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Rascal (Puffin Modern Classics) Paperback – September 23, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 2-6-At 11 years of age, Sterling North found himself the caretaker of a baby raccoon. His long-enjoyed Newbery Honor book (Dutton, 1963) provides the details of a year in the life of a boy and a raccoon. Set in 1918, Sterling's father is often absent and perpetually involved in research for a novel about Fox and Winnebago Indians. Sterling's mother is deceased, and he is often left to his own devices. Rascal therefore enjoys such comforts as sleeping in Sterling's bed and attending the county fair. As Rascal ages, Sterling is aware that the raccoon is having normal springtime urges and is not happy residing in the pen Sterling was forced to construct. Storyteller Jim Weiss narrates at a leisurely pace without sound effects or musical accompaniment. His very slightly stilted inflection delivers the story as a reminiscence rather than events related by a young boy. The audio rendering of this beloved animal story will please the tale's admirers and win fans new to the timeless adventure.
Fritz Mitnick, Shaler North Hills Library, Glenshaw, PA
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Review

Everyone should knock off work, sit beneath the nearest tree, and enjoy Rascal from cover to cover. (The Chicago Tribune)

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Puffin Modern Classics
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin (September 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142402524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142402528
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I laughed, cried, and enjoyed every minute of reading it.
Love to read
The story relates Sterling's adventures with his pet raccoon, Rascal.
M. J. Paries
I totally recommend this book for anyone's enjoyment of reading.
"timwaters"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Andrew W. Johns VINE VOICE on August 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
Sterling North takes us on a nostalgic trip back to his childhood and provides an enchanting story of a pre-adolescent boy and his year-long adventure raising an orphaned racoon. Set against the backdrop of the first World War, we get a glimpse of childhood almost a hundred years ago, when the automobile was still a new fangled contraption, and the wilderness was much closer. While many aspects of this story would be highly unlikely in today's world, they seem perfectly natural here, and we follow along as Sterling fends for himself and learns some valuable lessons about life. Filled with charming humor and a cast of memorable characters, both human and animal, this is a story that you will fondly remember for a long time.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 11, 2001
Format: Paperback
Sterling North vividly depicts the adventures, both physically and emotionally, of a boy named Sterling and his pet raccoon. This is a perfectly written book, containing many themes that you can relate to. Read through this book and you will be able to imagine his house perfectly. A menagerie of dogs, crows, skunks, and of course Rascal. The living room with the unfinished canoe and the chicken wired Christmas tree.
Having lost his mother at the age of seven, Sterling is a very independent boy who one day finds a baby raccoon, and decides to call him Rascal. As they both grow, their bond becomes strong along with their numerous activities and adventures. No one couldn’t help but laughing when Rascal, who always washes his food before eating, discovers the sugar cubes. He tries to clean them but they just dissolve!
In this unforgettable book, Sterling North manages to capture you and take you to a timeless place of life. Rascal is an easy, although deep book, and I strongly recommend it to everyone.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
I first read Rascal when I was a young boy (I'm 43 now). I re-read it just a few months ago and once again I was taken back to my youth. I was raised in a small country town (pop 600) in the mid-west (Michigan) and this book always brings back those carefree days of wandering through the woods. When I read this book I am once again young and at home. I feel truely sorry for anyone not touched by this book. They must have missed something very precious in their life.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Margaret Fiore on December 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
I first read the story of Rascal as a child, and was fascinated with the thought of a raccoon as a pet. The adventures of Sterling and his unusual pet were absolutely captivating, and that is all that I remembered of the book.
I recently read this book again to my daughter, piece by piece, at bedtime. The tale of Rascal captured me again, but so much more became evident! As an adult, I am struck by the beauty of the land North describes, and fascinated by the historical and naturalistic detail in his narrative.
North's language is natural and readable, though not overly simple. It is as though the reader sits at the foot of a rocking chair as an aged, eminent natural philosopher tells the story of his boyhood. The words flow over and around the reader, and refresh our sense of wonder at the beauty of our natural world.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Doug Briggs on December 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
It could have been anyone, the person who found Rascal. But it was our good fortune that it was Sterling North, a writer-to-be who could give us all the wonderful details of Rascal's magnetic personality. The insight into North's childhood was a delight -- his father's instinctive (or was it neglectful?) way of giving the boy responsibilities. The canoe in the living room, kept there unfinished due to the expenses of reining in the pesky little critter. I sensed the coming of a dark ending. But, no, it was simply perfect. I can't imagine a reader not loving this book.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By groomRN VINE VOICE on April 3, 2006
Format: Paperback
Sterling NOrth has written a wonderful, touching, memorable book based on his childhood, and a raccoon named Rascal. It is beautifully written, and is suitable for adults as well as children. He describes each aspect of his childhood so well that you almost feel you are there.

If you are an adult who has never read this book, I hope you will not miss the opportunity. If you have a child, don't let him or her miss this wonderful classic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By M. Lembach on February 23, 2010
Format: Paperback
Rascal is a very good book written by Sterling North, which is about his life when he was eleven and twelve and his time with his pet raccoon named Rascal. The story is entertaining and heart-warming for all ages, especially for fifth to eighth graders. I especially enjoyed that the story was based on the author's encounters and memories of his pet raccoon, Rascal. Rascal has humor and a serious and sad ending. The book is worth reading because of the humor and the interesting life experiences. For example, I laughed when Rascal helps Sterling with a pie eating contest. I was sad when Sterling lets Rascal go free in the woods. This was the right thing to do because Rascal was really a wild animal, not a pet.

The diction, tone, sentence variety and points of view in the book help to support the overall story of how Sterling felt about Rascal and how he and Rascal grew during the time they were together. Rascal's style is casual and conversational which makes the story easy to understand and to enjoy. The diction or word choice is not complicated. The most complicated words are words like "scampering" and "extremity." This creates a readable story which can be quickly and easily read and appreciated. The tone, which is the attitude an author conveys in his writing, is happy when North writes about Rascal and his adventures. For example, when Sterling catches a fish he writes, "He (the fish) broke water once, all silver and blue, his great forked tail thrashing. Rascal awoke at this point and trundled over to join in the excitement." Then the tone changes when North sets Rascal free at the end of the book. The author just states the facts, but the reader knows how difficult it was for him to let Rascal go. " Do as you want my little raccoon. It's your life,'' I told him.
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