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Rascal

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4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,635 Ratings  ·  437 Reviews
Nothing's surprising in the North household, not even Sterling's new pet raccoon. Rascal is only a baby when Sterling brings him home, but soon the two are best friends, doing everything together--until the spring day when everything suddenly changes.

Rascalis a heartwarming boyhood memoir that continues to find its way into the hearts ofreaders fifty years later. This spec
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Paperback, 208 pages
Published April 30th 1998 by Puffin Books (first published 1963)
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Community Reviews

(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
Apr 24, 2014 Sarah rated it it was amazing
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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Jasey Green
Apr 26, 2016 Jasey Green rated it it was amazing
Can I just say that I love raccoons?!!! They're right up there in my favorite animals list next to ferrets! There are a lot of cute stories about Rascal that reeaaally make me want catch a raccoon and keep it as a pet even though my mom's family tried several times years and years ago. Apparently it didn't work out very well. Anyways, this book is adorable, and the ending made me want to cry. There's one story where Rascal goes up to the sugar cube bowl, takes a sugar cube, goes straight to a bo ...more
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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Rebecca McNutt
This book is a great classic, I'm glad it's still in print. I have an old copy from when I was a kid. :)
Caren
Nov 27, 2010 Caren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
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
Jun 21, 2014 Karen GoatKeeper rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2014
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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KC
Apr 22, 2016 KC rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book as a kid and when the library genre circle picked animal books for our next meeting well I decided to re-read this treasure. What's not to love? An 11 year old boy in 1918 adopts a baby raccoon. Thank goodness that there is no sad stuff, just bittersweet.
Anna Lee
Dec 03, 2015 Anna Lee rated it really liked it
I read this a while ago, it is a cute story.
Yami
Sep 03, 2015 Yami rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
there is nothing much to be said about this little novel, it is a classic and as much as nothing really happens I was not bored and all thanks to Rascal, this sweet cute creature, and the way he was prescribed made me want a racoon as a pet.
the story is simple, as a day by day adventure of Sterling the 11year boy and his racoon pet.
there is no climax ,nothing really, the only bad thing that was supposed to be disturbing the simple daily life was the present of war, but you only receive an echo,
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Dan
Aug 20, 2008 Dan rated it it was amazing
This one's for you Seethens.
Julia Brumfield
Jan 07, 2016 Julia Brumfield rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult, book
This is a beautifully poignant book that tells the story of a very special year in the life of the author when he was young. Of how with no mother and a family that was there but not there how he found something to keep him moving forth. And yet at the same time as we all learn while growing up sometimes it is those that we love that we have to make the hardest decisions for that will ultimately affect us in the end.

The author does a beautiful job in explaining his world to the reader so much
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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 really liked it
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
Apr 01, 2009 Jerrit 811 rated it it was amazing
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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Auni
Feb 26, 2014 Auni rated it it was amazing
I wanted to revisit this novel to immerse myself into Sterling North's writing style and find a deeper meaning in a book I had deemed as one of my favorites back in elementary school. My appreciation for the classic grew even greater since I was able to understand the historical context and setting of the story much more clearly than before. The author describes his relationship with his pet raccoon, Rascal, during his transition towards adolescence, with the backdrop of World War I and the pass ...more
Tim
Oct 03, 2014 Tim rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
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
Mar 12, 2013 Stacey rated it it was amazing
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
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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Hyrum
Sep 11, 2015 Hyrum rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 3rd-grade
This book is about Sterling North and his pet raccoon Rascal. They had lots of fun and wanted to always have freedom. But Rascal got into corn crops and chicken coops and the neighbors wanted him locked up or dead. In the end, Rascal chose to be in the wild.

I liked this book because of Sterling and all his pets. It was cool that he got to have a pet raccoon.
Jmkern
Apr 06, 2010 Jmkern rated it really liked it
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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Jorgina
I read this charming memoir when I was about 9 years old. It has stayed with me for years; I still yearn for a pet raccoon and they are still one of my favorite animals. 3 of my children have read the book and they are all fans. The author is a wonderful story teller remembering such grand details that make all the difference instilling the characters and events into your memory. I just recently read it aloud to my 15 year old as a light summer story to share. It holds all the charm (more so one ...more
Amy
Jun 26, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 08, 2015 Luanne Castle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir, childrens, animals
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.
Jun 03, 2015 E.p. rated it really liked it
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
Dec 28, 2014 Lynn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
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
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.
Alex Daniels
Mar 17, 2016 Alex Daniels rated it liked it
Shelves: animal-books
Rascal is a heartwarming nonfiction animal book about the author as a child. Sterling North, the author had many wild animals as pets because his dad wasn’t the strictest of parents to say the least. This book would appeal to boys especially, but also girls who love animals, adventure, and the outdoors. This is a great book for children in fourth grade or older because it has relatively small print. Adults will even enjoy this tale. I would recommend reading this book as a family, or alone outdo ...more
Jonelle
Dec 29, 2012 Jonelle rated it it was amazing
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. :)
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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
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