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4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  6,628 ratings  ·  303 reviews
Skunks, woodchucks, a crow named Poe, an absent-minded father, aneighteen foot, half-finished canoe in the living room—welcome to the North home! Nothing's surprising at the North residence. Not even eleven-year-old Sterling's new pet raccoon. Rascal is only a baby when young Sterling brings him home to join his unusual family. The mischievous raccoon and Sterling are part...more
Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 1st 1990 by Puffin (first published January 1st 1963)
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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...more
"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...more
This one's for you Seethens.
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

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...more
Mar 26, 2013 Pamela rated it 4 of 5 stars 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
8-1 LA

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...more
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,...more
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...more
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...more
Jun 26, 2008 Amy rated it 5 of 5 stars 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...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.
it was a nice laid back cute book about a boy and his pet raccoon,
Ivan Gaikowski
I was surprised to find this book setting off all sorts of red flags in the social and environmental responsibility sectors of my mind. Especially since it is a children's book, and one from the area I was 'born and raised' and the cultures that appear in this story are the same ones that defined the cultures that I still live in.
What perturbed me were the notions of the main character's perspective of the land around him. He seemed to think that Nature was there for him and his pleasures. He...more
Shanna Gonzalez
Rascal is an autobiographical story about a year in the life of a boy growing up in a small American town during World War I, in which young Sterling takes in a young raccoon as a pet. It is exceptionally well written, receiving a Newbery Honor award in 1964. North's wonderful depictions of outdoor experiences, detailed descriptions of Rascal's behavior, and the warm affinity that grows between Sterling and Rascal have earned this book its classic status. It is a wonderful boy book, with many co...more
What a delightful book! Sterling North's memoir of May 1918 - April 1919 follows an 11 year old Sterling's adventures with his pet raccoon, Rascal. Rascal is adorable and hilarious and I'm sure my students will come to adore him every bit as much as I did. My favorite scene was the first time Rascal is given a sugar cube and he tries to wash it in his bowl of milk. When the sugar dissolves, Rascal spends a few minutes trying to figure out where it went. So, so cute!

But beneath the layer of adora...more
“It was in May 1918 that a new friend and companion came into my life.”
This statement refers to Rascal. It is the introduction by Sterling North to the memories of his childhood. In the first chapter of his fictional memoir, Sterling heads out with his dog Wowser and his best friend Oscar to the woods and across a creek. In the process of digging at a rotten stump, Wowser frightens a mother raccoon. Sterling takes one of the young that she leaves behind. Oscar’s mom shows the boys how to feed a...more
I love this poetic memoir but my EL510 kids struggled with the book. Class itself was fine, but I think the level of description (depth and vocabulary) hindered them in accessing an already unfamiliar setting (Wisconsin during WWI). The lengthy descriptions of nature and fly fishing, the anecdotes with multiple minor characters, they just could not keep track of everything. The surface things that make the novel fun were harder for them to enjoy.

I also think they're a bit young to connect with t...more
May 12, 2008 Clay rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Clay by: Mike
This Newbery honor classic was my husband's favorite book when he was ten or eleven, so naturally I wanted to read it too. I was surprised to find it in the local library's young adult section. Why, I wondered? Yes, the vocabulary's a bit more challenging than the average eleven-year-old might be used to, but the true story of young Sterling North and his pet raccoon, Rasca,l is as good a book as I've ever read, and I'm only sorry I didn't read it when I was ten.

Eleven-year-old Sterling lives ne...more
Rascal may not be a barn critter, but he’s a critter all the same. Rascal is a lovable little baby raccoon found while Sterling was walking through the woods one day. Thus begins the memoir of his year with a pet raccoon. Sterling is an adventurous 11 year old who loves his animals and Rascal soon becomes a favorite among his menagerie. His pets include a dog, cats, skunks, and a crow named Poe. The story is set in 1918 during World War I, and his brother is away fighting. He has two sisters nei...more
Drew Holland
Would you consider a raccoon to be an exotic pet? Well back in the 1920s, raccoon's were not that exotic. It was socially acceptable to walk around town with a raccoon on your shoulder and have people think nothing of it. People were not surprised at this action. Rascal, by Sterling North is a kind of memoir that demonstrates the life with a raccoon and also showing you society back in 1920.
Sterling wants to have this pet raccoon he found as his pet and he is able to do this, but a wild animal i...more
May 25, 2008 Melody added it
Chana Billet
They don't make books like this anymore, where each sentence is a gem! From the compelling story line to the enchanting details of country life in 1918, Sterling North's most-famous novel is an epitome of memoir writing at its best.

My kids loved the tantalizing freedom Sterling experienced as a youngster while growing up in a southeastern Wisconsin town where strangers looked out for the neighbors' children and front doors were never locked.

The novel, which takes place over the course of one yea...more

This Newbery honor book is a gentle charmer for children of all ages, especially those who love the woods or have ever tried to tame a wild animal. Recounted in the first person by the one who lived these events in a more naive era, RASCAL is the story of an 11-year-old boy who raises an orphaned baby raccoon. Set during American's involvement in the Great War, the book includes many historical aspects of that special era. It reminds us how...more
Oct 18, 2012 Kim rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: Boys age 8-12
Recommended to Kim by: Judy
North, S. (1963). Rascal. Scholastic Inc. New York, NY. 189 pages. ISBN 0-439-16570-9.

A heart-warming story about the friendship between a boy and a racoon. The joy Sterling North experiences with his masked companion draw the reader into various excursions and moments which bring a smile to your face. Children and adults can find simple pleasure in the life of Sterling and the one year he spends raising and growing with Rascal. The ink sketches which appear throughout the novel provide visuals...more
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
I started and ditched two new books in a row. In a pinch I went to my shelf and pulled off the old copy of Rascal. This was a favorite of my grandfather and my mother (and mine and my daughter in her turn). I had just been to a memoir presentation the night before and heard how "memoir" is sort of a new term for works outside of autobiography. As I started reading it I realized it's nearly the perfect memoir. North captures the time and tone of that year of childhood completely naturally, but th...more
Chose this to read for several reasons, one being that my husband's family had a pet raccoon named Rascal, named after this very book. Sterling North grew up about 30 miles from where we live, and we plan on heading over to his house (now a museum) sometime this summer. An autobiography of sorts: the story of a young boy, living with his father after his mother has died. Living mostly out of doors all summer long, with adventures and misadventures. A great book.
Bonnie Morse
One of my great childhood favorites, the true story of a boy and his raccoon (and dog and cats and skunks etc) where no animals die. The worst that can be said of young Sterling is that he shouldn't have let his dog dig out the raccoon den, nor taken one of the kittens to raise. But it was 1916 and he was 11 years old. These things happened.

What makes it especially worthy of recommendation is the outdoor place-porn of WWI era Wisconsin, and Sterling's remarkable knowledge of the area's nineteent...more
Mar 23, 2011 Heather rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: children 3rd-8th grade, naturalists
Shelves: children-s
Listened to this book in CD format while driving. Personally loved the descriptive narrative of a much simpler time. This is a calm, sometimes funny book about a year in Sterling North's life @ 1918, particularly about his experiences raising a baby racoon. I loved his naturalist descriptions of the flora and fauna with which he spent much time. I marvelled at how his father apparently left him alone for weeks, and their "vacation" to the North Woods. I feel this book is very different from the...more
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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...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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