Jeff and I have a very long list of books we want our kids to read before they leave our house. One way we achieve reading these books is audiobooks. Every time we head off on a car trip we come up with a book we want our kids to listen to. Usually we both have several books and there’s a silent discussion as to which book we’ll listen to. Jeff adored reading My Side of the Mountain as a kid. He dreamed of being like Sam and heading off into the mountains to live by himself. My kids listened and fell in love with the book, so much so we made this into a funschooling unit one summer and at the end of the unit we watched the book made of the movie for a book and a movie night. Yeah…… The activites, those were a big hit, the movie….
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My Side of the Mountain Summary
My Side of the Mountain is Sam Gribly’s diary during the year or so he lived by himself up in the mountains. He write about how he learned different skills, things he noticed, and the why behind his choices. It’s a fascinating tale that could not happen in this day and age, but it doesn’t stop my kids from loving the book. They regularly relisten to it on our Audible account (Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks, we seriously love our Audible account). As a matter of fact, they were just listening again last week, which is what prompted me to finally write up this post.
There are several sequels to My Side of the Mountain, but they’re of differing quality: On the Far Side of the Mountain (haven’t read), Frightful’s Mountain (we really didn’t like this), and then there’s supposed to be a couple of picture books about Frightful’s children, but the Frightful book really turned us off of the sequels
My Side of the Mountain activities
Like I said, we made this into a funschooling week, so we tried to do some of the ideas he mentioned in the book. We made beef jerky, jam, and attempted to make a fire starter.
That fire starter just ended up with a great big mess, but man did the kids have fun. This was also when I discovered the supposed recipe to make ink using ash and some other stuff was a bunch of nonsense. It did not work. However the kids had a blast making a giant mess.
Then I kicked them out to hose each other off and not come in for a little bit.
My Side of the Mountain snacks
As I mentioned this was a few years ago and I apparently didn’t make sure to get pictures before the kids dug into the food. So my pictures are particularly bad. Also, the My Side of the Mountain movie was bad, really bad. We spent a lot of time making fun of the filming style and then they changed some key features of the book that ruined the book. The snacks were a big hit.
- leaves- there was a lot of talk about different types of leaves, so we had maple leaf cookies
- venison jerky– I bought this at the store, and it disappeared super fast
- stew- not too surprisingly, Sam spends a lot of time figuring out how to make just the perfect stew
- buckwheat pancakes- this is specifically mentioned in the book, so of course we had to have it and I got buckwheat flour just to make it
- homemade jam- another item specifically mentioned
- fresh fruit- because he spends a lot of time foraging, we could also have included other vegetables
More 6th grade books made into movies
I was going over my Book and a movie bookmarks and realized we’ve read almost all of the sixth grade books (but I haven’t necessarily written about them).
Natalie PlanetSmarty says
I have never read this book – now I am curious to give it to A. I spent a lot of time myself on learning to make a perfect stew 🙂
She’d probably enjoy it, and she might enjoy the sequels a bit more than I did. Of course it would probably help if we hadn’t read the third book before we found the second…
I didn’t realize they made this book into a movie. I didn’t really enjoy the book as a kid, but maybe I should re-read it.
My kids are crazy for the book, like I said in the post, and regularly listen to the audiobook. I didn’t read it as a kid, but as a parent it’s got some fun stuff to talk through with your kids about self-reliance, and the difference between the world he grew up in, and our world now.
Alisha Hauser says
I read this book over and over as a kid. I did a study with my older ones I should at least have my younger ones read it!