Where the Red Fern Grows
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Where the Red Fern Grows

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  198,940 ratings  ·  6,581 reviews
A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn. Little Ann had the brains, and Billy had the will to make them into the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. Where the Red Fern Grows is an exciting tale of love and adventure you'll never forget.


From the...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published January 12th 2011 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1961)
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Melinda
Jul 10, 2007 Melinda rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who has a heart
I read this book in 4th grade. One day I was waiting for class when an obnoxious boy decided it would be a good idea to take it. I informed him that it was my favorite book in the whole wide world and if he didn't give it back that he'd be sorry. He then threatened to tear the book in half. With that I walked over to him, hit him over the head with my cast (I had broken my wrist a few weeks prior), took my book and calmly walked away.

I think that a book that inspires someone to violence in the 4...more
Rebecca
I read this book in sixth grade and cried my twelve-year-old heart out. Another book I share with my sixth grade students. What I find is that this book in particular allows the boys in my class to get emotional about a story and be able to talk about it together and normalize it. It is almost a contest for them of who got most upset. One student said he finished it on a plane ride home and that the flight attendant kept coming up to him asking him if he was alright. I've had many students tell...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Let me say first that some love this book and to be fair I never read it except to get an idea of the story.(updated:please read what I actually said there. Any book I don't care for enough to finish will usually get a 1 star or at best a 2.) You will find in my books low ratings for Black Beauty, The Yearling, Old Yeller and any books that have the "pain of life motif" in common. By the way this includes Cold Mountain. Look up my review and you'll see I try to give recognition that it's well wr...more
Kendra
Nov 20, 2008 Kendra rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
We finished it! I read this aloud with my kids and as I read through the final sentences, we were all in tears. I am not talking teary eyes, but body rocking sobs. My six year old did not stop for almost twenty minutes. When he was finished he said it was the greatest story he had ever heard. My eight year old wanted to meet the author and thank him for such a great book. I loved this book and recommend it to everyone. Just read it with a box of tissues nearby.
Marci
There are a handful of books we read as children that so completely capture our hearts we cannot and would not ever forget them. Where the Red Fern Grows is such a book. An elementary teacher read this book to my class when I was in about third grade, beginning for me a love that has seen me through many personal readings, with even more readings to my own students through the course of my career as an elementary teacher.

What most people do not know is that this classic tale of a boy and his hun...more
Josephine
I loved chatting over email with Amy Schimler about her dog Beans (see yesterday's interview), and it got me thinking about my favorite dog book of all time. We had to read Where the Red Fern Grows in 5th grade, and I have to admit I was completely dismayed that we had to read a "boy book." I struggled the whole time to distance myself from Billy, Old Dan, and Little Ann, probably flipping my permed hair and muttering "this is *so* stupid" and "who cares about a couple of dumb dogs?" under my br...more
RachelAnne
(view spoiler)...more
Michelle
You know how everyone you know says they cried after they watched "Old Yeller"? Yeah, I didn't cry nearly as hard watching that movie as I did when reading this book...worse yet, we read it for an English class in jr. high--yeah, that's a stigma an already geeky girl needs on her middle school resume!

Regardless of that, this is still one of my all-time favorite books. It does a great job of portraying loyalty, stamina, work-ethics, and love at a level that children and adults can understand and...more
Evan
Jan 14, 2008 Evan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 10+
This book can easily be the best book i have ever read. The book is about a young boy you wants to buy a pair of hunting dogs, but does not have enough money. After a while he saves enough and buys them, and names the dogs Big Dan and Little Ann. The book is great for many people becasue you can relate youself to the characters no matter who you are. The story flows very easily and reads very well. This book is one of those kinds of books that once you start, you just cant put it down, and you k...more
Synesthesia
This is one of those books I liked so much better when I was a kid. Reading it in junior high school it was the story of a little boy who wanted hunting dogs so he can hunt raccoons. He worked hard, saved up money, got his dogs, encountered a wild cat, taught the dogs how to hunt, and you had a poignant tender story of a boy running wild and happy in the Appalachians until tragedy strikes. I liked it when I was a kid.

Reading this book as an adult on the other hand, there were several things that...more
Swaps55
Aug 29, 2007 Swaps55 rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: young-adult
This book belongs on that special list of YA books that stay with you for the rest of your life. You remember them, remember how they changed your perspective, how they made you feel, and how they helped you grow up. This book in particular belongs at the top of that list for me, right alongside Bridge to Terebithia, and I consider it a mandatory title for anyone who is in the process of growing up.

Clear as a bell I remember the night I finished it, right before (or quite after, as was more lik...more
Steven
If you haven't read Where The Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls you're really missing out on a wonderful story about a boy and his dogs. This is a story of heart and love. Not only of the boy for his dogs, but the bond and love between the dogs. Some do not believe animals have feelings or sense things like us humans, but I beg to differ. Sure, this is a story, perhaps most of it made up, but like all stories, they are fashioned from truth. In my own writings I have taken true events and fashioned...more
Steve Lowe
I read this book in grade school and can still remember coming to the woefully sad climax, sitting in a smoky, crowded bowling alley for my mom's league night, blubbering over poor Old Dan and Little Ann.

I would probably still cry if I read this again today. I'm a giant baby.
Madison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Meme
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
jOrDaN
Loved the story when i read it, made me cry, very hart-warming story about this country kid who saves up to buy puppies, and then spends time with them teaching them how to hunt "coons" and the dogs and him relationship grows throught their adventures together untill when a mount lion unexpectedly attacks the boy the two hounds fight for his life causing one dog to die from flesh wounds and the other from loneleness dies and are buried in a place where a rare red fern grows like god planted the...more
Melanie
My mom read many books aloud to my brothers and I when we were little, and this is the only one that I remember made her cry. I was a tad nervous to read it to my own children knowing it might create that same emotional response in me. I was right. We all cried, even my little 5-year-old.

There are a few of things I really love about this book. The first is the candid yet respectful way the author includes a boy's prayers to his Heavenly Father. The message that prayers are heard and answered is...more
Mariel
Mar 23, 2011 Mariel rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: snoop dogg
Recommended to Mariel by: the twilight bark
Yet another review from me today, AND one that will have senseless introspection AND childhood stories. Run away, run away! (I'm attempting to chase away my mental cloud of stupidity by writing jumbled reviews on goodreads. Like that has ever worked before.)
I don't remember much about this book. I remember that I most gave a shit about dogs. I wouldn't have cried (sorry if this is a spoiler! but not sorry enough not to post it. Unless a dog reads this and is upset) over Bridge to Terebitha and a...more
Mindi Hall
This book is a classic for many reasons. One of the main reasons is because it not only catches but keeps the reader's attention through showcasing a man and man's best friend, a dog. A boy named Billy wanted hunting dogs really bad but his parents could not afford hunting dogs. Billy worked really hard all summer and sent the money off to get two puppies. He walks from somewhere in the Ozarks to Tallequah to pick up two dogs which he names Old Dan and Little Ann. They were coon dogs and immedia...more
Natalie
Ahhh, Where the Red Fern Grows. I give credit where credit is due and this little book (not so little to my 8 year old self) singlehandedly catalyzed my voracious appetite for books. And not just books, good books. Well written books by authors whose messages and themes are so well wrapped in honest story-telling that it is hard to tell where their true heart stops and the story starts. I have never forgotten the pure, uncomplicated and, frankly, uncelebrated determination of the protagonist, Bi...more
Cindydee
To start, I just have to say that the thought of someone giving this book one star makes me want to clutch my chest in absolute horror.

To me, this book is a part of my childhood. Its the classic tale of a boy and his dogs. This was THE book of the past ten years or so for me. I got it when I was eight years old, and I didn't finish it until I was seventeen. The main reason was because I could sense what was coming, and I didn't think I could survive if I read it.

Billy works hard to obtain enoug...more
Engineous
The synopsis: a boy gets two purebred hunting dogs, goes around hunting animals. Usually succeeds in killing them, although occasionally it stops at mutilation. Ends up getting his dogs killed because he's too selfish to rethink his actions and ethics. Other stuff happens too, but mostly torturing animals. Often given to kids. Unless you like sociopaths, don't.

God, what an awful book. I read this when I was nine for a school assignment - I remember loving it. I revisited it several years later,...more
Ellinor
I feel very biased about this book. It is definitely very well written. I also liked the boy's spirit and his great will. But I just cannot approve of a book that encourages children to hunt and to hunt in a big way. Billy doesn't just occasionally hunt but is absolutely obsessed with it. He even cuts down a gigantic tree just to be able to kill a racoon. And the worst part is when a child is killed during a hunt. This is utter madness! I'd definitely not recommend this book to any child.
Wilsraff
Apr 22, 2008 Wilsraff rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: favorites
This book is part of the fabric of my youth, it is the story of character, devotion, family, love, hard work and community. It is a beautiful tale about a boy's journey to find two dogs and the bond they formed once all together. It also tells a lot about life in the mountains. There is some violence and tragedy, but these make the story all the more poignant and real (be prepared to sob.) I love this book and would recommend it to anyone. I first read it in 5th or 6th grade.
Meg
If you do not sob your eyes out at the end of this book, there is a 70% chance that you don't actually have a soul. I can think of fewer things that I care LESS about than pets in general, dogs specifically, back-hill boyhood adventures, or raccoon hunting... yet Rawls is so amazingly gifted as a writer that I deeply connect with this story on an emotional level that I will never forget. I still don't understand how it happens!

My first tearful experience with this book probably occurred at age 1...more
vLadimiR

A story about a boy who forged a bond with his two canine companions, overcame hardships in life and ultimately saved his family from the hands of poverty.

This book is very nostalgic for me because the writing style is similar to the original publications of The Bobbsey Twins and The Hardy Boys which I was so fond of back in grade school. (Hey, stop giving me that look, I'm not THAT old.)

It's a perfect book for children and the young at heart who like to read a heart breaking yet inspiring st...more
Matt Willden
I read this a couple of times as a boy, and owing to his current preoccupation--no, obsession with all things dog--I offered to read it to my 2nd son. Some books don't age well: with adult eyes they fray around the edges. Where the Red Fern Grows isn't one of those. It was as rich and verdant a tale as the one that filled my daydreams as a kid. And it's grown even more heart-wrenchingly beautiful. Once I started the last few chapters one night, I knew I couldn't stop. So there we were, gathered...more
Evan Taylor
When you were 10 years old would you have working everyday over the summer to buy something you really wanted? In Where the Red Fern Grows we see, ten-year-old, Billy Coleman working a long summer to get two Redbone Coonhounds that he has wanted ever since he was eight years-old. After asking his parents and grandfather over and over again for the hounds and being constantly turned down Billy decided to save up and purchase the dogs for himself. In order to keep the hounds, he taught them how to...more
Cayr
This is a classic that I should have read much earlier in life, but it was only recommended to me now. I think there are a lot of good lessons for children in it: such as how if you make a plan and stick to it, you can accomplish whatever you dream to accomplish. It teaches about the bond between canines and humans, and delves into how rewarding that can be.

Rawls style reminds me a little of Twain. He writes from the boy's point of view and he stays true to the characterization. You never forge...more
Peter Wakeman
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Wilson Rawls was born on September 24, 1913, in the Ozark country of Scraper, Oklahoma. His mother home-schooled her children, and after Rawls read Jack London's canine-centered tale Call of the Wild, he decided to become a writer.

But the Great Depression hit the Unites States in 1929, and Rawls left home to find work. His family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1935, and he came home each fal...more
More about Wilson Rawls...
Summer of the Monkeys Holt McDougal Library: Student Edition with Connections Where The Red Fern Grows Hunters of Cherokee Country Glencoe Literature Library, Grade 7: Where the Red Fern Grows with Related Readings

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“After the last shovel of dirt was patted in place, I sat down and let my mind drift back through the years. I thought of the old K. C. Baking Powder can, and the first time I saw my pups in the box at the depot. I thought of the fifty dollars, the nickels and dimes, and the fishermen and blackberry patches.

I looked at his grave and, with tears in my eyes, I voiced these words: "You were worth it, old friend, and a thousand times over.”
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“I buried Little Ann by the side of Old Dan. I knew that was where she wanted to be. I also buried a part of my life along with my dog.” 56 likes
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