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The Incredible Journey

4.15 of 5 stars 4.15  ·  rating details  ·  37,284 ratings  ·  524 reviews
Instinct told them that the way home lay to the west. And so the doughty young Labrador retriever, the roguish bull terrier and the indomitable Siamese set out through the Canadian wilderness. Separately, they would soon have died. But, together, the three house pets faced starvation, exposure, and wild forest animals to make their way home to the family they love. The Inc ...more
Paperback, 145 pages
Published December 18th 1995 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1960)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Chris Thompson
As a kid, I fell in love with the movie inspired, thirty years later, by Sheila Burnford's novel, The Incredible Journey. That movie was called Homeward Bound and had a cast of talking animals who set out on an incredible one hundred mile journey to return home. The Disney film gave the animals human personalities: Chance the bulldog was goofy and reckless; Shadow the golden retriever was wise and loyal; and Sassy the Himalayan cat was, well, sassy. Burnford's novel deals with the animals much m ...more
Rebecca McNutt
What a fantastic book this is, I loved it when I was a little kid and it's still just as excellent today! Plus it takes place in Canada, so I was familiar with the frigid weather that the three animals face throughout the novel. It was incredibly well-written and intriguing.
Sheila
Oh *sniff* My *choke* Goodness!*sob*
Please excuse me while I go find some Kleenex!

*blows nose, wipes tears, regains composure*

How can I not give this book anything other than my own 5-stars of LOVE!
*blows nose again, swallows hard*

I was a child of the 70's, so I knew of this story from clips of it I saw on The Wonderful World of Disney, which my sister and I watched every Sunday night. I don't think I ever saw the whole, original, 1960's Disney movie based on this book (and I never saw the 1980'
...more
Pramod Nair
Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford is a timeless classic, which narrates the arduous and brave journey taken by three pet animals towards the family they love over harsh and dangerous terrain, and is an emotionally rich story, which will move the reader and will leave him with a glow of satisfaction. The feelings and emotions of these pet animals, their love towards each other and their loyalty and love for their owners are captured and expressed by the author with such a clarity that both yo ...more
Indu
Oct 25, 2014 Indu rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Animal lovers
Recommended to Indu by: Mom
I've been longing to read this book ever since my mom mentioned about it to me one evening...I love books with animals in it...so not to mention my liking towards this book when there are three animals involved...:)

So one morning Luath - the Labrador, Bodger - the Bull Terrier & Tao - the Siamese cat start their perilous journey in search of their master...a westward voyage...

They were looked after by Mr John Longridge, a friend of Jim Hunter (master). Since he & his family had to go to
...more
Sara
Listened to the audio version with my boys on a road trip. My son's smile and bright eyes when he realized the reunion was coming=5 stars. Classic and inspiring.
Wicked Incognito Now
Many of you probably saw the movie, but I would have to say (of course) that the book is better.

At first my kids were disappointed that there actually is NOT any dialogue between the pets as they travel. However, I was happy for them to experience a different sort of story. Often their own stories are filled with too much dialogue or too much description, and is rather short on story. This book should give them an idea about how things can be written.

I love this book because it's just a heart-wa
...more
Katie
I read this book probably 20 times when I was growing up...definitely one of my top all-time favorites. I loved animals, and for a long time wanted to be a veterinarian. I think I loved this book because of the combination of seeing from the animal's point of view, and the excitement of the adventure, and how realistic the writing was. A recommended read to anyone! And much better than the Disney adapted movie!
Austin Hammond
Austin Hammond
Goodreads
English 12-5

“The Incredible Journey”
Author: Sheila Burnford




I just finished reading the book “The Incredible Journey.” I thought this book was good, and I enjoyed reading it. The story takes place in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, where John Longridge lives. John Longridge is in charge of watching his friends' pets while they are away on vacation. Along the way, due to some miscommunication, the pets are nowhere to be found. Throughout the book you go along with them on thei
...more
Miss Pippi the Librarian
The only reference I had for The Incredible Journey was watching Disney's 1993 movie: Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey when I was younger. I figured it was (finally) time to read the original.

I checked out the Incredible Journey from my library's Overdrive collection, so I could enjoy it while I walked. It made an excellent companion because the animals were on the move and so was I! It also kept my interest as I relived that the Disney movie was far from the book. (But aren't most movie a
...more
Hailey White
Perfect for animal lovers of all ages. My children (8,5,4,2,babe) all listened to the audio. Enough adventure to keep them interested and we joyfully clapped at the end! Perfect for family read aloud.
James Vachowski
“The Incredible Journey” is another book where animals actually serve as the main characters, and the story is about how these housepets make a trip of several hundred miles through the wilderness to re-unite with their owners. I’m always amazed by these type of animal stories, and how the authors succeed in letting the reader have a peek in on the animals’ thoughts and feelings.

Unlike “The Call of the Wild”, the two dogs and a cat in this book don’t feel very much in touch with wild animals, no
...more
Kimberly
Nothing feels better than to read an old childhood classic read. Plus I was able to include it in my Around the World in 52 Books Challenge. It's been many years since my Daddy read me this (Hey I may be 21 but Daddy is the only thing I've ever called my father) story. I loved it then and I really loved reading it now that I'm older.

The story of the young lab, old bull terrier and the Siamese cat is one that is timeless and one that appeals to both the young and old as well as new readers and th
...more
Elhara
Gee, now I am questioning my memory. Was it "The Wonderful World of Disney" that I first saw the Incredible Journey? I'm sure, like many others, I share the memory: Mid 1960's, Sunday evening, 6 o'clock, Mr. Disney himself did the introductions. "When you wish upon a star.. makes no difference who you are...." Looking back I was so thrilled to watch Walt Disney when it was an animal story. I was never a fan of Mickey Mouse or anything animated. Wherever I initially saw this production I absolute ...more
Megan
I was six years old when the remake of The Incredible Journey, Homeward Bound, came out. I loved it, even if the portrayal of Shadow always managed to make me sad. (So old and devoted and wise... I still remember the end, when he comes home, and... okay, okay, I'll stop...)

This book is very different from the movie. There's still two dogs and a cat, but their personalities are different and the reason for their journey has also changed. This book is very calmly paced. I won't say it's slow, beca
...more
Summer Lane

Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey was my favorite movie growing up. To this day it’s still my fondest childhood film. I loved it so much that I would wake up in the morning humming the theme song, and my dog Jessie and cat Luke would inadvertently become my stand-ins for Shadow and Sassy. So I found an old book in my closet titled, The Incredible Journey, by Sheila Burnford, and I had to read it. The book was penned during the early 60s, and like Born Free, it is almost like reading a book
...more
Bookworm
*sniff, sniff*, wonderful wonderful book! I am glad I read it; as a child I didn't like to read books about dogs except Savage Sam, because they always seemed to end up dying, and I wish I had read this one sooner. Tao was my absolute favorite character, and Bodger the second. Such a sweet, moving story about the devotion and love of animals! Big thumbs up!
Leslie Lesté-lasserre
The Incredible Journey is many things. It is, for instance, as the title says, incredible: Burnford makes one travel through everlasting forests full of dangerous wild animals, towns of harsh and cold-hearted people, farms of kind and welcoming folk, fast and deep rivers, plains of green grass. And all these different lands are a part of the path of three domestic animals, wanting to go home: a smart and swift cat, a young and determined retriever, and an aging but fierce bull terrier.
It is also
...more
Cielo
I'd seen the movie a looooong time ago, and although the book was really different, I enjoyed it a lot. The personalities of the two dogs and cat where probably the most striking difference between the movie, since the plot was pretty much the same, a few differences here and there, but not that many. I like dog stories, especially dog stories where the dog doesn't actually die at the end (why is that I wonder, like 80% of all dog books! end in the dog's death, it's so frustrating), so I was cur ...more
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Three pets, two dogs and a cat, head for home across the Canadian wilderness. Wow. Fabulous adventure story. Attacked by bears. Almost drowned in a river. Nearly starving. Shot at. Taken in for the night by a zany loner. Befriended by some empty-nesters. Walking through snow. Fantastic story! Quite deserving of the title.
Karen
Ellie's chapter book pick. We have seen the movie already and we are excited to read the book. Had I known this was a book we would have read the book first! Oh well :)

Good book. It was fun to note the differences from movie and book with the kids in reverse this time because we usually read before we watch. One big difference was the animals talked in the movie and not in the book....great discussion of why that would be.
Amy Flink
I first saw this movie on Disney when I was about 9. Recently, over 20 years later, I was in Half Price Books and spotted the book so I bought it. I was intending to give it to my 10-year-old niece, but then I started reading it. I had tears in my eyes. It was so inspiring.
This book is very symbolic of the Christian walk--through the wilderness, into the "Promised Land". We all need each other--nobody is an island. We cannot go it alone. Like the animals in this book. They stay together and hel
...more
Lindsay Nichols
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thomas
This was one of my Mums favourite books ad a child and now it's one of mine. A beautiful adventure story about true friendship.
Sabrina Kiele
When I was a kid, the 1963 movie based on this book was one of my favorite movies. I never saw the 1993 remake, Homeward Bound, but I see from the book reviews on here that Homeward Bound introduced many people to this wonderful story. (For those of you who have never seen the 1963 movie, The Incredible Journey, I highly recommend it. It sticks pretty closely to the book and is enjoyable to watch.) When I was a little older and learned to read, I read this book several times and loved it every t ...more
Krista
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dhani
buku yang saya peroleh dari sebuah lapak online milik seorang teman ini, walau hanya 138 halaman, tapi sarat makna. Berkisah tentang persahabatan 2 ekor anjing dan seekor kucing, yang dititipkan oleh keluarga Jim Hunter yang harus pindah tempat tinggal sementara ke Inggris, kepada sahabatnya Longridge.Oh ya, mereka tinggal di Kanada. Ketika musim gugur tiba, Longridge menitipkan ketiga binatang peliharaan itu pada Mrs Oakes, pengurus rumah tangganya, karena dia harus bertemu saudara laki- lakiny ...more
Allison
Loved this book as a kid. Reading it with Carson who was very resistant. We are about 2/3 of the way done and I asked her if she liked it. She said it was sad. I said, "But do you like it." She said, "If you like things that are sad, then this is AWESOME!". Sigh...
Anna Marie
Our latest lunch-out-loud read... and I wasn't sure how it was going to go over. If you're reading a story written about three animals there's not much for dialogue... I thought it might be a real slog. Astoundingly, my kids LOVED this book, and begged for 'just one more chapter'.

Two dogs and a cat are being house-sitted by a family friend while their family goes abroad for some time. When he goes on a hunting trip and leaves them with the housekeeper, they decide to go home - to their REAL home
...more
East Bay J
One of my faorite books ever. I have a copy and just decided to read it again. It only took a few hours and it was a pleasure to revisit Sheila Burnford's touching and inspirational story about a cat and two dogs a long way from home. Great, straightforward writing and a good story.
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Sheila Philip Cochrane Burnford, née Every, (11 May 1918 – 20 April 1984) was an English novelist.

Born in Scotland but brought up in various parts of the United Kingdom, she attended St. George's School, Edinburgh and Harrogate Ladies College. In 1941 she married Doctor David Burnford, with whom she had three children. During World War II she worked as a volunteer ambulance driver. In 1951 she emi
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More about Sheila Burnford...
Bel Ria: Dog of War One Woman's Arctic Reader's Digest Condensed Books, 1984 #1, Volume #151 Without reserve The Fields Of Noon

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