Author Jean Craighead George Dies at Age 92
One of my favorite childhood books, one that I read over and over, was her classic book of a young boy's survival in the Catskill mountains, My Side of the Mountain. I remember with vivid detail how Sam Gribley ran away from the city to survive on his own in the wilderness--how he made his own clothes, hunted food (and eventually caught and trained a falcon to do some hunting for him), and carved out a tree to make a comfortable home. The acorn pancakes, his figuring out how best to carve a fishing hook, his secretive forays into civilization (I think there was even a helpful librarian)--these vivid descriptions have stayed with me for years.
The other books which Jean Craighead George was best known for were Julie of the Wolves and it's sequels, Julie and Julie's Wolf Pack. Julie of the Wolves won the Newbery Medal in 1973, and these stories of arctic survival and adventure have also drawn in countless young readers.
As a kid, I wanted to be like Sam Gribley and carve out a hollow tree and live in harmony with nature. Thank you to Jean Craighead George for sparking my imagination, and for giving us so many wonderful stories that I can still recommend to kids today!