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Down the Long Hills

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,210 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
After the massacre Hardy and Betty Sue were left with only a horse and a knife with which to face the long battle against the wilderness. A seven-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl, stranded on the limitless prairie. They were up against starvation, marauding Indians, savage outlaws, and wild animals. They were mighty stubborn, but the odds were against them—and their ...more
Paperback, Thorndike Large Print, 222 pages
Published 1993 by Bantam (first published 1968)
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Hana
Aug 26, 2016 Hana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hana by: Karlyne Landrum
In the quiet pre-dawn hours a young boy camped with a wagon train in Laramie Mountains of Wyoming wakes suddenly to realize that his horse has pulled up its stake and disappeared. Seven year old Hardy Collins follows--and so does the daughter of the wagonmaster, three year old Betty Sue. They find Big Red at dawn grazing a patch of grass and head back towards the wagon train only to find that disaster has struck. An Indian raid has left every man, woman and child dead and most of the provisions ...more
Diane Lynn
Jul 09, 2016 Diane Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First line: "When Hardy Collins woke up, Big Red was gone. Hardy had picketed the stallion himself, and with sudden guilt he remembered that in his hurry to return to the supper fire he had struck the picket-pin only a couple of sharp blows."

So begins this story of survival and adventure for a seven year old boy and a three year old girl set in Wyoming Territory, 1848.

I'm not sure how well they would do in real life but it made for a very good page turner. I couldn't put it down! Wolves, bears,
...more
Benjamin Thomas
Dec 29, 2012 Benjamin Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
This turned out to be one my favorite Louis L'Amour westerns. I've read quite a few of his books and I would rank this one easily within the top 10, perhaps even the top 5. It's a story of survival, a 7 year old boy forced to take care of a 3 year old girl for several rough days during a westward wagon trail trek after the rest of the crew was slaughtered and while his father searches and tracks him. It's quite an ordeal as you would expect but the lad was raised to be resourceful and he combine ...more
Ameliedanjou
Aug 18, 2014 Ameliedanjou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: westerns, i-recommend
This is one of my favorite Louis L'Amour books, probably because of the kids. I read it to my oldest when he and his younger brother were about the ages of the children in the story. The main protagonist, the boy, probably seems unnaturally precocious to most current readers, but I think if you put him in his time period and situation, it is possible.
Lots of tense moments, love the smart thinking on the 7yr old's part (I remember being a smart 7-8 yr old), and a satisfying ending.
I don't often r
...more
Brendan Folk
Feb 08, 2015 Brendan Folk rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the Native Americans burn and loot a wagon train, two little youngsters are left to fend for themselves in the wild of the midwest. Hardy is seven years old and Betty Sue is just three years old. These two must fight for survival with multiply things that they have to fight along the way. One being the harsh of winter, that they must fight to live through, that might prove fatal when the father of Hardy has to make a tough decision on whether or not to pursue looking for Hardy.
Hardy Col
...more
Emily
Nov 10, 2011 Emily rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: not-my-favorite
I was not particularly interested in this book for many reasons. One reason is that it swore another reason I did not like it was because it had a slow moving plot and it had very little action I honestly do not read these kind of books but it was required for school. I thought that it was easy to predict and I would recommend this book to any one who likes western books. I also think that it was a little bit to weird because it had almost no ending it just dragged on.
Chet Brown
Mar 03, 2015 Chet Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book really meant a lot to me because I really enjoy reading old western stories. I myself live in the country and that is where I grew up, on a farm and ranch. So, throughout reading this book I really could relate as they would talk about living off of the land. I could imagine the different landscapes and scenery and really connect to it. This book was very enjoyable and using kids throughout the book as being on their own and I thought to myself how tough that would be and the challenge ...more
Allen
Jul 12, 2016 Allen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a bad read in a "Littlest Hobo" sense but too many non-sequiturs to suit my picky mind. Might have been more believable if the boy had been 11 and the girl 6 instead of 8 and 3. Too often he helped the girl onto or down from the saddle of a bareback horse. The boy had no problems getting a fire going when he needed one but nowhere did it say he carried matches. And why would an 8 year old be carrying matches early in the morning looking for a lost horse?
Julie
Jun 15, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Authentic. Raw. Completely naked of frivolities and extras. Just solid, rich, pulsing story. The characters are believable and are described almost solely through their actions and the choices they make to survive. And yet I can picture them so much more clearly than many characters written today with pages of description. Gripping plot and not a single extra word in the pages.

Clearly, Louis L'Amour was a fascinating writer and person who lived life to its absolute fullest. I would have liked t
...more
Lorna
Jan 11, 2015 Lorna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story of two children alone on the plains after Indians massacred the adults in the wagon train. They have to survive as they trek across America to where the boy's father waits. The boy is seven-years-old and the girl (her parents were killed in the massacre) is three-years-old. It’s unrealistic how intelligent and survival-skills-savvy the boy is. Regardless what his father had taught him about survival, he’s only seven. I know some boys around that age, and imagining them in the same situat ...more
Laura
May 22, 2012 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Two kids decide to continue traveling west after their wagon train is ambushed leaving them alone with almost no supplies.

Very enjoyable story. It took a few chapters to get going, then I was fully engaged. Well-written and a happy ending. The story made me think about what legacy I am leaving my off-spring.

3.5 stars.
Teresa
Jan 02, 2015 Teresa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am now hooked on Louis L'Amour. I decided to start reading Louis L'Amour because I loved books I read this year by McMurtry, also The Homestead, and other historical fiction focused on US in the late 1700s and early to mid-1800s. Down the Long Hills is about a smart little boy and a three-year-old girl who are away from their covered wagons when the wagon train is attacked and everyone is killed. The little boy has to remember everything his father ever taught him to survive in the natural wor ...more
Audrey
Aug 27, 2013 Audrey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great Louis L'Amour tale. The main character is a 7-year-old boy with lots of courage and pluck! A quick, satisfying read; one I have enjoyed repeatedly ever since my fourth grade teacher read it aloud to our class.
Patricia
Oct 03, 2014 Patricia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Like all Louis L'Amour books, this one takes you out of your world and into a more intense one. This one is not just "man against the elements" but a sort of coming of age story.
I say coming of age, even though the main protagonist is a very young boy, because as the boy and his sister complete their nightmare journey, he definitely is honed in a very fierce fire. That the two survive depends in part on convenient ignoring of certain biological realities, and in part on the convenient placing o
...more
Ron Russell
Apr 04, 2014 Ron Russell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think adults and kids like this. Thirty some years ago, I read DOWN THE LONG HILLS to five children as we traveled across the United States. Then twenty years ago we traveled with six young grandchildren from Texas to Ohio. With each new chapter of DtLH I handed out reading pills (Red Hots). By the time we got to our destination the story ended. Before we got on the road to return home the kids begged, "Read it again." I did. Since then, like last summer, my husband agreed to reading DtLH and ...more
Mary
Oct 22, 2015 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: western
Louis L'Amour cannot be beat, and this is not one of his ordinary stories. The main characters, Hardy and Betty Sue, are children. Hardy is seven, and Betty Sue is three, and after a massacre they are trying to make it to Fort Bridger with Hardy's stallion, named Big Red. It is an improbable story of a very resourceful 7 year old, burdened with a helpless toddler, and trying to make it through wilderness as winter closes in. It's short, and full of suspense as the boy's father tries to find him, ...more
Richard Mansel
Oct 09, 2014 Richard Mansel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easily one of the best L'Amour books. Fascinating and original story about a horse and two children struggling to survive in the wild. Highly recommended.
Jane LaFazio
Feb 22, 2014 Jane LaFazio rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great story and so well written. I resisted reading this, but my husband insisted. Terrific book!
Jmrathbone
Aug 04, 2015 Jmrathbone rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a special story told by a skilled writer. In present times, if you let your child walk to school or the park alone, you run the risk of being arrested for child endangerment. Hardy Collins, age 7, couldn’t have been more endangered. This boy was so resourceful he managed to keep himself and a 3-year-old girl safe from Indians, bad guys, wolves, a grizzly bear, starvation and freezing. Through all of that, I believed every minute of it. This is my first L’Amour book, but it won’t be the l ...more
Benjamin
Feb 14, 2014 Benjamin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was much more engaging than I had originally expected, and, to be honest, I was truly interested by the end. The way the story unfolds seems a little stretched but still believable. The way the whole story has the chase going on fits together seamlessly and tensely. There's always that little edge that keeps you just waiting for something to happen and end it all. Of course I didn't like all the book simply because it was forced on me and it just wasn't my cup of tea, but I think if yo ...more
An Odd1
Feb 16, 2014 An Odd1 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: action, fan
"A man doesn't have the claws a bear has, nor the strength of a bull. He doesn't have the nose of a wolf, nor the wings of a hawk, but he has a brain." p 57
"Try to foresee the worst things that could happen, and plan for them." p 58
"They say little pitchers have big ears, and they should have. That's the way to learn. ... Even a fool can teach you not to be foolish." p 145
The unusually underage hero takes a long route to safety with the requisite helpless adorable female, tackling the ubiquit
...more
Kathryn
Nov 28, 2011 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like this book because it has adventure and it's about kids. At the beginning it starts out as they were on the wagon train and the Indians come and kill everyone except for Hardy, Betty Sue, and Big Red. Hardy desided that they should travel through the Overland. They went on there journey for 8 miles and saw a place to sleep were the trees hang over so they sat up camp. The next day they did 8 more miles but this time they saw a fire. They went over there and asked if they could slee ...more
Julia
May 02, 2012 Julia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. Quick, easy, fun read.
A 7 year old boy and 3 year old girl escape when their wagon train is ambushed. With only a horse, a knife, and thin clothing, they try to make it West on their own.
Hardy has learned a lot from his dad as they traveled sometimes living off the land and learning from the Indians. He is now responsible not just for himself and beloved horse, but also a young girl. Using his wits and what he has learned he does a fine job as they encounter hunger, an Indian wantin
...more
Bitsy
Down The Long Hills is a story about two children being escorted across the west, one a three year old crossing with her parents, and the other a seven year old boy crossing with that family and many others on the way to where his pa had prepared a place for him out in Fort Bridger. The wagon train gets attacked by Indians and the children have to push on alone across Wyoming in fall with winter setting in against increasingly mounting odds with nothing but a sack of food, a knife and a horse.

It
...more
Books Kids Like
Oct 09, 2013 Books Kids Like rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: lamour-louis
Seven year-old Hardy Collins and three year-old Betty Sue Powell are the sole survivors of an Indian attack on their wagon train. They set off on Big Red, Hardy's horse, and head toward Fort Bridger in hopes of finding Hardy's father. Besides fighting hunger and cold, Hardy must use all of his trail knowledge and wits to keep away from Ashawakie, the Comanche warrior who wants Big Red. On their way, the children meet Cal and Jud, two misfits who would sooner kill them than look at them. These me ...more
Kristen Wampner
I gave this book 3 out of 5 star total for a couple reasons. The first star was because of the story. I really enjoyed the story and found it to be packed full of action the further into the book that I got and I really liked that.
The 2nd star I gave it was for the author. I thought he did an incredibly good job telling this story and had very nice transition from one scene to the next.
The 3rd star was for religious reference. In the midst of the story it mentions the story of David & G
...more
Cheryl
Jul 12, 2013 Cheryl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite L'Amour books

What a grand adventure book! It is told mostly from the point of view of Hardy, a seven-year-old boy. It tells of the wagon train he was traveling on to meet his father and the Indian attack on that wagon train. Luckily Hardy and three-year-old Betty Sue and Hardy's stallion, Red, escape the attack.

Now they are on their own with winter coming on - no food, no blankets. But luckily Hardy is one savvy young man. His father has trained him well to live in hard countr
...more
Brett
Aug 06, 2008 Brett rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Western Fans
I have read two Louis L'Amour books so far and am currently reading a third. I am already a fan! They are truly inspiring. The characters are cunning and witty in both their thoughts and actions and their sincerity make them very easy to relate to!

I've found the book to have many a good lesson to apply to life too. What have I taken from these books? Be adaptive, always think ahead, and remember that all experiences are learning experiences. The protagonist has a good sense of values, responsi
...more
Ed
Feb 20, 2016 Ed rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure, action, western
Western - After the massacre Hardy and Betty Sue were left with only a horse and a knife with which to face the long battle against the wilderness. A seven-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl, stranded on the limitless prairie. They were up against starvation, marauding Indians, savage outlaws, and wild animals. They were mighty stubborn, but the odds were against them—and their luck was about to run out.
Mirra
Sep 27, 2013 Mirra rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: graduate-school
Second assignment for my Reader's Advisory course - Westerns. I picked up a Louis L'amour that was about something at least a little interesting to me, at least compared to western novels with damsels in distress on the covers or train robbery and what not. I thought maybe this one would be interesting in the way I love old western movies or Jeremiah Johnson...nope. A 3 year old girl and a 7 year old boy are stranded in the wild when their group gets savagely killed by indians and so they decide ...more
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Louis L'Amour was an American author. L'Amour's books, primarily Western fiction, remain enormously popular, and most have gone through multiple printings. At the time of his death all 101 of his works were in print (86 novels, 14 short-story collections and one full-length work of nonfiction) and he was considered "one of the world's most popular writers".
-Wikipedia
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“Hardy had learned in a hard school, where the tests are given by savage Indians, by bitter cold, by hunger. These were tests where the result was not just a bad mark if one failed. The result was a starved or frozen body somewhere, forgotten in the wilderness.” 3 likes
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