• First, we’re having a GREAT time with the One School-One Book program…. Getting “thank you” notes from parents already about how it’s “forcing” some family reading time that they seemed to have lost over the years.
    — Paul Marinko - Principal at St. Paul's Lutheran School - Fort Wayne, IN
  • Since last spring, our entire school has excitedly embraced the One School, One Book Program. We will soon begin our spring selection: A Cricket in Times Square -- the third book we've adopted since the spring of 2010!

    We are so thrilled with the positive impact this program has had on our students, families, and staff
    — Laurie LaRue - First Grade Teacher at Edgewood School - Bristol, CT
  • I think the OSOB program is brilliant. My seven year-old attends Orleans Elementary in Massachusetts and they (we) are reading Masterpiece. Since the grades levels range from one to five at this school, finding a book to suit all is difficult. My daughter can follow the big picture somewhat but we have to reinforce what we’ve read because it’s a lot to take in for her.
    — Glenn Krzeminski - Parent of student at Orleans Elementary - Orleans, MA
  • The One District, One Book program promoted by Read To Them...is a powerful way to systemically address and promote a culture of literacy throughout the entire school system.

    My school actually adopted a hamster and even used it as “pet therapy” for many of the behaviorally challenged children in our school.
    — Kenny Moles of West Virginia

My Side of the Mountain

by Jean Craighead George (1959)

Sometimes a chestnut from another generation can be just the right antidote for our times. So it may be with Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain. How many times have you heard someone say, “With all these video games and the computer, kids just don’t play outside or mess around in the woods like they used to.” Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself. If that’s the case, consider the salutary case of Sam Gribley and his self-imposed exile into the woods in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York.

Sam seeks to escape his family and New York City. But he is blessed with a true Robinon Crusoe combination – both the attitude and skills necessary to conquer the wilderness. You might start out afraid for Sam’s ability to fend for himself and survive, but soon you will marvel at his ingenuity and his can-do attitude. Sam creates all manner of handy, well-crafted natural solutions for the problems he encounters – from clothing and shelter to fishing, hunting and, of course, entertainment.

If you’re looking for a book that can lead children by example, My Side of the Mountain might be it. In clear, undated prose (the prolific Jean Craighead George has penned two Newbery winners and written four sequels to Sam’s story, the last published in 2007) children and families will meet a character who never says, “I can’t.” And they just might begin to see the natural world the way Sam does – as a rich place of charm and wonder, as an opportunity…


There are five supplementary resources for Jean Craighead George’s My Side of the Mountain:

  • a sample letter home to parents
  • a sample reading schedule
  • a Trivia Bank
  • a list of suggested activities
  • suggested assembly ideas

As a participating member of One School, One Book you may have access to all of these documents. Here are some samples:

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