My Side of the Mountain Trilogy by Jean Craighead George.
E. P. Dutton: NY, 1959.
Newbery Honor 1960

Sam Gribley leaves his family's home to live off the land in the Catskill Mountains. He looks back at the summer and fall when he was faced with solving all the details that would make it possible to survive through the winter independently-with comfort.

As with the other books I have read by Jean George, the strength is in the details of being a part of nature as well as the feelings and thoughts expressed in this solitary living. The story concept is a little strange to me-possibly since so much has changed in our society since the book was written. While I can understand a boy's desire to live freely in an undeveloped area, some of the events wouldn't fit well into modern life. Still I enjoyed the ingenuity of the boy, and the descriptions give the reader the feeling that it is still possible to live independently with only products of the land and one's own ability to think of solutions. As I was finishing I also thought that those enjoying George's books would also likely enjoy Thoreau and Walt Whitman when a little older.

related-freedom and independence, survival, study and observation of nature, ingenuity, problem solving

On the Far Side of the Mountain
Dutton Children's Books/Penguin Books: NY, 1990.

Frightful is taken away and Alice, Sam Gribley's sister, strikes out on her own. Sam and Bando track her across the mountain for an adventure and to make sure she is safe. She leads them on a merry chase. When they learn there are poachers nearby, they split up. Bando contacts the authorities, and Sam moves quickly to catch Alice.

The story is full of natural observations, but it is quirky also because of Alice's personality.
related-wilderness survival, brothers and sisters, falcons-fiction, friendship, ingenuity, falconers

Frightful's Mountain
Dutton Children's Books/Penguin Putnam Books for Young Readers: NY, 1999.

Told from many points-of-view, the story follows not just Frightful but other peregrine falcons as well. It is the story of Frightful's transfer from captivity to the wild. It discusses (in story format) the dangers affecting the falcons and other endangered birds. The birds and those caring for them face conflicts. Protections are described as well as failed attempts. Children and wildlife protection agencies become involved in preserving Frightful's babies. Full of details of Frightful's adaptation to the wild, it has a great balance between wild life observations and human interest. It is an exciting story-the best of the trilogy.
related-peregrine falcon-fiction, falcons, wildlife conservation, New York state, falconers, return of birds of prey to the wild, endangered species, migration, civil activism, school children, mating, falcon chicks

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