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Lost on a Mountain in Maine by Donn Fendler
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Lost on a Mountain in Maine (1939)

by Donn Fendler

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3051460,232 (3.94)27
A twelve-year-old describes his nine-day struggles to survive after being separated from his companions in the mountains of Maine in 1939.
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In 1939, at the age of 12, Donn Fendler went on a hike with his dad and brothers to the top of Mt Katahdin, the highest point in Maine, and the second highest on the East Coast. He gets separated from his party (he admits to his own stupidity in wandering off) and spends the next 9 days surviving alone in the wilderness, covering a staggering amount of territory and beating almost impossible odds.
My boyfriend picked up this book after we'd had our own unfortunate incident summiting this peak after an act of similar stupidity (he was using carbide-tipped hiking sticks to brace himself, ended up falling over 20 feet and dislocating three fingers). It was interesting to read about Donn's experiences in the same vicinity, before the trails were half as well-marked as they are now.
Donn's frightening adventure was suspenseful, and he and his ghostwriter did a good job of narrating from a 12-year-old's perspective. Donn seems to have made quite the career of telling this story over and over to young people, hopefully preventing some foolhardy youngster from disengaging from his or her party on some future trek. My only complaint (and this is just me) is that Donn is very religious and credits his survival to the Christian god, with quite a lot of this brief tale devoted to the semi-lucid experience and praise thereof. ( )
  EmScape | Mar 26, 2019 |
A true story of survival previously unknown to me. It is neat that the prose remains consistent with what 12-yr old Donn Fendler probably actually thought and experienced way back in 1939. What a lucky boy, to have survived 9 days in the vicinity of Mt. Katahdin... when hundreds of searchers were looking in all the wrong places. Young Donn's constant turning to God in prayer throughout the ordeal struck a chord--God is the only one we can turn to in such circumstances.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans were probably tracking the search through the newspapers, and I particularly liked this excerpt:

"For at no time in human life will men find a greater courage in their hearts and in their weary bodies than when in youth, like Donn, they are returning home." - Boston Transcript (July 27, 1939) ( )
  sethcburgess | Feb 7, 2018 |
This is a great book to read with any young hiker. It will lead to many discussion points of what they should carry when they hike and what they should do if lost. Donn, the kid in this true story, was extremely lucky to survive. ( )
  egrant5329 | Jan 20, 2018 |
This is a great book to read with any young hiker. It will lead to many discussion points of what they should carry when they hike and what they should do if lost. Donn, the kid in this true story, was extremely lucky to survive. ( )
  egrant5329 | Jan 20, 2018 |
When twelve-year-old Donn Fendler gets tired of waiting for his father and brothers to join him on the summit of Maine's highest peak, he decides to find his own way back to camp. But Donn doesn't count on a fast-moving fog that obscures the path. He doesn't count on falling down an embankment...
  waltonlibrary | Jan 27, 2016 |
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The top of Katahdin was just ahead. We could see it through a break in the cold, misty clouds that whirled about us.
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