Every kid thinks about running away at one point or another; few get farther than the end of the block. Young Sam Gribley gets to the end of the block and keeps going–all the way to the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York. There he sets up house in a huge hollowed-out tree, with a falcon and a weasel for companions and his wits as his tool for survival. In a spellbinding, touching, funny account, Sam learns to live off the land, and grows up a little in the process. Blizzards, hunters, loneliness, and fear all battle to drive Sam back to city life. But his desire for freedom, independence, and adventure is stronger. No reader will be immune to the compulsion to go right out and start whittling fishhooks and befriending raccoons.
I am certainly not an outdoorsy person, but I loved this book so much! What an adventure to live off the land all alone in the woods!
The writing is charming, Sam’s character is full of pluck and resourcefulness, and I was completely involved in every little woodsy adventure.
The author is a master at bringing an emotion to the forefront of the story with just a few simple words, and making the reader care desperately what happens next. The story flows from one chapter to the next as Sam settles into his new wilderness life and learns how to survive independently.
The best parts were when Sam interacted with other humans. His emotions run very high then, either wanting them to go away, or being confused about his own need for human contact and conversation. There is the fear of discovery, that he will be forced back into society, but also the fear of being alone for too long. I love how Sam makes his own society though, with the creatures of the forest.
I loved this book from start to finish! Just brilliant, beautiful writing!