In Jean George's novel My Side of the Mountain, what is Miss Turner's reaction to Sam's announcement of his plans?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In the chapter titled "The Manner in Which I Find Gribley's Farm" of Jean George's young reader's novel My Side of the Mountain, Sam Gribley undertakes the task of trying to figure out where the old Gribley family farm was located that upon which no one has resided "for maybe a hundred years" (p. 21). He is able to deduce that an old map would probably have the farm listed and determines to visit the library in Delhi, Delaware, to see what he can learn.

He finds the young librarian, Miss Turner, to be very helpful as she rummaged through "old maps, histories of the Catskills, and files of letters and deeds that must have come from attics around Delhi" (p. 21). When she asks Sam if the information is for a school project, he replies honestly that he plans to live on the abandoned farm, now nothing but forest, saying he plans to build his own house and live off the land. What is interesting about Miss Turner's response to his quest is that, as Sam notes, she "was the only person that believed [him]" (p. 22). She then offers that the library is also full of "good books on plants and trees and animals, in case [he] gets stuck" (p. 22).

Hence, what is fascinating about Miss Turner's response is that she actually took his ambition seriously whereas others before her just laughed it off as foolishness.

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