Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Where the Red Fern Grows” as Want to Read:
Where the Red Fern Grows
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Where the Red Fern Grows

4.01 of 5 stars 4.01  ·  rating details  ·  233,996 ratings  ·  7,251 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.
Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 9th 2000 by Yearling (first published 1961)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Where the Red Fern Grows, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Dwight You could have put spoiler alert geez
Stella Because that's how it adds emotion
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanTwilight by Stephenie MeyerDivergent by Veronica Roth
Best Young Adult Books
63rd out of 9,727 books — 64,516 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeTwilight by Stephenie MeyerPride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Best Books Ever
111th out of 39,393 books — 146,719 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
karen
this is one of my favorite books in all the land. i read it at least a million times when i was little, and it holds such a special place in my heart, i can't even begin to review it. having said all that, there are those who have a problem with the ending, because let's just say it's fairly devastating. so, as a band-aid to the heart of monica!, i have rewritten the ending to make it a little more jolly. with all apologies to wilson rawls, whose ending i thought was spectacular, allow me to pre ...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
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
RachelAnne
(view spoiler) ...more
Edward Lorn
Dec 25, 2014 Edward Lorn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dog Lovers/Cat Haters
If there's one thing I learned from this book it's this: Fuck cats. Big or small, cats are the source of all evil. Hell, even Billy's family left their cat behind when they moved. Yeah, man, cats suck.

Now that I've made plenty of enemies, I will try and express my true feelings about this book.

I laughed. I cried. I did a number of cliched things while reading Where the Red Fern Grows. Mostly, I had fun. I dug running around with Billy and Little Ann and Old Dan, and I hate that I was one of the
...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
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
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
Ian
Well. This book is terrible! I was told it had positive message and was filled with life lessons. Life lessons? Life Lessons!!! Why that boy and his dogs chased us all over the place and you don't want to know what happened when he caught us. No siree.

Ricky.

description

My cousin Rocky in the minutes before he was caught by Billy. (hands clearly up in surrender)

description
Synesthesia (SPIDERS!)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Swaps55
Aug 29, 2007 Swaps55 rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
Jonathan Ashleigh
I read this book when I was in grade school and it always stuck out as an effortless read. I still remember the storyline and the characters and the ending was magical.
Rebecca McNutt
This book scared the heck out of me when I was in the third grade and they made my class read it. Mainly the scene where (view spoiler). I mean, who decided that that was a good thing to put in a middle-grade novel!?

Nonetheless, Where the Red Fern Grows vibrantly and honestly portrays the nostalgia and rural reserve of a young boy's life and adventures with his beloved dogs, Old Dan and Little Anne (or vice-versa, I honestly can
...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
Madison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
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.
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
Meme
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Kellin
Jul 22, 2015 Kellin added it
Recommends it for: No one
I ABSOLUTELY HATED THIS BOOK. The main character, Billy, is a complete idiot and spends most of his days at the beginning of the book thinking about how he wants a dog sooo badly. He even begs his already poor family to spend an exorbitant amount of money on a dog that he doesn't really need. Wow, that really teaches children to be patient. The book also spent WAYY too long on hunting scenes. I don't care how many coontails you catch!! You can count on him to cry in EVERY SINGLE CHAPTER OF THIS ...more
Mandy*reads obsessively*
I read this as a kid, I was maybe 10 or 12, but to this day the story and more importantly the emotions it evoked in me have stayed with me.
I was tagged on FB a while back to name 10 books that influenced me and this one made the list.
I'm not sure if it would, were I to read it now, but that doesn't really matter.
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
Shilpa bagla
When I was a kid I always wanted a dog but my father never agreed to it and so I can say that I sympathise with Billy.This book is a remarkable tale about love,loyalty and loss.It is the story of Billy and his two hounds Little Ann and Dan who help and protect Billy at every point.This book tells the Heartbreaking story of child's love for his pets and the pets loyalty towards not only Billy but each other.This book is a good read for I think people of all age and not just children.

“After the l
...more
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
WTRFG review 3 11 Jun 12, 2015 09:31PM  
  • Old Yeller (Old Yeller, #1)
  • Shiloh Season (Shiloh, #2)
  • The Long Winter (Little House, #6)
  • Julie's Wolf Pack (Julie of the Wolves, #3)
  • The Great Brain at the Academy (Great Brain #4)
  • Sounder
  • Ribsy (Henry, #6)
  • Soup (Soup, #1)
  • Misty of Chincoteague (Misty, #1)
  • The Indian in the Cupboard (The Indian in the Cupboard, #1)
  • Dicey's Song (Tillerman Cycle, #2)
  • Caddie Woodlawn
  • Baby
  • Howliday Inn
6810
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 United 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 Where the Red Fern Grows with Related Readings, Study Guide (Glencoe Literature Library, Grade 7)

Share This Book

“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.”
92 likes
“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.” 67 likes
More quotes…