How does Sam change in My Side of the Mountain by Jean George?
Sam Gribley is a city boy who has run away to live on his own in the Catskill mountains. He has read some books about survival skills, but he has never had a chance to try the techniques for himself. Now he does, because he has no other choice. He teaches himself even more things about living in the wild: like what plants are edible, or what natural resources can be used to supply something he needs. He grows and matures in his own way throughout this book. By the conclusion, he has learned personal responsibility, how to set goals and to achieve them, and how to not only survive, but to succeed. He has developed from being just another kid in a big city family, into a confident young man.
We expect fictional characters to undergo some kind of change between the beginning and ending of a book. Otherwise, why would we want to read about someone who experiences nothing? Sam Gribley ranks among the most changed characters in literature for young people. This is his coming-of-age story.