.

With confidence in himself and strength of will he lives for an entire year alone in the woods, the dream of most teens.

My Side Of The Mountain

My Side of the Mountain is one of the first books I remember reading as a child. Reading this book made me feel powerful. I made me feel that I was in control of my life and that I too could survive if I decided to go out into the woods on my own. All I needed was a few more survival skills.

My sister and I tried out many of the techniques that Sam Gribley mentions in My Side of the Mountain. I remember trying to make a rabbit snare. We spent hours and days trying to find a path in the grass where rabbits run. When we couldn't find that we decided to just try making the snare in preparation for the day that we found the rabbit run.

Time went on. We tried out many of Sam's ideas. We learned a lot about the woods and fields near our home. We never actually stayed out overnight. When we were tired, home always seemed the best place to find a bed and hot food but we always knew that someday we could run away like Sam Gribley in My Side of the Mountain.

Sam must rely on his ingenuity and the resources of the great outdoors to survive.

Do you have the skills to successfully run away? Could you make it on your own?

Yes, I am very comfident in my survival skills.

Yes, I am very comfident in my survival skills.

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    • anonymous 5 years ago

      i would have to read about things like this to get an idea of how to survive

    • Deb Kingsbury 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      I do now, but as a kid ... no way.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Party rockin in da house to nite!

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      i <3 this book

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      im in the country and have successfully trapped at least 50 animals in my own traps on my land. you never see anything running around on the ground so every picture I've ever taken is a wonder to the boys back home!

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Of Course Ive Done It All

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      no never i don't have the guts

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      No I can't run away because I like my family, and my house. I can't run away on my own because it's too difficult! I will be lonely!

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      I can catch catfish all day long.I can shoot a buck and run a trout line.A country boy can survive.

    • anonymous 7 years ago

      Our whole family is training to be Search and Rescue workers, so we'd BETTER be able to survive in the wilds of Maine!!!

    • anonymous 8 years ago

      yes its an insult that you even ask me

    • anonymous 8 years ago

      yes, i think i could survive in the wild because i have read all the books in the my side of the mountain series.i have also wathced the movie.also have read a bunch of other survival books and also visited a lot of survival websites. here are some of the websites: survivalschool.com, suvivaltopics.com, wildwoodsurvival.com naturalbushcraft.co.uk, outdoorlife.com. also m4040.com has something on survival, there are a lot of other interesting things on this website.

    It's doubtful!, I guess I will have to run away in wonderful books like My Side of the Mountain.

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      • anonymous 4 years ago

        I probably Would Fail

      • anonymous 4 years ago

        No plus I'd miss my parents

      • Barbara Tremblay Cipak 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

        no, I think I would manage, but truly don't know enough about the outdoors to "survive" I think?

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Well, I guess I would have to see.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        im weired

      • waldenthreenet 5 years ago

        Nope ! But love to read about others who do !

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        Probably not. If you think about it, it's not easy to catch prey. Look at how fast little sparrows flit away at the very presence of you. The easiest and most plentiful food: something so hard to get.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        no, not in my lifetime...

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        Why would i run away from my 15,000 square foot house in florida and indoor pool and basketball court and my dads bugatti veron and my neighborhood. So the answer is no, no i could not. I'd rather live a good life.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        NO!

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        No! I do not! I have no allowence or money so no i do not!

      • anonymous 7 years ago

        i think i could live their for a week but i don't think i would have all the skills and patience for it. but reading this book makes me fell more confident about being alone and on my own. i read this in 5th grade and thought it was a great book but now that I'm older i realize what a big difference in my life it made. hope everyone likes the book:)

      • Joan Hall 7 years ago from Los Angeles

        I would be able to find vegetables in the wild, but I would have no idea how to get protein into my diet. And I certainly wouldn't know how to defend myself against other critters.

      • Tom Fattes 7 years ago from Naperville, IL

        Hmmm...Not sure where I would hide a stash of M&M's.

      • Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

        There was a time in my life when I was very confident about my survival skills but those days are long gone

      On a scale of 1-7, what did you REALLY think?

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      The best line ever:

      Alone on the mountain, Sam learns about courage, danger, and the true meaning of companionship, and he captures it all in his journal.

      Peregrine Falcon

      Available on AllPosters

      While reading about Sam Gribley and his experiences living in the woods you may start to feel the urge to get to know nature, hiking, fishing and camping the way Sam did. The following are my recommendations for wintertime reading while preparing for a summer in the woods.

      The Boy's Book of Outdoor Survival: 101 Courageous Skills for Exploring the Dangerous Wild
      The Boy's Book of Outdoor Survival: 101 Courageous Skills for Exploring the Dangerous Wild

      Learn survival skills that will make it possible for you to live in the wilderness.

       
      Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder
      Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder

      Learn how important it is for children to get outside and experience the outdoors.

       
      A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail
      A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail

      Read the story of one man's journey discovering what it is like to hike the Appalachian Trail.

       

      Reconnecting with My Side of the Mountain

      Writer Steve Hendrix loved the book, "My Side of the Mountain" so much that he read it over and over again, imaging himself as the main character, Sam, living in a hollow tree in the middle of the Catskills. On the fiftieth anniversary of the publishing of the boo, Steve decided to follow the route Sam Gribley took and to camp in the same spot in upstate New York.

      His first step was to ask help from Author, Jean Craighead George.

      Photo Credit: The Tarantula in My Purse: and 172 Other Wild Pets

      Available on Amazon

      Jean Craighead George, the author of My Side of the Mountain, grew up with wild animals. Her parents were etymologists and her two brothers were the first to film grizzley bears. The Tarantula in My Purse is her autobiography which hilariously describes a life surrounded by wild animals treated as pets. It is another must read.

      Postscript of utmost importance

      If you buy any of the books recommended above, this page automatically makes a donation to the incredible nonprofit, Donors Choose, which helps provide classrooms and students in need with resources that our public schools often lack.

      Open your child's eyes to the possibilities of imagination. Give him a copy of My Side of the Mountain and let him walk in Sam Gribley's footsteps as generations of children have for generations. Help her learn to see herself confidently sleeping in the woods and providing shelter, warmth and food for herself even in the wilderness. A book, like My Side of the Mountain, can be the key to opening a world of imagination...

      Come write about your experiences camping in the mountains on Wizzley, a fun and easy place to express your opinion:

      If you were to run away, where would you go? - Do you have a secret My Side of the Mountain Place that you escape to?

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          MaggiePowell 5 years ago

          I loved this book as a child, read it again and again... I even imagined I could run away and live in the wild. Wonderful stuff.

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          Deb Kingsbury 5 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

          I've heard of this book but never did read it. Sounds like I'd enjoy it even as an adult. Actually, I've read a number of young adult books lately that I've liked better than some of the adult books I've picked up.

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          Winter52 LM 5 years ago

          I have never heard of the book, but it sounds like something that I would enjoy even now but I doubt that I would ever put it into practice... not at my age lol :)

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          Lisa 6 years ago from Rhode Island

          I think myself a survivalist and could handle most things but as far as safety from wild animals and such nope Ii think this sounds like a wonderful book especially for our younger and a wonderful lens

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          Wednesday-Elf 7 years ago from Savannah, Georgia

          I'm sure I couldn't 'survive' a week alone in the woods, much less a year, but this looks like a delightful book for youngsters -- like you and your sister -- to 'try out' things and learn about nature without giving up your basic security. An adventure to 'dream' about and imagine -- great things at any age.

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          Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

          I remember reading this book when my daughter read it in school. I figured I wasn't quite up to surviving alone, but I really enjoyed learning about how to do it and it seemed like a plus that my daughter read it too (in case she ever needs to survive in the wild)!

        • Virginia Allain profile image

          Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

          This book made a big impression on me when I read it. I remember many incidents in the book vividly.

        • Virginia Allain profile image

          Virginia Allain 7 years ago from Central Florida

          This book made a big impression on me when I read it. I remember many incidents in the book vividly.

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          Author

          Evelyn Saenz 7 years ago from Royalton

          @WhiteOak50: Thank you so much, SquidAngel. I am sure that you would love reading My Side of the Mountain when you get a chance.

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          WhiteOak50 7 years ago

          I have not read this book as far as I can remember, but you did a great job with this lens!

          What an exciting experience to have a sister to share such wonderful things with. My sisters and I are like night and day. I am a true nature lover and my siblings-well, they are completely different. "Blessed by a SquidAngel"

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          anonymous 7 years ago

          Some lovely woods with many berries and nuts and no blackflies or mosquitoes. ;)

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          ElizabethJeanAl 8 years ago

          Welcome to The Nature and the Outdoors Group

          Lizzy

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          anonymous 8 years ago

          i would like to go to the adirondacks or th catskill mountains or somewhere in the appalachians.

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          Jimmie Lanley 8 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

          This is one of my all time favorite books and one of the few that I've read more than once. I loved playing in the woods as a child, so this book feed right into my deepest fantasies!

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          Nancy Tate Hellams 8 years ago from Pendleton, SC

          Sounds like a wonderful book. Lensrolling to Kate Salley Palmer