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The Original Adventures #1 (Hank the Cowdog) Paperback – August 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Series: Hank the Cowdog (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Reissue edition (August 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141303778
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141303772
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #711,267 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"...the best family entertainment in years." -USA Today

Nickelodeon full-length feature film slated for 2001 --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

From the Back Cover

"...the best family entertainment in years." -USA Today

Nickelodeon full-length feature film slated for 2001
--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

More About the Author

John R. Erickson, a former cowboy and ranch manager, is gifted with a storyteller's knack for spinning a yarn. Through the eyes of Hank the Cowdog, a smelly, smart-aleck Head of Ranch Security, Erickson gives readers a glimpse of daily life on a ranch in the West Texas Panhandle. This series of books and tapes is in school libraries across the country, has sold more than 7.6 million copies, is a Book-of-the-Month Club selection, and is the winner of the 1993 Audie for Outstanding Children's Series from the Audio Publisher's Association. Publishers Weekly calls Hank a "grassroots publishing phenomena," and USA Today says this is "the best family entertainment in years."

The road to stardom for Hank, however, wasn't all dog biscuits and gravy. Erickson graduated from the University of Texas in 1966 and studied for two years at Harvard Divinity School. He began to publish short stories in 1967 while working full-time as a cowboy, farmhand, and ranch manager in Texas and Oklahoma. Hank and his sidekick Drover are dogs Erickson worked with on the range. This mixture of true-life experience, fun, and adventure has gained Hank a loyal following of thousands of children and adults.

In 1982, however, Erickson was at his rope's end. "I was working out in the cold; there was 8 inches of snow on the ground," he says, "I had just gotten a couple of rejection slips from New York publishers, and I had a wife with two kids and another one on the way." So, with $2,000 in borrowed money, Erickson started his own publishing company, appropriately named Maverick Books.

Hank the Cowdog made his debut in the pages of The Cattleman, a magazine for adults. An obvious favorite of readers, Erickson included two of Hank's humorous stories in Maverick Book's first publishing effort, The Devil in Texas (1982). Erickson began selling books from his pickup truck at cattle auctions, rodeos, and just about any place cowboys gathered.

When Erickson started getting "Dear Hank" letters, he knew he was onto something. So in 1983, he self-published 2,000 copies of The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog, and they sold out in 6 weeks. Not long after that first printing, the book was recorded word-for-word on audiotape. Since then, every Hank book has been recorded, making Hank the longest-running successful children's series on audio, ever. (Source: Billboard)

When teachers began inviting Erickson to their schools, Hank found his most eager fans. Teachers, librarians, and students alike love Hank. According to some Texas Library Association surveys, the Hank the Cowdog books are the most popular selections in many libraries' children's sections. The lively characters make excellent material for reading and writing lessons, and turn even the most reluctant readers into avid Hank-fans. When used with the books, Hank tapes increase reading skills rapidly. And, in response to popular demand from the growing bilingual market, the first two Hank the Cowdog adventures are available in Spanish.

Although the Hank books began as a regional phenomenon, CBS Television heard about them and brought out a thirty-minute cartoon of the first book. It aired in May 1985 as part of a series called "CBS Storybreak."

Erickson has also written several books for young adults, the "Riley McDaniels Series". The first book of the series, "Moonshiner's Gold", won the 2003-2004 Lamplighter Award. The second book in the series, "Discovery at Flint Springs," was a finalist for the Lamplighter Award the following year. He has also written several books about cowboying based on his own experiences.

Erickson was born in Midland, Texas, but by the age of 3, he had moved with his family to Perryton, Texas, where he and his wife live today on their working cattle ranch. They have 3 grown children and 4 grandchildren. His advice to young writers is, "Write about something you know. Try to leave your readers better off than they were before."

For more information about John R. Erickson and the Hank the Cowdog books, please visit www.hankthecowdog.com.

Customer Reviews

My 9 year old Grandson loves this book!
Karon Richards
He loved it so much he checked out the other Hank the Cowdog books at the library along with the read along CD.
Satisfied Mom
This book is hilariously funny and enjoyable to read to little kids but parents will love it too.
MSHusker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By kjenfan on December 19, 2005
Format: Audio CD
He's homely, he's not too bright, and he loves to boss around his pal, Drover. But as brilliantly portrayed by writer/narrator John R. Erickson, Hank the Cowdog is also loyal, brave, and downright hilarious. This first story in a series of several dozen, 'The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog' introduces us to Hank, and it isn't long before you get the impression that Mr. Erickson is a keen observer of dogs. Hank's misadventures will have not just the kids laughing, but the adults in your family as well. At one point, my sons owned a few dozen Hank the Cowdog cassettes and we spent many an hour listening along with them at Hank's antics. But along with all that laughter, we were always pleased at the subtle moral values the stories teach. So pull up a chair and listen along as John Erickson takes you into the 'tight circle' of Hanks' world. This is a 'can't miss' selection for children of all ages. Highly recommended.
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Charles G. Fry on October 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
Hank the Cowdog is a series of wonderfully funny books for kids of all ages. Ours loved them when they were little: they loved having them read to them by my wife and me, they loved hearing John Erickson read them (every book is available, and read unabridged by John Erickson on cassette and CD), and they loved reading them once they got old enough to read them themselves. The Hank books were the very first longer books they started reading. The stories are just funny, nothing serious or educational (other than the crucial step of getting them reading themselves). They loved the books so much that they had the stories nearly memorized, easing their way to reading on their own.

John Erickson is our favorite reader ever, and we own at least half the series on cassette or CD. He does a fantastic job of changing his voice for each of the characters in the books, and is recognizable with each throughout the series. He is always funny and interesting, and writes very engaging songs. Our children are now grown up and moved away, but my wife and I still love to listen to the CDs while driving; a great way to spend some time on long trips in the car.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mary Bondo on August 26, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you still like to read as a family and have kids in the middle to low elementary grades, this is the book for you. The characters are fun and the observations that the Director of Ranch Security, Hank the Cowdog, make are amazingly right on, given HIS perspective on life.

THis is one of those books that the whole family can enjoy. No huge character messages, just clean and wholesome and NOT Disney. My husband and I enjoy these as much as the kids. If you get a chance to hear a recorded version of these, that is EVEN better. The voicing is amazing.

I highly recommend these for a fresh voice from the children's characters we hear so much about.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marcus Hillery on October 24, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is so sweet it should of won the Newberry award for best book. Even though a third grader could read it I at age almost 18 still enjoyed the doggy dog days of Hank. The little words in the big print makes it easy and enjoyable to read. I think Hank speaks the truth about life and the bad things that are out there. Hank teaches kids not to do drugs and kill chickens. I believe that Hank the Cowdog is a great inspiration to us all. Also allowing younger readers to believe in themselves.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Peter A. Greene VINE VOICE on June 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
Hank is a great main character-- brash, bold, not quite as smart or as tough as he thinks he is, but with a heart of gold. This is a great bedtime read-aloud book for younger kids. There's lots of characters (great chance for some goofy voices, parents). and here, as in most of his books, the adventure is somewhat picaresque so it's not to hard to take a break at the end of chapters. Be warned that Hank is not always pc, but otherwise there is nothing here to offend or alarm. This book makes a great introduction to the character. And for long car trips, check out the audio tapes (read by the author).
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By J. Dibble on June 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this book to my students (third and fourth graders) at the recommendation of a publisher/teacher friend. I had heard from other teacher friends that "kids love the cliffhangers at the end of every chapter" and that "this is the only book my students would sit still for." All that, true. What I hadn't expect was how much I would enjoy it as well. My husband is also hooked on the series and I've gotten one of the books for my sister-in-law who was a reluctant reader until Hank came along. I strongly recommend adding this book to your own library, your kids' library, and, if you are a fellow teacher, your school library.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Justin Raab on January 6, 2002
Format: Paperback
"Hank the Cowdog" was the first series of book I ever really got into. Reading these books made me laugh and laugh and I now have great memories of passing pleasant hours with Hank. The characters are great and the stories are very entertaining. I think my love of reading is partly due to my first experiences of reading with this series. I hope to one day get my own children hooked on reading by introducing them to Hank. Thank you, Mr. Erickson.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 25, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Adventures of Hank the Cowdog is a great book by John R. Ericson. The story takes place on an old ranch. It is about a dog named Hank, who is head of ranch security. Loper is his master. Loper also has another dog named Pete, who is Hank's best friend. It is funny how the author makes Hank have no idea what's going on a lot of the time, he is clueless and that's only one of the funny parts of the book. Hank gets into lots of trouble and has exciting adventures. Hank runs away and joins a wolf pack, but he comes back at the end. This is a great book. It made me laugh out loud. It's the greatest book on earth. I want to buy more Hank the Cowdog books.
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