Trash Mountain

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 6
  • Reading Level: Grade 4

This you should know: Gray squirrels are almost always larger, faster, and more aggressive than reds. They out-eat the reds and out-breed them. Science says the grays will eventually win.

Nutley is a young red squirrel. For most of his life, he’s been content to live on local seeds and the cautious wisdom of his parents. But like so many young squirrels before him, he feels the call of the wild (and the hazelnuts) beyond the safety of his family’s own tree. Nutley wonders what it would be like to be Dangerous, like the growing band of gray squirrels that roam his neighborhood.

Nature, which is truly red in tooth and claw, forces Nutley to find out if he’s cut out for a life of danger. He must flee his familiar tree for the smelly shelter of the local landfill. There, with the help of some unlikely allies, he might just be able to make a stand against the grays.

This you should know: No matter what scientists say is almost always true, the exceptions are almost always the best stories.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 6
Reading Level Grade 4
Copyright 2015
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Number of Pages 184
Publication Date 2015-04-01
Reading Counts! Level 4.7
Text Type Fiction
BISACS JUV039230, JUV002230, JUV044000
Dewey [Fic]
Graphics 1-color illustrations
Dimensions 5.5 x 8.5
Lexile 780
Guided Reading Level V
ATOS Reading Level 5.1
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 172508
Accelerated Reader® Points 4.0
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Original artwork, and Reviewed

Author: Jane Yolen

Jane Yolen lives in Massachusetts and has written more than 400 books across all genres and age ranges, including the Sydney Taylor Honor book Miriam at the River. In 2022 she was named the The Sydney Taylor Body-of-Work Winner. She has been called the Hans Christian Andersen of America and the Aesop of the twentieth century.

Illustrator: Chris Monroe

Chris Monroe is an award-winning author, illustrator and cartoonist. Her picture books include Sneaky Sheep, Bug On a Bike and the Monkey With a Tool Belt series, which inspired the Netflix show Chico Bon Bon: Monkey with a Tool Belt. Chris is also the author and illustrator of the comic strip Violet Days, which has been in print for more than 20 years. She lives in Duluth, Minnesota.


Publishers Weekly

“A story of identity and survival develops into one of friendship, courage, and teamwork….Yolen balances the story’s more upsetting moments with humor.”―Publishers Weekly

Star Tribune

“This is a gripping story, right-sized for children but with all the authentic drama of any novel.”―Star Tribune


“Beloved children’s author Yolen offers a fable about accepting others in spite of their differences and respecting the natural environment….[A] perfect selection for the reader who is new to novels.”―Booklist

Kirkus Reviews

“Though there’s a suggestion the story is meant as fable, Nutley’s adventure stands alone as a satisfying animal fantasy.” —Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

“A quiet gem from a master storyteller.” —School Library Journal