Essay on My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

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My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George

This book is told from the diary of the main character, Sam Gribley. Sam is a boy full of determination. He didn’t give up and go home like everyone thought he would. He is strong of mind. After the first night in the freezing rain, with no fire and no food, he still went on. He is a born survivor. He lasted the winter, through storms, hunger, and loneliness, and came out on top even when everyone expected him to fail. “The land is no place for a Gribley” p. 9

The story starts out with Sam remembering how he first got to be in his tree in the Catskills. A run-away, Sam Gribley, a young boy who lived in New York City with his family of eleven in a small apartment. None of them liked
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Some other animals however did not become Sam’s dinner, but his friends. The weasel, who when they first met yelled and screamed at him, jumped on him, went to his head, messed it up, screamed and yelled some more and walked away. Sam named him the Baron due to his royal behavior. Another friend of his was a raccoon, which he dubbed, Jessie Coon James.

As I had pointed out before his diet was varied. Among the things he ate were: caught fresh mussels, trout, frogs, turtles, and crayfish. He ate apples, wild strawberries, wild dandelion greens, bloodroots, and cattail roots. He made salt from boiling birch bark to season his food with. He did manage to retrieve a deer a poacher had shot. That was pretty scary though, as the poacher came to his camp looking for the deer. After skinning the deer he tanned the hide in an old oak stump. He felled the stump, burned a hole in it, and put the deerskin in it for five days, then took it out to dry. He was able to dry deer meat, make a door for his house, made leg straps (called jesses) for Frightful, and used the bones for spearheads.

One day in the woods he noticed a falcon, watched it, felt she had a nest, followed her, climb the steep sheer cliffs, and retrieved a young falcon. The mother came back to the nest just as Sam was taking the bird. She attacked Sam until she discovered there were still two more babies in the nest. Sam named his falcon Frightful, as the experience was just that.
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