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Dylan's Letter to Jean Craighead George
By Dylan Troisi
Genre: Non-fiction Level: Junior 7-9
Year: 2004 Category: Letters About Literature

Dear Jean Craighead George,

There have been many times I've thought about going to live out in the woods like your character Sam in the book My Side of the Mountain. Your book touched me in a way that no other book has. This book taught me the lesson that each day is precious and you have to make the most of every moment.

Each page of the book seems to hold me more than the last and shows your skill and cleverness as a writer. For example, I liked the way you showed the different food ingredients in the book. I wonder if I could become as smart as Sam when it comes to surviving. I carry this book around with me always. It is with me when I wake and when I sleep. Of course, I don't literally carry it with me, but it is always carried in my soul.

My Side of the Mountain is one of the few books I've read where I haven't really skipped through the paragraphs. At first I was so eager to try and finish it by the end of the day, but when I saw that last page I no longer felt that way. Even though I've read it many times now, the thrill of it makes me ignore what I know will happen next. It felt like I was there when the mother falcon attacked Sam and he ended up with his falcon, Frightful. I was caught in the excitement when he was training her and seeing her grow up.

Before I read your book I thought it might be boring, like some of the other books I've read. I don't know why I thought that because I love the outdoors and the wilderness. This book has made me reach out to find other meaningful books and it helps me in school because now I don't just read one book, I read many. This has helped me to become a better student.

Sometimes I feel I am just like Sam on the freezing winter nights, and just like him relaxing on the warm summer days. However, I wouldn't go out into the woods and leave my family and friends behind. I would miss them and would always want to go back to them. I still dream about going out in the wilderness even though I would have to rely on myself. My life is easier now because I know that I don't really want to go live in the woods. It just seems like such a great adventure. In this book, the woods seem to hold a new adventure on each page, so it's like one adventure after another.

Overall, this book has taught me some valuable lessons. I've learned that I need to take what I can from every moment in my life. Life is valuable and can be short, so we might as well enjoy it as Sam did. I realize that when there is a sunny day, I need to enjoy it. When it's gone, it may not come back for awhile. Sam made every day count because he didn't know when it would end. With the help of your book, I realize now that each day holds lots of opportunity. Also, great things are bound to happen. We just have to wait for them to catch up to us. Thank you so much for publishing this book and sharing it with everyone who wants to read it. I hope many more people will read it and be touched by it the way I have been.

Dylan Troisi
7th Grade
Teeland Middle School
Teacher: Linda Volkman


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