My Side of the Mountain By Jean Craighead George Sam Gribley is tired of living in a crowded New York City apartment with his dad, mom and 8 brothers and sisters, so he runs away looking for his Great-grandfather Gribleys land in the Catskill Mountain wilderness. The Gribley land had not been inhabited by any Gribleys for around 100 years. Sam hitched rides trying to get to the farm. Sam thought he prepared himself for this adventure by reading books in the New York City public library about how to survive on the land. No one in his family took his plans seriously though. With only a penknife, a ball of cord, forty dollars, and some flint and steel, he relied on his own ingenuity and the resources of the land to survive.
Sam arrived in the Catskills and went to the Delhi library to find information about Gribleys farm. A nice librarian found information that was very old, this helped Sam find the farm. This was the beginning of Sams great adventure. On his great-grandfathers farm he learns how to survive. At first he struggles to make a fire, then he had trouble whittling wooden fishing hooks to catch fish, but he ended up perfecting the hooks and catching a few fish.
He quickly realizes that he needs shelter; just building and staying around a campfire wont do, so he decides to set a fire inside a hemlock tree and hollow himself out a room. Here he builds himself a little hidden home in the forest. His tree home consists of a hidden door made of deerskin, a bed and a fireplace to keep him warn in winter. People come to the forest and are all around him, but they never discover him in his tree home. He struggled every day to find food, only to find that frog legs and turtle soup arent bad food. He also ate wild onions, acorns, apples, wild strawberries, and sometimes rabbit that he manages to catch in some traps he had built.
He finally spots a falcon and decides to catch one of its babies in the hopes that he can train the falcon. The falcon can then help him catch food. The falcon he caught he name Frightful, because it was very frightening when the falcons mother tried to attack him, to keep him from getting her baby. Sam spent many days training the falcon.
After Frightful became trained she was able to catch many small animals and provide them with food. Sam also struggles with providing himself with clothing. Fortunately for him, a hunter killed a deer in the woods and Sam got to it first and hid it. Later Sam came back for it and eventually made himself a pair of pants from its hide along with eating its meat. This happened a couple of other times so that Sam was able to also make himself a shirt and a blanket from deerskin.
All the while, no one realized that Sam lived in the forest. Sam eventually makes a friend he calls Bando, who turns out to be an English professor who had gone exploring in the woods. Bando stays with Sam for the summer and told him he would return at Christmas time. Sam really struggled during the winter, he prepared by storing nuts in another tree close by and then by cutting plenty of firewood And survive he does with only the animals to talk to and Frightful for companionship. Around Christmas time, his friend Bando returns. This time Bando told him that there had been stories circulating in New York City about a wild boy living alone in the forest, but no one could prove it.
The stories became huge rumors, newspapermen were poking around the woods trying to find the wild boy. Sams father realized from the newspaper that it must be Sam they were talking about, so he decided to look for Sam. He finally found Sam and ended up spending Christmas in the forest with Sam, Bando, and Frightful. After Sams dad left to return to New York City, a newspaperman named Matt Spelling came poking around the forest looking for the wild boy.
Matt was a smart guy and stumbled upon Sam, it didnt take him long to figure out that Sam was the wild boy the newspaper was referring to. Sam decided to give Matt an account of his survival in the forest for his newspaper article, this cleared up all the rumors of the wild boy theory. Not long afterwards, Sams dad, his mom, and his brothers and sisters came to the Gribleys land to live with Sam. Sams mom like it so well, that she and Sams dad quickly made plans to build a house for the whole family. Needless to say, they were very proud of Sam for finding great-grandfather Gribleys farm, for surviving in the forest on his own, and for bringing them all out of the city.