jennasday

Health, fitness, communications, and everything in between!


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Lightening review: My Side of the Mountain

It’s always a pleasure to revisit an old favourite, and this is exactly what I did when I reread My Side of the Mountain by Jean George. It was one of my favourites as a kid; I read it many times, so it was nice to go back.

The story follows Sam, young teen from New York City, who has decided he will run away from home and live off the land. He makes his way to his great-grandfather’s land in the Catskill Mountains, determined to survive free of dependence on electricity and machines. Throughout the book he comes a long way from the first night – when he can’t get a fire started and is convinced he will freeze and starve – to making a home for himself, finding a plethora of food sources, and even making new clothes.

My Side of the Mountain is an interesting examination of survival and solitude. It was a fairly short read (I finished it in less than a day) but it’s well-crafted, interesting, and different from what I’ve been reading lately. Still holds up, all these years after publication (1959). Recommended for all from children to adults.

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Writing tips from Jean Craighead George

When I was writing my review for My Side of the Mountain (you’ll see it soon), I came across Jean Craighead George’s website.

The author’s website is still maintained, even since her death in 2012, and contains a tab along the top titled “On Writing.” It’s written more for children, I think, but still was fun to read. She gives some tips on writing (calling them “writing prods,”) and advises not to spend too much time thinking about the ending. The ending, she says, will write itself and often in a way that will be a surprise to you.

I enjoyed reading this page on writing, learning about the process of such an experienced author (she wrote more than 100 books!!) – hope you enjoy it as well.