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Where the Red Fern Grows Paperback – September 1, 1996
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Author Wilson Rawls spent his boyhood much like the character of this book, Billy Colman, roaming the Ozarks of northeastern Oklahoma with his bluetick hound. A straightforward, shoot-from-the-hip storyteller with a searingly honest voice, Rawls is well-loved for this powerful 1961 classic and the award-winning novel Summer of the Monkeys. In Where the Red Fern Grows, Billy and his precious coonhound pups romp relentlessly through the Ozarks, trying to "tree" the elusive raccoon. In time, the inseparable trio wins the coveted gold cup in the annual coon-hunt contest, captures the wily ghost coon, and bravely fights with a mountain lion. When the victory over the mountain lion turns to tragedy, Billy grieves, but learns the beautiful old Native American legend of the sacred red fern that grows over the graves of his dogs. This unforgettable classic belongs on every child's bookshelf. (Ages 9 and up) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Praise for Where the Red Fern Grows
A Top 100 Children’s Novel, School Library Journal
A Must-Read for Kids 9 to 14, NPR
Winner of 4 State Awards
Over 7 million copies in print!
“A rewarding book . . . [with] careful, precise observation, all of it rightly phrased.” —The New York Times Book Review
“One of the great classics of children’s literature . . . Any child who doesn’t get to read this beloved and powerfully emotional book has missed out on an important piece of childhood for the last 40-plus years.” —Common Sense Media
“An exciting tale of love and adventure you’ll never forget.” —School Library Journal
“A book of unadorned naturalness.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Written with so much feeling and sentiment that adults as well as children are drawn [in] with a passion.” —Arizona Daily Star
“It’s a story about a young boy and his two hunting dogs and . . . I can’t even go on without getting a little misty.” —The Huffington Post
“A brilliant literary work.” —TeenInk.com
“We tear up just thinking about it.” —Time on the film adaptation
From the Paperback edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Yes it is a wonderful epic adventure story about a boy and his dogs and their heroic devotion to each other. And yes, it is so well read that you live every moment right alongside Billy and Old Dan and Little Ann. But, like most great novels, it is much more.
I am a dog lover, a college teacher, and a retired field grade Army officer. I loved the book not only for the captivating story, but also for the slice of Americana that it captures and preserves. It is a time capsule of a way of life, of what made this nation great. The breadth, depth, and magnitude of the love, devotion, responsibility, integrity, courage, and tenacity of the characters is awesome. It was a simpler time, when modest, humble, ordinary people were heroes in their own right, but could not imagine being any other way.
If this story doesn't burst your heart with joy and then rip it out with painful agony, you are dead and worse.
If you think you're dead, it will awaken and electrify feelings you didn't know you had.
If you are looking for answers, you will find them all in this simple little tale of perfectly ordinary and unassuming heroes of epic stature.
"I knelt down and gathered them into my arms. I buried my face between their wiggling bodies and cried. The stationmaster, sensing something more than two dogs and a boy, waited in silence."
My Dad didn’t grow up in the Ozarks, but he trapped animals as a young boy to raise money for a dog. Selling skins to Sears Roebuck & Co. was enough then to fulfill that dream and then later to get him enough money to fly enough hours to be conscripted (after being declared 4F) to train pilots at Americus, Georgia. When he was able to return to being a civilian pilot, the first thing he did with the money he saved was to buy another dog. On multiple levels, I felt this story to be so close to my father’s, both coming from rural, impoverished areas.
“Men, said Mr. Kyle, “people have been trying to understand dogs ever since the beginning of time. One never knows what they’ll do. You can read every day where a dog saved the life of a drowning child, or lay down his life for his master. Some people call this loyalty. I don’t. I may be wrong, but I call it love – the deepest kind of love.”
This is such a wonderful story; I highly recommend you read it. Re-read it, if you read it as a child.
This is a wonderful story of the love a boy has for his dogs & the freedoms of childhood. However, Billy has some experiences that take him from childhood into being an adult. Some he is aware of but others are more subtle.
Despite the story being about a boy, girls can relate to a lot of the emotions as well. Adults can more fully appreciate the more subtle storylines.
I highly recommend this book but suggest that you keep plenty of tissues handy.