100 Chapter Books Project: My Side of the Mountain

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My Side of the Mountain (1959) by Jean Craighead George, unlike my last read, fully deserves its spot on the Top 100 Chapter Books list. I’m very glad too that I read it in the same summer as From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.

What it’s about: Ten-year-old Sam Gribley can’t stand the city and his crowded apartment (mom, dad and eight siblings) in New York one moment longer and so he runs away to an old family property in the Catskill Mountains. He uses lots of knowledge, a knife, an axe, and some string, and ends up building a home for himself.

Age level: Grades 4-6

Best part: I absolutely loved the way that Sam made the most of his surroundings. He interacted with nature in a most admirable way, using every part of each animal that he trapped and not striking out at any of them in fear or anger. He tried new things and was very brave. I also enjoyed his relationships with the various adults and children he met while in the wild.

Worst part: This book would have been a total “Buy” for me except for the last two pages, where Sam’s parents ruin everything. Though he has been successful in the wild for just almost a year, his parents come and despoil the peaceful natural surroundings just because of what they think other people *might* think about them (not that those people wouldn’t have already been thinking it for the past year!).

Verdict: Buy/Borrow

This book was a pleasure to read. It was so different and yet strangely still similar to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, with children who run away from home, two to the city and one to the woods. It was strange to feel like Sam was safer in the forest than Claudia and Jamie were in New York City. But with a lovely falcon and a surly badger as friends, Sam was quite well taken care of!

I am very excited to finally be reading a book by Avi. I probably wouldn’t have chosen a book with an ocean voyage but I’m in the mood for a historical fiction and I hear his are great!

*****
Schedule – September through November
September 15 – #46 The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi (1990)
September 30 – #55 All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor (1951)
October 15 – #23 Hatchet by Gary Paulsen (1989)
October 31 – #36 The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare (1958)
November 15 – #88 The BFG by Roald Dahl (1982)
November 30 – #64 The Twenty-One Balloons by William Pene du Bois (1947)

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X!

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Image used with permission, property of Abigail Larson.

Hello, I am Carl V. Anderson.  You may have noticed, this is indeed the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event, but this is not Stainless Steel Droppings. Ten years ago, when reading challenges were all the rage, I started my very first one.  I did not see a lot of events centered around the gothic and classic horror that I loved to imbibe in when Summer turns to Autumn, and so R.I.P. was born.  Though this kind of literature isn’t my first love, this event is the one I cherish the most of all that I have hosted on Stainless Steel Droppings.  It was my first, and I look most forward to it every year.

For the 10th Anniversary of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril, I wanted to do something special, and the idea came to me to allow someone else to host the event.  Andi and Heather, of the Estella Society, are two wonderful bloggers who I’ve known for many years.  For the past two years they have hosted a Group Read in conjunction with the R.I.P. event, and they came instantly to mind.  I wasted no time in contacting them to see if they would be interested, and I am thrilled to say that they are taking on the challenge.

Fear not, I’m not planning on disappearing anywhere (although you wouldn’t know that by how infrequently I blog of late), I plan on joining in as a participant, knowing that Year Ten of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril is in capable hands.  Thank you both so much!  I know give you, Andi and Heather:

RIP is one of our favorite events, so when Carl asked us to host, we practically jumped out of our skins with excitement! 10 years is quite an accomplishment for any event, so we’re glad you’re here to celebrate with us!

Without further ado, pick your poison, won’t you? September 1st is here, and we’re ready to begin!

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.

That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.

As time has wound on, we’ve discovered that simple rules are best:

1. Have fun reading (and watching).
2. Share that fun with others.

As Carl does each and every year, there are multiple levels of participation (Perils) that allow you to be a part of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril without adding the burden of another commitment to your already busy lives. There is even a one book only option for those who feel that this sort of reading is not their cup of tea (or who have too many other commitments) but want to participate all the same.

R.I.P. X officially runs from September 1st through October 31st

Multiple perils await you. You can participate in just one, or participate in them all.

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Peril the First: Read four books, any length, that you feel fit (the very broad definitions) of R.I.P. literature. It could be King or Conan Doyle, Penny or Poe, Chandler or Collins, Lovecraft or Leroux…or anyone in between.

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Peril the Second: Read two books of any length that you believe fit within the R.I.P. categories.

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Peril the Third: We all want you to participate. This Peril involves imbibing just one R.I.P.ping read.

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Peril of the Short Story:We are big fans of short stories and the desire for them is perhaps no greater than in Autumn. You can read short stories any time during the challenge. We like to read short stories over the weekend and post about them around that time. Feel free to do this however you want, but if you review short stories on your site (not a requirement) please link to those reviews on the Review Site. It is not just a site for book reviews.

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Peril On the Screen: This is for those of us that like to watch suitably scary, eerie, mysterious gothic fare during this time of year. It may be something on the small screen or large. It might be a television show, like Dark Shadows or Midsomer Murders, or your favorite film. If you are so inclined, please post links to any R.I.P.-related viewing you do on to the Review Site as well.

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Peril of the Group Read: This is something Carl allowed us to do in partnership with RIP beginning a few years ago. We’re back at it this year with Amanda from Fig and Thistle to read Lauren Owen’s The Quick. The group read officially begins on September 18 (during the Dog Days of Summer Readathon) and ends on October 18 (during the Dewey’s Readathon!). We’ll do a mid-point check-in on October 12. Feel free to use our questions or post on your own! We’ll provide the linky!

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Traditionally we like to discuss what we may read for this event, in large part because we book lovers love to talk about what we are reading and what we want to read. And what is more fun than making lists of books? You do not have to do this to participate, all you need do is sign up below and join in the fun. However, if you do post about R.I.P. X and what you might be reading please link directly to that blog post below instead of to your main site.

Also, for anyone new to R.I.P. stumbling across this, you do not have to be a blogger to participate.

For those of you who do have a blog and want to review your readings and viewings for R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X, there is a Book Review Site located HERE.

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Once again the wonderful and talented Abigail Larson.  Her work so perfectly embodies the spirit of the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.  It is gothic and macabre with an old-world aesthetic that is delightful without being disturbing…unless of course you happen to be gazing at it on a dark and stormy night…

Be sure to check out her website to enjoy more of her work and her online shop to bring her art into your very own home.  She has some pillows that are to die for (not literally…I don’t think).

Thank you so much, Abigail! I hope the Autumn season is filled with marvelously creepy delights.

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Below are some banners of various sizes for your use.  If you use them in a post, please be sure to credit and link to Abigail Larson’s site.

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Well, there you go folks. Now its up to you. Do you have the courage to share in a little fright with us? Or, if not fright, a whole lot of fun.

Announcing The Dog Days of Summer Readathon!

There are few things Andi and I love more than a great readathon. We host Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon two times a year for that reason! However, we have a hard time getting a lot of actual READING done during Dewey. So, we wanted to have a readathon where we actually get to read with everyone. No strings, no work, just sitting down, all weekend, to relax and read. And what time of year is better than during the Dog Days of Summer? One of the things I miss the absolute MOST about my childhood is setting up camp outside in a cool spot and reading the day away. Summer vacation is made for it!

So, here we go. A whole weekend of reading, the last weekend of summer, to sit and read read read. Hope you’ll join us! Sign up below and let us know if you can! It doesn’t matter if you can camp out with us the whole time or for only an hour!