As a Marketing and Content Creation specialist, I have the expertise to create powerful and SEO-optimized glossaries that rank well on Google in the Literature niche. This particular glossary is designed for individuals interested in reading literature in various formats, including books, audiobooks, e-books, and podcasts. In this glossary, we will explore the book “My Side of the Mountain” by Jean Craighead George.

Overview of My Side of the Mountain

Published in 1959, “My Side of the Mountain” is a young adult novel written by Jean Craighead George. The book tells the captivating story of Sam Gribley, a teenager who leaves behind the comforts of city life to live alone in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York. The narrative focuses on Sam’s journey as he learns to survive in the wilderness and enjoy the freedom and self-sufficiency it offers.

Plot Synopsis

The story begins with Sam’s decision to run away from his crowded family home in New York City and escape to the remote mountains, just as his ancestors did. Armed with his father’s old army survival guide, Sam sets out for a life of adventure and self-discovery. Upon reaching the mountains, he finds an abandoned and dilapidated property, which he turns into his new home.

As Sam settles into his new surroundings, he faces various challenges and learns to adapt to his solitary life. He builds a shelter inside a hollowed-out tree, creates tools and traps for survival, hunts and fishes for food, and befriends a falcon named Frightful. Sam’s encounters with nature and wildlife, as well as his talent for carving and survival skills, bring the story to life.

Awards, Reviews, and Praise

“My Side of the Mountain” has received critical acclaim and numerous accolades since its publication. Some of the notable awards and honors include:

  • Newbery Honor Book (1960)
  • George C. Stone Center for Children’s Books Award (1984)
  • Commonwealth Club of California: Literature Gold Award (1960)

The book has been praised for its vivid descriptions, engaging storytelling, and its ability to inspire young readers to embrace nature and explore their own inner strength and resilience. Critics have commended Jean Craighead George for her extensive research, which adds authenticity to the protagonist’s survival techniques and the natural environment depicted in the novel.

Important Characters

Within “My Side of the Mountain,” several significant characters contribute to the overall narrative:

Sam Gribley

The fourteen-year-old protagonist of the story, Sam Gribley, is a determined and resourceful teenager who possesses a deep connection with nature. He seeks independence and fulfillment in the wilderness, showcasing resilience and adaptability as he faces various challenges.


Frightful is a peregrine falcon that Sam befriends during his time in the mountains. The bond between Sam and Frightful is a central aspect of the story, highlighting the friendship between humans and animals.

The Gribley Family

In flashbacks and memories, the Gribley family members play a role in shaping Sam’s decision to embark on his unique adventure. Their contrasting views on life, society, and the wilderness influence Sam’s choices and fuel his desire for independence.


In conclusion, “My Side of the Mountain” is an enthralling young adult novel that captures the imagination and spirit of adventure. With its captivating plot, rich character development, and authentic portrayal of the wilderness, the book has garnered critical acclaim and numerous awards. Through the story of Sam Gribley, readers are inspired to question societal norms and embrace the freedom and self-sufficiency that nature offers. Whether through traditional books, audiobooks, e-books, or podcasts, “My Side of the Mountain” is sure to captivate the hearts of individuals interested in literature and the exploration of the human spirit in the face of nature’s challenges.

Scroll to Top