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Down the Long Hills
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Down the Long Hills

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  1,736 ratings  ·  84 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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Benjamin Thomas
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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
Ron Russell
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
Jane LaFazio
This is a great story and so well written. I resisted reading this, but my husband insisted. Terrific book!
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
"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
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
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
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.

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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
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
Aug 06, 2008 Brett rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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
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
This is a very good novel about the trials and tribulations of a young 7-year old boy and his 3-year old friend who are the lone survivors of an Indian massacre while on a westward wagon train. There is also a magnificent stallion (Big Red) in the mix.

I enjoyed the story because of the insights that it gave on what it took to be a pioneer and survive during that period of American history. Also, it is a rare novel that presents a story from the perspective of a 7-year old. I think that this woul...more
Louis L'Amour promises that if he writes about a creek or a river or a watering hole it is there. In all his books nature is a tangible character in the book. in this particular novel it is an adversary pitched against two children aged 7 and 4. Not only nature is against them but also some people who want what they have, a horse Big Red.
This book is I suppose a bit of a romantic look at the West, strong children, committed friends and parents and somewhat stupid bad guys. Yet it works. Louis L'...more
More L'Amour -- I'm just starting out. This is a ripping yarn of sorts -- includes a fight with a bear, fleeing Indians, etc. The story centers around two young kids who survive an Indian massacre and then struggle to survive. Unlike many other L'Amour books (or so I have been told), this one does not have a romance element.
I love this kind of story - survival. I had forgotten how much I like this genre. Ahh, a good western - it is a welcome change in scenery...this one is about children who wander off to find a favorite horse in the night (before dawn)- when they came back the next morning, Indians had raided their wagon train. Everyone has been killed, and the kids are left to fend for themselves in the wilderness, all while being tracked by: (1) their father, (2) an Indian scout, and (3) a couple of horse thieve...more
I sometimes think that Louis L'Amour throws in extra parties of villains just to up the suspense, and not to serve any real plot-related purpose. The whole book there's this Indian guy trailing the kids trying to steal their horse, but he never actually does much of anything, as far as I can remember, except trail them the entire book and then enlist the aid of some fellow Indians to go attack the other band of villains right at the end. All of this could easily have been omitted, and doesn't re...more
I think this is really a book for kids. I feel it was very unrealistic, at least for this day and age. Maybe kids where more self reliant in "the olden days".
I agreed to read this because a friend recommended it. It was my first Louis L'Amour. Westerns are not my first choice as a genre for entertainment. However, I was raised on a lot of westerns when it came to movies and I liked many of them and still remember them.

It was a good story of survival which was even more compelling because the 'survivors' are a couple of young children. It brings out some excellent points about the positive influence parents can have over their children. It also addre...more
Larry Hostetler
Both usual and unusual for L'Amour. Unusual in that this story centers on a seven-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl. Usual in that it a tale of survival in the wild.

I found it to be very interesting and engaging, and it seemed a little short (I read it on one set of flights heading from CA to the midwest.) But the length didn't make it any less enjoyable.

While it had a little less than its share of L'Amour-style fighting and gun play, much more of the tension was obtained by the uncertaint...more
Two young children are stranded after Indians raid their wagon train and kill everyone there but them. The boy, Hardy, knows he must ride on to Fort Bridger where his father is waiting for him. But there are many obstacles along the way--Indians, wild animals, and thieves, not to mention the cold of winter coming on. Hardy, though only seven years old, learned many useful skills from his father and another friend. This was a fast-paced, interesting read, with a vivid look at life in the Old West...more
My Dad read every single Louis L'Amour book ever published. And this was the first Louis L'Amour book that my dad recommended to me. I was probably 18 when I read it, we always had this wonderful shared love of reading, even though as I grew up his and my tastes grew even further apart, we could always be found quietly reading at the table together. In this book he and I found a very sweet commonality in Hardy and Betty Sue's struggle to survive, the big red horse has such a strong character pre...more
Stephanie Ricker
I picked up a lot of cheap Louis L’Amour books at the Wake County Library sale, and I’m slowly working through them. Down the Long Hills isn’t quite the usual western fare; instead of a hard-bitten, tough-as-nails protagonist combating ruffians, living off the land, and winning over fair maidens with his beard stubble, the hero of the story is a seven-year-old. A seven-year-old who could probably eat you for breakfast. I thoroughly enjoyed the story, even if the concluding action (in true L’Amou...more
Seven-year old Hardy and friend, three-year old Betty Sue, survive a wagon train massacre that left Betty Sue parentless and Hardy in charge of getting them west to his waiting father. Hardy is no ordinary seven-year old ... He hides from a tracking Native, who was initially interested in killing the children and stealing Hardy's horse. However, the more he tracks Hardy, the more he's impressed by Hardy's survival skills. The story grabs you and keeps hold of you right up to the end. Like the im...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".
More about Louis L'Amour...
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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.” 2 likes
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