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Big Red: The Story of a Champion Irish Setter and a Trapper's Son Who Grew Up Together, Roaming the Wilderness Paperback – June 1, 2011


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Editorial Reviews

Review

*"Sure-fire combination of a boy and dog. When they meet, it is love at first sight, and so will it be for all who read the story." (Library Journal (starred review))

"A story of love and understanding....Absorbing reading." (Booklist)

From the Publisher

From the moment Danny sees the beautiful Irish setter, he knows Red is the dog for him. Fast and smart, strong and noble, Red is the only dog Danny wants by his side. Soon, neither boy nor dog can stand to be apart. Together Danny and Red face many dangers in the harsh Wintapi wilderness that they call home. But the greatest test of their courage and friendship will come from an enemy more cunning than any they've known before--a bear who is the undisputed king of the wilderness, a savage killer called Old Majesty. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Holiday House; Reprint edition (June 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0823423913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0823423910
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,476 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
70%
4 star
25%
3 star
6%
2 star
0%
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See all 69 customer reviews
I first read this book in 1974 when I was in 4th grade.
altforce44
So if you love stories about dogs or just like adventure books "Big Red" is for you.
Lucas Mays
Got me hooked on all the books by this author, all of which are worth a read.
Mrs. Fitz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 56 people found the following review helpful By Sammy Madison on May 21, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jim Kjelgaard is a really great writer of dog stories set in the outdoors. "Big Red" is the first of three Irish Setter books. If you like "Big Red" the second book is "Irish Red" and the third one is "Outlaw Red". Danny lives with his father in a shack back in the mountains. They run a trap line and harvest wild honey for money. They are squatters on the land of a rich man, Mr. Haggin. Danny's mother died a long time ago. Danny and his father make a little money on the side by doing work for Mr. Haggin. Mr. Haggin has a beautiful Irish Setter he calls Boy. When Danny sees him, it's love at first sight. But when Danny asks Mr. Haggin how much a dog like Boy would cost, Mr. Haggin says he paid $7000 for him. Danny knows a trapper could never afford a dog like that. Mr. Haggin takes an interest in Danny. It is clear that Danny is different from his father, he has some kind of quality he inherited from his mother, tempered by the ruggedness and independence he learned from living in the wilderness. Mr. Haggin gives Danny a job taking care of Boy, who Danny calls Red. Like Danny, Red shows special quality. But he has never done for himself. He's a show dog. Mr. Haggin sends Danny to New York with Red when he's in a dog show. Then when they go back to Mr. Haggin's ranch, Danny is allowed to take Red out in the wilderness. Red learns from Danny how to be a brave and rugged dog. Red and Mr. Haggin give Danny a chance to move into the civilized world, and Danny gives Red a chance to reach his potential as a real dog in the outdoor world. An earlier reviewer made a great point that applies to all of Mr. Kjelgaard's books I have read: the dog doesn't have to be killed in his books. Most great dog stories are very sad.Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By M. Heiss on August 3, 2011
Format: Paperback
JimKjelgaard loves the mountains, and he loves dogs. He loves men who can make a life in the back woods, reading the seasons and living off their wits.

This is a slow-paced book geared toward *patient* children. It takes a long time for the story to develop. Danny and his father, Ross, are both reticent, complex mountain men without much to say. Danny intuitively knows what Red *should* be, but of course he can't articulate it. Several rescue scenes to keep things moving.

Plenty of hunting action, including a bear and an "Injun devil" -- a wolverine! A few words we don't say: Damn him, damn his ugly hide, hellion.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Danny Ed on October 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I would highly recoomend this book to any young boy or girl who has a love of dogs and the outdoors. The book brings us back to an era that few of our youth can identify with but will surely enjoy. I can envision many of the outdoor scenes particularly through the eyes of the main character, a young man who is rapidly growing into adulthood and being challenged by his environment and the people around him.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amanda Doviak on December 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
Let me just start by saying that this book is the reason why I own an Irish Setter today. Anyway, continuing on, it's just one of those books that's good - it's full of adventure the nature descriptions are realistic and the characters aren't flat. I read this when I was probably seven, and it's one of those stories that's stuck with me for ages afterwards. Definitely recommend this.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
Danny's heart seemed to stop beating as he saw the wolverine's powerful jaws fastened in Red's chest. Danny is just a hunter boy that lives on a rich man's property. Mr. Haggin is the owner of Big Red, the Irish setter that Danny so dearly wants. Danny asks and asks Mr. Haggin if he might be able to have Big Red and Mr. Haggin decides to let Danny watch how his show-dog handler handles them with complete and proper care. After Danny sees the dog show they all travel back to the property where Mr. Haggins lets Danny have Big Red. Danny loves Big Red and treats him as his best friend. After learning to become a hunting dog, the two of them become the closest of companions. They go on many hunts in the forest and do a great job. There is also a bear in the forest, name Old Majesty, and Mr. Haggins wants him dead so that he isn't a threat anymore to the safety of everyone on the property. Danny and Red go out one night to set the traps for winter and stay in the Cottage that's far out in the woods for reasons like this. A wolverine unexpectedly gets in and Red protects Danny while he grabs a pan and prepares to knock out the wolverine. Eventually Red and Danny win and the wolverine runs away. The next day Danny and Red set out to get Big Majesty and finally run into him around dusk. Red and him get into a fight and Danny can hardly see because it's constantly getting darker. They eventually kill the Old Majesty with the cost of Red breaking a leg. They go back to their house and Sheilah MacGuire, a female dog that Red showed interest in, becomes Danny's to keep. The two dogs are happy and have a puppy. While reading Big Red, I found it hard to just stop at a random place because there was always something interesting going on.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 18, 1997
Format: Turtleback
Jim Kjelgaard and Robert Heinlein were two of my constant childhood companions. Nearly fourty years have passed since I discovered Jim Kjelgaard and I can still remember the excitement and frustration in searching the library shelves for more of his books. In searching his list of books today I found myself smiling and reliving his stories and the good times I had reading them. Timeless stories for young readers
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