The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog, Volume 1
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The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog, Volume 1 (Hank the Cowdog #1)

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4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  2,299 ratings  ·  250 reviews
Hank has been accused of murder! In a fit of despair, Hank resigns his position as Head of Ranch Security and decides to join the outlaw coyotes. There he's known as Hunk (that's Hank in coyote language). Hank meets Missy Coyote, sister to Scraunch -- the meanest, roughest, toughest, most notorious coyote in the whole country. If Scraunch found Hank with his sister... Well
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Cassette, 0 pages
Published June 1st 1983 by Maverick Books (first published 1980)
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Monica!
So the Hank the Cowdog series is one I was vaguely familiar with—it seems to be a favorite among homeschooling parents who want their sons to be Reading Like Crazy Quick Where’s That Really Long Series About The Dog??—but one that I’d never actually read.

Let it never be said that I shirk my professional development responsibilities, though!

Bring it on, Hank the Cowdog #1: The Original Adventures of Hank the Cowdog!

Okay, right off the bat, I’m in love with Hank. He can’t spell for shit (“We had...more
Kami
I know you'll never believe me, but there are some of the most hilarious books for kids out there. But you have to get them on tape or cd.... the author reads them and does the best voices and makes it even better. I mean like way way better. The best is if you have or have ever owned a dog. Because it's all about this dog who does all the normal dumb dog stuff but takes it incredibly seriously. Considers himself the head of ranch security and the world might end if he doesn't bark at the mailma...more
KJ Shadows
I had to add these books because I remember them so fondly back in my childhood. Guaranteed I'd probably laugh if I went back and read these. It sounds silly but these books inspired me to learn to write and read lots of books at a VERY early age. I read much younger because my best friend was reading these books. I remember in class we use to get our moms to buy different ones and we'd switch. I read all of them which was a huge feat, I think it went up to like a 100? No Joke.

I remember I want...more
Vijay
Nov 28, 2007 Vijay rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children, adults w/ child-like senses of humor
Having read this book and each one that follows in the series, I consider myself an aficionado of Hank's adventures. Hank is a lovable--if somewhat dim-bulbed-- protagonist who captures the heart of the reader and has you rooting for him as he goes head to head with the Pete the barncat, the turkey buzzards, the resident coyotes, and the bumbling ineptitude of his sidekick, Drover. Maybe I'm biased coming from a rural background, but these books are great!
Michelle Isenhoff
Hank is an Australian shepherd employed on an American ranch. Being “Head of Ranch Security,” as he proudly informs us, “requires a keen mind, a thick skin, and a peculiar devotion to duty. I mean, you put in sixteen-eighteen hours a day. You’re on call day and night. Your life is on the line every time you go out on patrol. You’re doing jobs that nobody else wants to do because of the danger.”

The Adventures of Hank the Cowdog is a collection of the scrapes he gets into as Head of Ranch Security...more
jOsEpHiNe
Apr 17, 2008 jOsEpHiNe rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Younger readers, Young Adult readers just for enjoyment
This review is for the series. The very LONG LONG LONG series, at that. But the great thing these books is that you don't have to read the whole series to actually understand one if you pick it up.

I like these, especially just for humor and light-heartedness. They might be more serious for younger readers, but personally I listened to them (on audio book. the narrator's great because they were fun. And if you do read one or two of the books, they're probably easy reading for you (especially if...more
Betsy
I don't get what all the fuss is about: either the folks who are completely opposed to lowly Hank or those rabid fans of his....

These books are funny, but much of the tongue-in-cheek humor no doubt goes over a 9 year old's head (which seems to be roughly the target audience judging from reading level). I found the "voice" in the book (including the dead pan humor) to be DEAD ON with an old Texan looking back on his adventures. If you need corroboration of that, I'll let you read my Texan uncle'...more
Morgan Stout
Hank the Cowdog books are a tradition in my family. My grandma was a 2nd grade teacher ( she's retired now), and I believe she is the one that got my brother and I started on the series. They are all great books! Some of my favorites from my childhood. They are entertaining, funny, and easy to read.
Jacqueline Wright
This review is for the entire Hank the Cowdog series. These books were my childhood! Wonderful and lovable characters who have such unique personalities with a (so far) endless supply of entertaining plots. Ranging from utterly comedic (humor in EVERY book, while sometimes it's the main theme) to frustratingly touching (Oooh, right in the feels!!). Minus one star simply for all the thankless torment my dear Hank has had to go through (which I suffered vicariously). Honestly a terrific book serie...more
Avery Devenport
That was the best chapter book I ever read! Loved it!
Summer
I think this is one of those series that was funnier when I was a kid. I thought I'd go through the audiobooks just for fun and posterity, and I realized a few things I almost wish I didn't...

This book is full of awful western stereotypes, and Hank is kind of an asshole...

Plus, "I'm just a worthless coyote" ? Really? ... awful.

I like the sound effects and music present in the audiobooks though. It really made it kind of fun to listen to. I would recommend the audiobooks before the actual books t...more
Spencer
So many good ones in this series. Growing up in Texas, this series filled my evenings and school hours with great adventures. Hank and Grover should have a home in any school library.
Lindsey Reyes
Hank the Cowdog
head of ranch security.
This cowdog is a child and adult favorite. The ways this dog views his "job" and the events that take place is too funny. Hank and Grover have many exciting and entertaining mysteries. This book is fun and makes me (as an adult) laugh. Definitely perfect for chapter read alouds.
Bill
This is the first of the Hank books. Kids 8-12 are probably the target audience but there is a level of humor that adults love. I didn't list all of the books written by Erickson but I've read them all laughing and grinning at all of Hank's adventures
Michelle
This was really fun. However, after you have read about 5 ot 6 in the series you have read them all. They were very predictable but funny and kids love it. Because of the predictability I lost interest.
Nancy
The chapter about the Boxer was so hilarious. Especially since I had a Boxer at the time I read it. My students love these books too. I have quite a few, and most of them are checked out at any one time.
Samantha
Jun 27, 2013 Samantha rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Samantha by: Alexandria King
I read this book and found it very funny. A full review can be found on my blog: www.therealworldaccordingtosam.blogsp...

Thanks for reading!
Seth
We listened to this as a family recently across a couple of short road trips. Hilarious!
Nicole
Re-reading another book from my childhood because, even though I read 10 or 15 of the Hank the Cowdog books as a kid, I don't remember much about them.

I think I enjoyed the book more this time around. There was quite a bit of humor that went over my head when I was a kid. Hank himself is also much more amusing. His arrogance and rudeness annoyed me when I was younger, but now I just find it funny. My favorite thing is how seriously Hank takes himself and his job. I hate to break it to you, Hank,...more
Rosa Cline
This was a series I remember my grown daughter enjoying when she was pre teens so I thought my autistic teenage son and I would enjoy reading them. NOT! Got about 3/4 of the way through and just decided to stop, he was loosing interest and it didn't really seem to go anywhere but in circles. I could see where it 'could' be a good series so I am going to attempt to read the next book just so I give it a good chance. But Hank the main character uses a little to much 'name calling' and 'negativity'...more
Laura
Hank the Cowdog is saddled with a mighty heavy responsibility. He is Head of Ranch Security and together with his sidekick, Drover, he protects his farm and upholds the dignity of the Ranch by engaging in nightly barking contests with the outlaw coyotes. Life is hopping along just fine until tragedy strikes – a chicken is found murdered on the ranch premises. Hank hastily bends all of his detective powers to the test, scrounges for clues, and even apprehends a few suspects, but before he can sol...more
Amy
A friend recommended this series to us because my daughter (9) likes to read books with animal narrators. That part was good and we liked that he was a cowdog (note to dog lovers: he is a dog that is acting like a cowboy -- not a dog breed that herds/guards cattle, as my daughter first supposed.) I liked his Texas folksy talk -- but beyond that the book was painful to read.

I know the world is a big place full of murder (henhouse raid) and verbal and physical abuse and hurtful stereotypes. I kno...more
Wendy
Horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE. When I saw this at the library I was excited because it was long series. We home-school and I was hoping to get the kids involved in a series of books that we can use as read alouds. This is not the series for us.

Some of my issues are the way that Hank speaks to Drover. "Stupid" and "worthless" are not words I want my kids using to describe others. I also took issue with the stereotype portrayal of the coyotes. The fact that they were portrayed as unintelligent sava...more
Laure
Meeting an author in person is always a delight. John R. Erickson, best known as the creator of the Hank the Cowdog series, walked out in front of the crowd of parents and kids at our conference with a banjo slung over his shoulder and an honest-to-God BIG Texan cowboy hat. His seminar on writing and creativity was a long-series of tales and songs that had the entire crowd laughing.

Mr. Erickson embodies the writer’s adage to “write what you know”, having been raised in the Texan panhandle and wo

...more
Yellincenter
Ages: 8 and up

Adult Themes: None. A rootin’, tootin’ good time for all cowpokes.

Concept: The Hank series is narrated by its hero Hank, the self-titled Head of Ranch Security on a ranch in Texas. Hank will be the first to tell you that a cowdog’s job is tough, but someone’s got to protect the chickens, keep Pete the Barn Cat in line, supervise his dimwitted deputy Drover, and chase dangerous prowlers like badgers off the property. Of course, as readers will quickly discover, Hank barks better tha...more
Lisa is Busy Nerding
In a sentence or so: Hank the Cowdog is trying to solve the mystery of who killed the hen when he decides he’s had ENOUGH of the ranch and their lack of respect for him and heads off to be an outlaw. Lols ensue.

There’s been a murder on the ranch. Thankfully, Hank the Cowdog is head of ranch security and is well trained in such things. He does a thorough search for tracks and evidence with his #2 Drover and they come up with nothin’. Drover isn’t really all that helpful for Hank, but he appreciat...more
Allison
Jul 12, 2011 Allison rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Can't think of anyone
Recommended to Allison by: My 6th Grader's 2011 Summer Reading List
I just didn't like it. I can't remember when I last truly disliked a children's book. Part of it was that it seemed SO dated. It felt like it was meant to be read during the time when Bonanza and Gunsmoke were all the rage. I'm just not there anymore and can't even feel transported there by this book. Part of it was how right out of the gates it's talking about investigating a "murder" (a hen gets killed outside the hen-house). Maybe it's how Hank is so demeaning to his partner. Maybe it's how t...more
Abby Johnson
Hank takes his job as cowdog very seriously, so when someone starts killing chickens on the farm, he does his best to get to the bottom of things. But one silly mistake leads to Hank's departure from the farm. Can this rough, tough cowdog make it on his own? And can the farm make it without him?

Ehhh... Hank's got a funny voice and he's totally full of himself, even while making ridiculous mistakes. Kids will definitely find it funny, but it wore on me after awhile. The scenes with the tribe of...more
Ebookwormy
This book is a completely different flavor from what you usually get in children's literature. For those of you following my reviews, it was hilarious to all here that we read this book immediately following the saccharine "Box Car Children". To give you an idea of the difference, the first chapter of this book is entitled, "Bloody Murder." And a few chapters later, "Another Bloody Murder." !!! The victims referred to are chickens and the main suspects are sneaky coyotes.

The hard boiled narrativ...more
Kirei
This is difficult to rate. My son loved it and it is a good book for reluctant readers. It is about a dog called Hank who is head of security on a ranch and has an ego big enough for the job.

The reason it is hard to rate is because, even though it is basically a cute book, there were a couple things I did not like. The first was when Hank and the other dog, Drover, bullied a chained-up Boxer. It was unnecessary to the storyline and did not come to a satisfying conclusion. This sort of bullying...more
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John R. Erickson, a former cowboy and ranch manager, is gifted with a storyteller's knack for spinning a yarn. Through the eyes of Hank the Cowdog, a smelly, smart-aleck Head of Ranch Security, Erickson gives readers a glimpse of daily life on a ranch in the West Texas Panhandle. This series of books and tapes is in school libraries across the country, has sold more than 7.6 million copies, is a B...more
More about John R. Erickson...
The Further Adventures of Hank the Cowdog (Hank the Cowdog, #2) It's a Dog's Life (Hank the Cowdog, #3) Murder in the Middle Pasture (Hank the Cowdog, #4) Let Sleeping Dogs Lie (Hank the Cowdog, #6) Faded Love (Hank the Cowdog, #5)

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“Don’t take anything for granite. That’s what tombstones are made of.” 9 likes
“Coyotes can’t expect to keep friends when they eat them all the time.” 8 likes
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