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Rascal

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  8,724 ratings  ·  389 reviews
The author recalls his carefree life in a small midwestern town at the close of World War I, and his adventures with his pet raccoon, Rascal.
Mass Market Paperback, 189 pages
Published by Puffin Books (first published January 1st 1963)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
Rascal is a perfectly crafted book. It's entertaining and simple enough to appeal to youngsters, yet has enough complexity and fine prose to enchant adult readers. I loved it when I first read it at age eleven, and I loved it even more this second time through, when I'm old enough to...well, old enough...

This is Sterling North's account of 1918-1919, the year he was eleven and added a baby raccoon to his already large and unwieldy menagerie. He already had pet skunks, woodchucks, cats, a Saint B
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Sarah
Have you noticed that books written prior to the 1940's are all set outside? Everyone is outside all the time. Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Great Brain boys, Jack London of course. Even Jane Austen thinks it's no big deal to take a casual one mile stroll in a complicated dress that probably weighs about twenty pounds.

Well, the same goes here. A childhood outside with random animals and a father with a benign neglect type of parenting style. What could be better? This book was an instant favorite fi
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SilverRaindrops
"Rascal" is an American classic, telling the story of how the boy Sterling found a little raccoon in the spring of 1818, and took him on as a pet.

While it took me a while to get into, due to the very old language style, and the fact that an adult was writing down memories of his childhood - therefore not feeling very much like a child - , I can see why this is the perfect book for reading in school.

Due to the setting in 1918, and Sterling having a brother fighting in France, World War I and its
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Caren
This book, published in 1963, was a Newbery Honor book for 1964. Although published as fiction, it is an autobiographical account of one year of the author's childhood, 1918, when he was eleven years old and adopted a baby raccoon. He lived in Edgerton, Wisconsin, which he faithfully recreates as Brailsford Junction in the book. It was the last year of World War I and his older brother was fighting in Europe. His mother had passed away several years before. His two sisters no longer lived at hom ...more
Karen GoatKeeper
As much a memoir as an animal story, this is a relaxing read. Set in 1918 world events touch but don't really enter the story of a boy and his pet raccoon. His brother is overseas in France. He has a war garden and sells the produce for a little cash. Spanish flu races through his town.
But the heart of the story is Rascal. And Rascal is all spoiled raccoon.
The information about raccoons is very interesting. Knowing something about how troublesome they can be, I could see some of the disasters co
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Dan
This one's for you Seethens.
Mitchell
Rascal



I had my old dog Teddy for 6 years; he came across the county with me, California to Massachusetts to Rhode Island. I happened to be 10 or 11 years old when I had to let him go. After all those fun times with a great dog I just had to leave him. I had to move were there were no pets allowed. We gave him to my Papa but he already had 2 dogs so it was hard on him. After a year he couldn’t take it any more, he gave him to his Nabors. They lived on the same road; we know them very well, for
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Pamela
Mar 26, 2013 Pamela rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has an interest in raccoons, Wisconsin, fishing, coming of age
I first met Rascal (that is, read Sterling North's memoir) when I was 12 years old; quite a while ago. Since I have a group of raccoon visiting me nightly, I thought it would be fun to reread this cherished childhood book. Not surprisingly, the book now is very different from how I remembered it. Some of the incidents seem implausible; I have to wonder if the truth wasn't stretched a bit to make a better story. Still, I'm enjoying the reread and falling in love with the little Rascal all over ag ...more
Jerrit 811
Jerrit Schramm
4/1/09
8-1 LA
Rascal

The book Rascal is a classic story that was written by Sterling North, who is also the main character. Sterling lives on a farm in Wisconsin with his widowed father and their extended family of pets such as Poe the Crow. The story starts out when Sterling and his best friend, a German immigrant, Oscar Sunderland are hunting for a raccoon and come across the den filled with five tiny babies. Sterling decides to take one home and raise it himself like he did with s
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Tim
This was one of my favorite books as a boy, and I found a copy (a slightly different version from the one shown; mine has the same cover illustration by its typography is less 1970s) on Thursday in an Oakland bookstore, bought it for .75 cents and read it this afternoon in one long, delicious draught. I think it's an excellent story, about a boy and his pet raccoon in 1918 Wisconsin, but my mind could be fogged with nostalgia. This book made me very happy today.
Stacey
I decided to revisit this book, it was a favorite that my Mom used to read to me as a child. Although I couldn't remember any of the specifics, I remembered loving it.
So I bought the book in the hopes that I could read it to my daughter since she loves learning about animals. We read the first chapter together, but she quickly got nervous that something would happen and she wouldn't like it. I wasn't able to relieve her of her fears because honestly I couldn't remember what happened in the end,
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Mombear
Jul 20, 2009 Mombear added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
Recommended to Mombear by: Probably a librarian
This is one of those books you can tuck into a pocket for reading in odd moments (although you may find yourself finishing it in one sitting). It's a classic, a delightful and funny story. The text is particularly rich language and evocative enough that in places it's like paging through a photograph album.

"Rascal" is a classic, and I"m hoping it's still being read in elementary schools everywhere. If it ISN'T, shame on the teachers! I have a copy handy so that I can tuck it in to my bag for lon
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Jmkern
Rascal by: Sterling North


SUMMARY:The book is about Sterling and Rascal meeting, then taking a long adventure together, until one spring day everything changes.

(page 185 paragraph 6)
PASSAGE:Moreover, now that he had grown to young adulthood, he was not entirely happy as a domesticated pet. I realized that I was being selfish and inconsiderate to keep him from his natural life in the woods.

WHY I CHOSE MY PASSAGE:I chose my passage because this is when Sterling realized that it was time to let Rasc
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Amy
Jun 26, 2008 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: animal lovers
Recommended to Amy by: Mom : )
Shelves: random
This follows a boy, Sterling, as he raises animals of all kinds. He and his dog, Wowser, sniff out raccoon kits, and Sterling names his Rascal. Follow the adventures of Rascal as: a mean boy hits him and gets bitten, Rascal and Sterling go camping, and many other fun adventures.The story ends with Rascal feeling the need to go wild, and he runs off with a beautiful female raccoon, and Sterling goes home.
I enjoyed this book, but I think its' ending was too sad. I wish rascal didn't listen to the
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Donnell
Charming! As one of the reviewers on the back flap says: "When Sterling North was a boy he had a raccoon. Now it is ours, irresistibly, heartwarmingly ours."

Tracked down this book because a trendy new restaurant I visited in Los Angeles in December, was named "Rascal" after this book--of all things.

Ran across the blog of a North grand daughter who was talking about how Japan recently had an invasive species problem with the non-native raccoon--because this book was so beloved in that country t
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Luanne Castle
This is a phenomenal memoir about a boy and his raccoon. It was a 1963 Newbery honor book, but it's a good that should still be read. It's a true story about Sterling’s life as an 11 year old, about 3-4 years before he came down with infantile paralysis. North put himself through the University of Chicago and became a writer for many magazines and newspapers. He also wrote Wolfling about a boy and a wolf in the 1870s.

This book has that naturalist’s feel about it, exact descriptions of the setti
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E.p.
Rascal was a recommendation from my friend, Chris, who described this as his go to book that he re-reads every year or two to keep him grounded. This was based on a conversation where I suggested To Kill a Mockingbird as my book in this category.

This book was set in northeast Wisconsin, an area that I'm very familiar with. This is a coming of age story where Sterling North recalls his pre-teen years around 1925. He leads an unsupervised childhood in which his father allowed him to collect all m
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Lynn
The language may be a bit stilted for current-day juvenile literature, but this is still an informative (history, "progress" on the frontier, raccoons) and extremely poignant read. I guess I would have been unselfish and done the same thing for Rascal's sake, but, man, I would have been bawling my eyes out!! I lived in the country as a child, fairly isolated, though not as free-wheeling as he did! In fact, this lifestyle would not be allowed in today's society, if known... Pretty sure his father ...more
Josh Cunningham
May 17, 2011 Josh Cunningham is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm reading this to my partner who is in the severe stages of alsheimer's disease. I suppose it's dated, but it is beautifully descriptive and written in short vignettes which Esther can follow. I suppose that it would be considered incorrect to take and keep a wild animal in this way today, but you have to keep in mind that the book is written about life in America in 1916 and the common view of and standards toward wildlife was very different.
Jonelle
I absolutely loved this book from cover to cover. Sterling North has a gift of prose in writing, that truly takes you into his world. For our homeschool moms book group, we read this book along with Last Child in the Woods about Nature Deficit Disorder. Rascal is a beautiful story of love and trust and freedom. It is a great read aloud as well. This is a book I want to gift to everyone I know. :)
Jimmy Tang
In the book Rascal, Sterling North recalls his adventures as a young boy with a pet raccoon that he once accidentally separated its mother from. Whether the book be a true story or a false story I do not want to know, I will simply go on believing that it is a true story for my own sake. My heart wishes to believe that it is true because I want to be able to think that stories like this are possible. Where fathers take their sons out camping and enjoy the sentimental value of having one another ...more
Andrew Morrarty
My name is Andrew and I read the book RASCAL. RASCAL is a good book but it was not as good as the book gentle Ben. RASCAL was about a kid named sterling north he was 11 years old and he had a raccoon named rascal and he had also had a dog named wowser he was a watch dog. This book takes place in Wisconsin forests were there was a lot of contest like pie eating contest and trout fishing contest but there was one kid who would always cheat in these kind of things so if he could cheat so could ster ...more
Celestia
This is about a boy named Sterling who has lots of wild animals as pets. One day he got a raccoon. He named him Rascal. Rascal liked going fast. One day when they went to school, Rascal bit one of the boy's hands, because the boy shot a rubber band at him. Other characters in the story are the boy's dog, his sisters, his dad, the preacher, some other wild animals, and his dad. His mom is dead. The high point of the story is when Sterling hears barking from Rascal's cage. When he got there he saw ...more
Heather
Considering the problem the raccoons are giving us with our garbage and compost bin, I should not have enjoyed this book so much. Rascal the raccoon is described with endearing terms and humorous accounts of his activity all of which I found wonderful as long as I remembered it was not him who was rummaging around in our yard most nights. Sterling North has written, as the subtitle suggests, about his growing up years in a time when boys could be boys. This book is a recounting of one year spent ...more
Jacob Vandermeulen
Rascal is about a young boy named Sterling who owns many different kinds of animals and he is very adventurous and takes wild animals in as his pets. His mother is dead and his father is gone on business for most of the book. Sterlings siblings are grown up and moved off and lived on their own. His brother is in Europe fighting in the war and hasn't written back in awhile.
Sterling's best friend is a raccoon named Rascal. They did everything together. They fished, harvested his war garden, and ev
...more
Jeana
Nice read. The first couple of chapters started a little slow, but soon I got into it. The way the author describes things, particularly nature, is quite lovely.

The story was very relaxing to read, but also thought provoking. It really makes you wish life were this simple now, and free of many of the modern problems we've grown to feel are normal. Yet at the same time it mentions some events of WW1 that were taking place, and it makes you feel like the world truly was turning for the worse.

The
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Andrew
it was a nice laid back cute book about a boy and his pet raccoon,
Nancy
I will always have a fondness for this book because my 11th grade US History teacher allowed me to use it for a book report, even though the reading level is far below 11th grade. I managed to convince him I could write a stellar report based on the historical backdrop of the story. And I did. :) I enjoy this book mostly for the small vignettes in it, like driving up to the farm with chains on the tires to hastily move the tobacco bales in case weather.

A heavy dose of masculentity pervades the s
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Hannah Jane
Enchanting language, lush scenery, a romping, completely factual story and a rascally, joyful raccoon are the fixings for this adorable and happy memoir by Sterling North.

This was my favorite animal story as a child. And it is still at the top of my list. I started squealing the moment Rascal was swiped from the woods, and made no efforts to contain my delight for the duration of the book. My adult squeals echoed the squeals of my 10 year-old self as Rascal snuggled his way into Sterling’s bed,
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Jill
Read this on the heels of another book about raccoons, Kildee House. Easy to get them mixed up when writing a review. The animal-themed Newbery Honor books all have a similar feel to them anyway without reading them back to back! I enjoyed Kildee House more than Rascal, but Rascal was impressive in that it is an account of the author’s childhood and his relationship with his pet raccoon and his unusual relationship with his caring but aloof father.

“Ahead lay some of the most productive walnut an
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43889
Thomas Sterling North was an American author of books for children and adults, including 1963's bestselling Rascal. Surviving a near-paralyzing struggle with polio in his teens, he grew to young adulthood in the quiet southern Wisconsin village of Edgerton, which North transformed into the "Brailsford Junction" setting of several of his books.

For more information, please see http://en.wikipedia.or
...more
More about Sterling North...
The Wolfling: A Documentary Novel of the Eighteen-Seventies Little Rascal So Dear to My Heart Raccoons Are the Brightest People Abe Lincoln: Log Cabin to White House

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