cover image On the Far Side of the Mountain

On the Far Side of the Mountain

Jean Craighead George. Dutton Books, $15.99 (170pp) ISBN 978-0-525-44563-0

Fans of My Side of the Mountain will be delighted to find that Sam Gribley still lives in a hollow tree with Frightful, his faithful falcon. Sam has neighbors now: his sister Alice lives in a nearby treehouse and his old friend Bando has bought a nearby cabin. Sam's summer plans are disrupted when a conservation officer accuses him of harboring an endangered species and confiscates Frightful. Sam is so devastated by the loss of his companion that several days pass before he realizes that Alice has left home. Setting out to track his sister down, Sam crosses paths with a band of falcon smugglers and is given the chance to take back Frightful for his own. Faced with a difficult decision, Sam chooses wisely and the story ends on a satisfying note, full of hope for the future. Since nature has become chic in the years since Sam's first adventures were published, sophisticated readers will enjoy the author's wry references to the new fashion for Adirondack furniture and her description of an eatery that specializes in gourmet wild foods. Filled with accurate details (it is possible to trace Sam's journey on a map), likeable characters and plenty of backwoods lore, this sequel is worthy of its predecessor. Ages 8-12. (Apr.)