Jean Craighead George is a naturalist, illustrator, and author. Born in 1919 in Washington DC, George developed her love of nature from her family. All being naturalists, together they’d hike mountains, climb trees to study owls, and make their own fish hooks out of twigs.
This love of nature carried over to her writing as George eventually graduated from Pennsylvania State University with degrees in Science and English. She is known for uniquely combining her careers into engaging fictional stories that take place in real, vividly described ecosystems.
One of her most famous books, My Side of the Mountain, takes place in the Catskill mountains and involves a boy, named Sam, who attempts to make a home for himself in the wild. The novel details the day to day life of Sam and features illustrations of some of his creations, including shelters, traps, and whistles. While the book is an amazing read for nature lovers due to its setting, the trials of surviving in the snow, finding food, and the mystery of an unstable environment makes it a tale of suspense that is perfect for adventure-lovers too.
Other novels by Jean Craighead George include:
- Julie of the Wolves (Newberry Prize Winning)
- The Fire Bug Connection
- There’s an Owl in the Shower
- Water Sky
- Charlie’s Raven
- Shark Beneath the Reef
- On the Far Side of the Mountain (Sequel to My Side of the Mountain)
The works of Jean Craighead George are available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library.