When I was in grade 4 or 5 we had to read a book and do a report on what we had chosen. I have always been an avid reader ever since I can remember so I was particularly excited for this assignment. Before class had started our teacher had set up a long folding table and covered it with all the books we were to choose from. I eagerly browsed the table trying to choose which book I would write my first report on not even knowing then that that would lead me to a lifetime of reviewing and talking about my favourite books and authors!
I ran my hand over the covers and read the backs of the books catching my attention. And then I saw it. I picked up the intriguing story My Side Of The Mountain written by Jean Craighead George published in 1959. I eyed the blurb and the silver award button displayed proudly on its front cover and immediately my decision was made! I could hardly wait to get back to my seat and open the book and the rest of the day my nose was stuck between the crisp pages as my teachers kept telling me to do my work and I kept sneaking pages in while they weren’t looking.
I rushed home to my room to read long into the evening that day after school and I inhaled this story in a matter of days which truly impressed my teacher. I got started on my poster for my book report that day after school. My mother helped me cut out the photos that I needed from her large collection of old magazines that she had kept in a drawer for us to collage with. I designed and worked so hard on that poster finding the perfect majestical Falcon picture and researching the author. I recall beaming with proudness as I showed my little brother and father what I had made.
As I wrote the summary I couldn’t wait to tell everyone about the little boy who had run away to live in the mountains and survived all by himself. I had learned what a Peregrine Falcon was and how to hollow out a tree. I felt I was prepared for my very own adventure in the Catskills Mountain just like Sam Gribley. I was almost 12 anyways. With all the great information this great read had given me I was sure to make it just like he did!
I turned in my report and did my oral presentation the next week and I was one of the first people called up to the front of the class. I nervously stood up self consciously dragging my enormous poster that I had so carefully made on the Bristol board that suddenly felt like it weighed 100 pounds. I gulped as I set up my poster and turned slowly to face my peers. I felt like I was going to throw up and started to get a little dizzy when suddenly a boy pointed at my top photo and yelled out “That’s a beautiful bald eagle!”
Just as suddenly as I had gotten nauseous I started to explain that this particular bird did look like an eagle it was actually a peregrine falcon. That lead me into my speech and the class was standing and clapping when I was finished! The teacher gave me a soft squeeze on my shoulder letting me know I had done good and could take the safety net of my seat again. I was so relieved and excited and floated back to my chair on cloud nine.
I received an A+ on my book report and my mom placed the poster up on the kitchen wall. I was so proud and told everyone I encountered about this amazing book I had read! I’m pretty sure I lent my own copy to a few neighbors insisting that they read my book recommendation. Still to this day I tell people about the story of the runaway 12 year old who survived in the mountains with his falcon. I have the book and have read it to my own 3 littles and they enjoyed the adventure as much as I did. It certainly is a classic to be remembered that doesn’t get the attention it deserves!
If your ever in the market for a good adventure to read with your own kids or nieces/nephews, grandchildren, or even just your self I highly recommend My Side Of The Mountain by Jean Craighead George. Here’s the amazon link to purchase if you want to grab it now!
It is well worth it and a story unlike anything you have read before! A book that I think was written well before it’s time and has since been made into a movie as well. I haven’t personally watched the movie as I just found out it existed but I always like the book better anyways! I’d love to know if any of you have seen it and what you thought?
Let me know in the comments if you have had the pleasure of reading this or send me an email and let me know what you thought of it! I love hearing from you guys! Happy Reading Everybody! And don’t forget to follow me to hear more book reviews and see all the hottest book boyfriends!