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Big Red (Big Red #1)

4.1 of 5 stars 4.10  ·  rating details  ·  14,432 ratings  ·  151 reviews
Big Red was a champion Irish setter; Danny a young trapper who knew more about the ways of varmints and hounds than of the world of fancy kennels and dog shows. But Red's owner knew a good dog man when he saw one, and entrusted Red to Danny's training.

Book Details: Format: Hardcover Publication Date: 6/1/1956 Pages: 254 Reading Level: Age 9 and Up
Published June 1st 1956 by Holiday House (first published 1945)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Debbie Zapata
I thought when I began re-reading this book yesterday that I might change its star rating from 5 to 4. I had marked it 5 stars when I first joined GR and before I really understood how things worked here. But I've just finished the book and I'm leaving it with all 5 stars.

I have a soft spot for Kjelgaard and the way he is able to bring dogs, people, and Nature to vivid life. This story of Big Red and Danny is no different and I was caught up from the beginning. Would Danny be able to work with
Nov 14, 2008 Richard rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young males
Recommended to Richard by: My aunt, many years ago.
Jim Kjelgaard's Irish Setter books are the ultimate boy-and-his-dog adventure stories. Although it has been a very long time since I read them, I do remember that they completely enthralled me at the time, and captured my heart and imagination.
This book singlehandedly convinced me that the ONE THING I needed to be happy in life was an Irish Setter.

Thanks, Big Red, for ensuring that I was perpetually miserable as a child.
Kyle Loehrke
I read Big red because it looked very interesting and I like dogs. This book is very enjoying and I think that it is a perfect book for a freshman to read that likes outdoor stuff. This book was action packed and I didn't want to put it down.
In the beginning Danny is working for his boss Mr. Haggin. He finds a bull that was killed by a huge bear and then he sees the bear. His family has tried to kill this bear for years and he also wants to. After he told Mr. haggin about the bull he sees his do
Jim Kjelgaard really started my obsessive compulsive reading lifestyle. He was really the first author that I can vividly remember, at like 8 years old, going into a bookstore and blurting out to any employee "Do you have any Jim Kjelgaard books, I'll spell it for you..K-J-E-L-G-A-A-R-D" Great dog books too, by the way. Jack London lite.
Laura Verret
Danny Pickett’s always loved dogs. Course, the only dogs he’s ever really seen are hounds, but he likes them fine. And then, he meets Red.

Red is an Irish setter – a well built, but refined looking dog. His eyes shine with intelligence and he has spunk, too. He’s taken to Danny – but he belongs to Mr. Haggins, a rich and kindly neighbor. When Mr. Haggins sees how well Danny and Red get along, he hires Danny to help take care of Red.

Red’s a fancy show dog. But during the months when he’s not compe
Lisa Rathbun
I loved this book as a child and reread it many times. I loved the thrilling adventures from the "smaller" ones like his encounter with the wolverine to the main conflict with the savage bear. Oooo, I remember being so creeped out by the bear! Danny sitting in the dark, hearing the bear's claws scraping on the rock and watching Big Red's hackles rise . . . brrrrr!

IMO, if kids are looking to be scared and feel chills up and down their spine, this is a lot healthier than some of the truly twisted
Nov 21, 2015 Wendy rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Wendy by: school
I rated this when I first joined Goodreads, but I don't remember why I only gave it three stars. I seems to me that I enjoyed it more than that. I've recently picked up a used copy of the book, so sooner or later I'll get around to rereading it and give it a proper review. I'm really stumped that Kjelgaard seems to be largely out of print--I loved the few of his books I encountered growing up, and can't see why kids today shouldn't enjoy them, too.
Karen GoatKeeper
Reading through this book I kept finding outdated ecological ideas. Finally I looked up the copyright and found it was published in 1945. No wonder its ideas about how a predator fits into an ecosystem are so out of step with modern research.
Such problems aside, the book is a good story of a boy and his dog. It has plenty of challenges and excitement. The ending is happy and lends itself to the sequels that followed.
Jim and his father are trappers. They earn their living trapping and hunting the
Rebecca McNutt
Wonderful and creative dog story, but Bid Red is also a timeless tale of friendship, hard work and the beauty of natural and rural environments. This book was an excellent journey through time and I highly recommend it.
This is about a Big Red dog and a boy who really loves this dog and lives in a place I cannot remember the name. The dog is a show dog but he can tell he is a good hunt dog. Eventually he gets hired to be a trainer, but the dog's leg is injured and will not be able to show any longer. He turns him into a partridge dog. There is also a bear named Old Majesty because no dog has been able to run him down. Big Red is there to challenge him and they defeat him in the night. I really liked this book b ...more
A wonderful book! Jim Kjelgaard's style of describing and writing about the woods is unparalleled by any other boy's author. I loved this book-should have read it sooner! It was funny, tense, exciting, intriguing, and more.
1945 debut of the Young Adult Big Red series. I remembered reading this book over 50 years ago and rereading it found that it was as engrossing and enjoyable as the first time around. Kjelgaard wrote a number of books featuring an animal, usually a dog.

YA - "Big Red" was a champion Irish setter; Danny a young trapper who knew more about the ways of varmints and hounds than of the world of fancy kennels and dog shows. But Red's owner knew a good dog man when he saw one, and entrusted Red to Dann
Conan Tigard
Big Red a wonderful book about a young man and his dog, a champion Irish Setter. Although Danny doesn't own him, it is his job to take care of Red. The book was written by Jim Kjelgaard in 1945, so the reader must picture a time when life was a little simpler. Ross is a trapper and they live without running water and electricity in a small shack in the woods.

Having been written in the 1940's, this book does not look at the world that we see it today. Danny has grown up with a trapper for a fathe
Avery Lombardo
Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard is a old dog tale that leads back to the 1950s. The story was touching to me. It was very detailed and it was easy to picture all the setting features, and all the events that were going on in the book. The auther was very consistant and I could tell what parts of the story are the big points.

The setting takes place in the wintipie woods, where the the forests have trees that are ten feet tall. The thick forests are close to small neighborhoods. The neighborhoods have ni
Kam Hope
I would suggest this book to hunters.It is about a man and a dog who try to kill a bear who eats there cattle.
Big Red is a good quality boy-and-dog story. One of the advantages to this story is that the boy, Danny, gets "his" dog very early in the book (within the first chapter). In these types of stories where a person bonds with a animal I find it important that the animal comes into the story early on or else there is a feeling of hurrying through the story just to get to that point. This story really allows the reader to grow and learn with Red and Danny.

One of the failing qualities of this book is
Sep 24, 2008 Lexie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lexie by: my teacher
Shelves: fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Beth A.
This was a good, classic story about a boy and his dog, and about growing up. I loved the loyalty between Danny and his dad. His dad didn't understand his decisions, but for the most part respected his right to make his own choices. I also thought it was great that Mr. Haggin turned out to be such a great guy, and understood Danny so well.

I liked the descriptions of Danny and Ross' life, how difficult it was to survive, and how they depended so much on each other. I expected several times that (
Read Kjelgaard's books when I was a kid and they were a formative influence. Indeed, here is a longer blog post I wrote up about the books (back when I was giving blogging a brief go):

I gave my nephew a set of four books this last Christmas: Big Red, Irish Red, Outlaw Red (a trilogy of Irish Setter stories) and Stormy, all by Jim Kjelgaard, and then for his ninth birthday, I found two more (the books are mostly out-of-print) Snow Dog and Wild Trek. He’s loved the books, as I figured he would, hi

Seventeen-year-old Danny Pickett comes into true manhood at the end of this YA survival story about the hardships of living in the rugged Wintapi Mountains of NY state. Set in the mid 40's BIG RED chronicles the strong bond between boy and dog. Living in a rustic cabin on the property of wealthy Mr. Haggins Danny and his father eke out a living as fur trappers and varmint hunters. Content with casual poverty and relative deprivation Ross accepts and even relishe
R.J. O'Connor
This was the first full book that I ever read. I can still recall the book's cover and more importantly the way the story connected with me as a very young boy. It definitely kick started my love of reading and as I look back on that time, it is the lesson of just how powerful simple language can be that lingers. A good story simply told, with identifiable characters, authentic emotions and electrifying action will win always out over overblown prose.
Marie Sol
I had an Irish Setter when I was a child. She was my best friend! So I'm definitely going to read this book.

Here she is... Her name was Cata.
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A great story of a boy and his dog. It is a story of love at first sight that most of us can understand even if we have never been in "human" love. The love between a child and an animal is universal and deep. I especially loved this story as I grew up with Irish setters. Worth a read from the grown ups and a thrill ride for the younger reader. Highly recommend.
For many readers, “Big Red,” is benchmark novel and childhood favorite. Holiday House offers Kjelgaard’s children’s 1956 classic to a new generation of readers at an affordable price. This is an important title and should be included in all children’s/young adult collections.

Here is a summary for those of you who somehow missed this novel the first time around:

Danny is smitten with the handsome Irish setter from the moment he claps eyes on him. Red is Intelligent, quick, and noble; Red and Dan
I thought big red was a great book because it was exciting.Iliked reading it I did not want to stop reading it.

One thing you can learn from reading this book is that some dogs can be good at hunting and being show dogs.
Irl Newham
Wham I read this book more than sixty-five years ago, I was so impressed that a BOOK could touch my heart to this extent that I became an avid reader for my life. This book will always be important to me
Scarlet Drakonin
This is a book, from an amazing author, that will work its way into your heart and you will never forget. I read this book the first time when I was 7 years old, and now here we are almost 21 years later and I still remember the look, feel, and smell of the book, as well as the story and how it touched my life.

It was written in 1956, but the way it is written you can mostly picture it in any time period, which I like... but there are some instances where there are era correct phrases and it is a
Emily Joyce
I remember these books as being the last of the books I was allowed to read during church sermons (in third grade I was cut off). I loved them and their outdoorsy dog tales.
J. Aleksandr Wootton
Big Red and its sequel, Irish Red are boy-and-his-dog trapper/wilderness adventure stories. A lot of fun if you're about 8-12 and love dogs and the out-of-doors.
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Goodreads Librari...: Incorrect publication date 3 23 Feb 06, 2012 09:36AM  
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an American author of young adult literature.

Born in New York City, New York, Jim Kjelgaard is the author of more than forty novels, the most famous of which is 1945's "Big Red." It sold 225,000 copies by 1956 and was made into a 1962 Walt Disney film with the same title, Big Red. His books were primarily about dogs and wild animals, often with animal protagonists and told from the animal's point
More about Jim Kjelgaard...

Other Books in the Series

Big Red (3 books)
  • Irish Red
  • Outlaw Red

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