Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Rascal” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  8,088 ratings  ·  355 reviews
Celebrating 50 years of a beloved classic!

Nothing's surprising in the North household, not even Sterling's new pet raccoon. Rascal i sonly 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 he
Paperback, 192 pages
Published February 1st 1990 by Puffin (first published January 1st 1963)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Rascal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Rascal

Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott
Favorite books from my childhood
340th out of 3,107 books — 5,949 voters
Charlotte's Web by E.B. WhiteWatership Down by Richard AdamsBlack Beauty by Anna SewellWhere the Red Fern Grows by Wilson RawlsAnimal Farm by George Orwell
Best Books About Animals
92nd out of 817 books — 1,207 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
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
"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
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
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
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
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
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.
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,
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
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
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
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.
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. :)
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,
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
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
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.

it was a nice laid back cute book about a boy and his pet raccoon,
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
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
Heather L
This was a re-read for me. I devoured this book more than once back in grade school, and am glad I snagged this when I happened upon a copy at a library book sale a few months ago. There were a great many things I remembered -- a squabble with a crow, a canoe in the living room, fencing in the Christmas tree -- and just as many scenes I had forgotten. As a Wisconsinite, I also enjoyed the descriptive passages about the North Woods/Lake Superior area as well as the more regional Lake Koshkenong o ...more
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
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
“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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Best Children books: Discussions about Rascal 1 4 Aug 20, 2013 03:24PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Cover image "Acces denied" 3 35 Oct 06, 2011 07:07PM  
  • Incident at Hawk's Hill
  • Minn of the Mississippi
  • Journey Outside
  • All Sail Set: A Romance of the Flying Cloud
  • The Fledgling (Hall Family Chronicles #4)
  • Shadrach
  • The Avion My Uncle Flew
  • Kildee House
  • Volcano: The Eruption and Healing of Mount St. Helens
  • Justin Morgan Had a Horse
  • Swift Rivers
  • Like Jake and Me
  • Annie and the Old One
  • Downright Dencey (Young Adult Library)
  • Kneeknock Rise
  • Graven Images
  • Bright Island
  • Daughter of the Mountains
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 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

Share This Book