My Side of the Mountain is about a teenaged boy in the 1940’s who runs away from his home in New York City to live in the Catskill Mountains.
“While I prepared trout baked in wild grape leaves, Matt sat on the bed and told me the world news in brief. I listened with care to the trouble in Europe the trouble in the Far East, the trouble in the south, and the trouble in America. Also to a few sensational murders, some ball scores, and his report card.
‘It all proves my point,’ I said sagely. ‘People live too close together.’
‘Is that why you are here?’
‘Well, not exactly. The main reason is that I don’t like to be dependent, particularly on electricity, rails, steam, oil, coal, machines, and all those things that can go wrong.’
‘Well, is that why you are here?’
‘Well, not exactly. Some men climbed Mount Everest because it was there. Here is a wilderness.’
‘Is that why?’
‘Aw, come on Matt. See that falcon? Hear those white-throated sparrows? Smell that skunk? Well the falcon takes the sky, the white-throated sparrow takes the low bushes, the skunk takes the earth, you take the newspaper office, I take the woods.’”
- Jean Craighead George, My Side of the Mountain, 1959