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My Side of the Mountain

by Jean George

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Student Question

Who is the character Bando in My Side of the Mountain?

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Bando is the first human friend that Sam makes on the mountain. 

One day Sam hears police sirens on the road leading up to the mountain then finds a man at his tree (Sam's hollowed tree). Though Sam believes that the man is a criminal fleeing the police, he approaches him. 

After a time, Sam learns that Bando is not a bandit at all, but rather a college professor who got lost on a hike.

Staying with Sam for a while, Bando and Sam share a good time together making music and eating from Sam's supply of food. 

Bando later returns to visit Sam on several occasions and becomes Sam's primary link to the world outside the mountain. A caring and intelligent man, Bando enjoys Sam's company and does not try to persuade Sam to go back home. 

Sam learns from Bando that newspapers have picked up on Sam's story and word is spreading about a boy living wild in the woods.

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Who does Bando turn out to be in My Side of the Mountain?

Bando turns out to be a college professor.  He is an English teacher, which probably explains why he thinks to call Sam "Thoreau."

When Sam first sees Bando, he assumes Bando is an outlaw.  He assumes this because of all the sirens he heard.  Sam had heard all these sirens wailing and then, right after that, he comes across Bando.  Naturally, he thinks that Bando must be the outlaw that the police had been after.  But it turns out that the sirens were just a coincidence.  Bando is really just a professor who got lost hiking.

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