Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Where the Red Fern Grows” as Want to Read:
Where the Red Fern Grows
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Where the Red Fern Grows

4.08  ·  Rating details ·  334,475 ratings  ·  10,907 reviews
A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn. Little Ann had the brains, and Billy had the will to make them into the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. Where the Red Fern Grows is an exciting tale of love and adventure you'll never forget.
Mass Market Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 9th 2000 by Yearling (first published 1961)
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 Where the Red Fern Grows, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Clyde Hedges It's sad because it has to be. It's one of the most emotional books I've ever read, and it's uplifting and full of love.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Aaron
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanTwilight by Stephenie MeyerThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Giver by Lois Lowry
Best Young Adult Books
11,416 books — 79,365 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeePride and Prejudice by Jane AustenTwilight by Stephenie Meyer
Best Books Ever
50,798 books — 199,657 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.08  · 
Rating details
 ·  334,475 ratings  ·  10,907 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Where the Red Fern Grows
Melinda
Jul 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone who has a heart
I read this book in 4th grade. One day I was waiting for class when an obnoxious boy decided it would be a good idea to take it. I informed him that it was my favorite book in the whole wide world and if he didn't give it back that he'd be sorry. He then threatened to tear the book in half. With that I walked over to him, hit him over the head with my cast (I had broken my wrist a few weeks prior), took my book and calmly walked away.

I think that a book that inspires someone to violence in the 4
...more
karen
Apr 09, 2007 rated it it was amazing
this is one of my favorite books in all the land. i read it at least a million times when i was little, and it holds such a special place in my heart, i can't even begin to review it. having said all that, there are those who have a problem with the ending, because let's just say it's fairly devastating. so, as a band-aid to the heart of monica!, i have rewritten the ending to make it a little more jolly. with all apologies to wilson rawls, whose ending i thought was spectacular, allow me to pre ...more
Rebecca
Aug 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in sixth grade and cried my twelve-year-old heart out. Another book I share with my sixth grade students. What I find is that this book in particular allows the boys in my class to get emotional about a story and be able to talk about it together and normalize it. It is almost a contest for them of who got most upset. One student said he finished it on a plane ride home and that the flight attendant kept coming up to him asking him if he was alright. I've had many students tell ...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 29, 2009 rated it did not like it
Let me say first that some love this book and to be fair I never read it except to get an idea of the story.(updated:please read what I actually said there. Any book I don't care for enough to finish will usually get a 1 star or at best a 2.) You will find in my books low ratings for Black Beauty, The Yearling, Old Yeller and any books that have the "pain of life motif" in common. By the way this includes Cold Mountain. Look up my review and you'll see I try to give recognition that it's well wr ...more
Cheri
Wilson Rawls’ classic, timeless story of a young boy’s coming-of-age is heartbreaking, sentimental, and utterly charming. An ode to love, family and the beauty of nature. Set in the Ozarks, northeastern Oklahoma, Billy wants nothing more than to have a puppy, or to be more specific, two puppies. He wants to train them for hunting, although his mother has forbidden him to use or own a gun until he is 21 or older. For two years he waits, collecting enough money doing whatever jobs he can, he final ...more
Kendra
Oct 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone
We finished it! I read this aloud with my kids and as I read through the final sentences, we were all in tears. I am not talking teary eyes, but body rocking sobs. My six year old did not stop for almost twenty minutes. When he was finished he said it was the greatest story he had ever heard. My eight year old wanted to meet the author and thank him for such a great book. I loved this book and recommend it to everyone. Just read it with a box of tissues nearby.
Amanda
May 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"I knelt down and gathered them into my arms. I buried my face between their wiggling bodies and cried. The stationmaster, sensing something more than two dogs and a boy, waited in silence."

Woodrow Wilson Rawls' timeless coming-of-age Classic is a beautifully heartbreaking story and sentimental favorite. Where the Red Fern Grows explores the love between a boy and his dogs and the bond between two dogs. The Disney movie was a staple of my childhood, but I'm still unsure of whether or not I'd eve
...more
Jonathan Ashleigh
Oct 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this book when I was in grade school and it always stuck out as an effortless read. I still remember the storyline and the characters and the ending was magical.
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
A young boy dreams of having pets of his own – wait, scratch that to mean dogs of his own because technically they already have a pet cat Sammy. I’m thinking Sammy doesn’t matter much to the family since the dad laughs at the cat limping with injured paws when he accidentally keeps getting his paws injured from Billy’s trap. At least he gets bandaged, but Sammie soon abandons the family when he develops a fear of people (go figure).

The first part of the book is Billy saving up money and working
...more
Loretta
Excellent story! Heartwarming and spiritual! 😊
Sh3lly
Nov 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone


“Men,” said Mr. Kyle, “people have been trying to understand dogs ever since the beginning of time. One never knows what they’ll do. You can read every day where a dog saved the life of a drowning child, or lay down his life for his master. Some people call this loyalty. I don’t. I may be wrong, but I call it love – the deepest kind of love.”

“It’s a shame that people all over the world can’t have that kind of love in their hearts,” he said. “There would be no wars, slaughter, or murder; no greed
...more
Melki
"I'll never forget you; and this I know - if God made room in heaven for all good dogs, I know he made a special place for you."


This is my first go-round with this fine, and affecting classic. I thoroughly enjoyed it, though I hope to never again hear the word entrails repeated so many times . . . particularly in a book aimed at younger readers.

description
...more
Calista
Let me get out of the way my biases. I grew up in Arkansas on the east side in the flat farm lands. This story is set in the west side of the state in the Ozarks. I am not overly fond of the local accent and Wilson Rawls does a fantastic job with the dialogue. It made me feel like I was back in the area. The other Bias I have is against the word 'coon. I can't stand that for some reason. I mean it makes my skin crawl. The proper word is Raccoon. That is the name. This book spends the entire book ...more
Johann (jobis89)
“You can read every day where a dog saved the life of a drowning child, or lay down his life for his master. Some people call this loyalty. I don’t. I may be wrong, but I call it love - the deepest kind of love.”

A story of a young boy and his two dogs who become the finest hunting team in the valley.

And the crying continues..... As I made my way through this one, I felt like I wasn’t THAT attached to the characters and that everyone who told me I’d bawl my eyes out was wrong... but y’all were ri
...more
RachelAnne
Jun 17, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
(view spoiler) ...more
Marci
There are a handful of books we read as children that so completely capture our hearts we cannot and would not ever forget them. Where the Red Fern Grows is such a book. An elementary teacher read this book to my class when I was in about third grade, beginning for me a love that has seen me through many personal readings, with even more readings to my own students through the course of my career as an elementary teacher.

What most people do not know is that this classic tale of a boy and his hun
...more
Ron
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: four-legs
The bug that is called constantly reading didn't hit me until 6th grade/junior high school (note: they call it middle school these days - I was recently schooled on that point by my friend's son and the glazed look that came over his face). Anyway, when I really started reading for pleasure it was The Call of the Wild that I read, followed immediately by White Fang, and then back to Old Yeller again – because my search for another book about man's/boy's best friend in my small school library had ...more
Edward Lorn
Sep 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Dog Lovers/Cat Haters
If there's one thing I learned from this book it's this: Fuck cats. Big or small, cats are the source of all evil. Hell, even Billy's family left their cat behind when they moved. Yeah, man, cats suck.

Now that I've made plenty of enemies, I will try and express my true feelings about this book.

I laughed. I cried. I did a number of cliched things while reading Where the Red Fern Grows. Mostly, I had fun. I dug running around with Billy and Little Ann and Old Dan, and I hate that I was one of th
...more
Ashley Daviau
May 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wasn’t expecting this book to hit me so deep in the feelings but it absolutely did. It’s just such a beautiful and touching story, you can’t help but feel the determination and the pain and everything the main character goes through as if you were going through it yourself. It felt like my heart was being torn to shreds multiple times and I wasn’t sure I’d ever recover. And I mean that in the best way possible of course! This book is an absolute treasure and definitely one that I’ll revisit ma ...more
Ian
Jan 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
Well. This book is terrible! I was told it had positive message and was filled with life lessons. Life lessons? Life Lessons!!! Why that boy and his dogs chased us all over the place and you don't want to know what happened when he caught us. No siree.

Ricky.

description

My cousin Rocky in the minutes before he was caught by Billy. (hands clearly up in surrender)

description
...more
jv poore
My 6th grade son told me that I needed to read this book. He said that I would love it. He added, as a slightly sinister second thought, "....and you'll weep."

I think you know that he was right.
Chantal
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a big fan of hunting, still I liked the story. Easy to read and right from the start you get sucked into the story of a young boy and the love he has for his dogs. The book is full of adventure and loyalty. A man's best friend is still a dog.

By now I have seen the movie, well the book is way beter.

This book is in the 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up challenge I am doing.
...more
Jim
Fantastic emotional roller coaster ride that was as good now as when I read it more than 40 years ago. I haven't read it since then because I remembered it pretty well & knew it came with a TJ (Tear Jerker) rating. There are tears of joy & sorrow, triumphs & defeats - a lot of life in such a few pages. Billy's grit & determination are something for every child to aspire to.

In this read, I found the background of the times most interesting. I guess it took place in the 1920's since the Model T wa
...more
Engineous
Mar 10, 2010 rated it did not like it
The synopsis: a boy gets two purebred hunting dogs, goes around hunting animals. Usually succeeds in killing them, although occasionally it stops at mutilation. Ends up getting his dogs killed because he's too selfish to rethink his actions and ethics. Other stuff happens too, but mostly torturing animals. Often given to kids. Unless you like sociopaths, don't.

God, what an awful book. I read this when I was nine for a school assignment - I remember loving it. I revisited it several years later,
...more
Spider the Doof Warrior
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
jo
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kidlit
I was chatting over email with Amy Schimler about her dog Beans, and it got me thinking about my favorite dog book of all time. We had to read Where the Red Fern Grows in 5th grade, and I have to admit I was completely dismayed that we had to read a "boy book." I struggled the whole time to distance myself from Billy, Old Dan, and Little Ann, probably flipping my permed hair and muttering "this is *so* stupid" and "who cares about a couple of dumb dogs?" under my breath about 20 times. But I rem ...more
Ashley Buhrke
Jul 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone Who Enjoys A Great Read And Needs A Good Cry
Recommended to Ashley by: My Mommy <3
This was the first book ever that made me realize how cruel books can be.. the first book that made me sob and cry and wail and wanna chuck it against the wall and question WHY?!

But this was also the first book that I truly learned to cherish. This book will always have a spot in my heart. I need to own a copy. I haven't read this book since around 2000 and I think I'm ready to reread it now. BRING ON THE FEELS!
Lisa Wolf
Sweet, funny, sad... what do you expect in a story about a boy and his beloved hounds? I mean, sure, I could do without the hunting, but appreciating it for the time and place in which it's set, it's a lovely story about growing up, loyalty, and adventure. Read as part of my attempt to experience some of the Great American Read books that I missed in my youth!
Tatevik Najaryan
The way you see the world when heavy rain is pouring down on the window blocking the view. I had a blurred view for a while, and there was no rain...
Jessaka
I live in the town where this book was written, and in the movie they filmed a scene in the old hardware store that the boy's grandfather owned. Now it is a restaurant named Jincy's Kitchen. Great food. It is decorated as the movie crew left it. Those things are kind of neat, and it is even nice that we have a Red Fern Festival.

What isn't so nice is that during this festival they have coon hounds chasing a coon skin to a tree, and then the dogs get to that tree and bark up a mighty storm, for i
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: Where the Red Fern Grows, by Wilson Rawls, 3 stars 8 28 Jan 25, 2019 10:41AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Old Yeller
  • Hatchet (Brian's Saga, #1)
  • Bridge to Terabithia
  • Because of Winn-Dixie
  • Island of the Blue Dolphins
  • Tuck Everlasting
  • Shiloh (Shiloh, #1)
  • Number the Stars
  • The Outsiders
  • Holes (Holes, #1)
  • The Call of the Wild
  • The Giver (The Giver, #1)
  • The Tale of Despereaux
  • Charlotte's Web
  • Black Beauty
  • My Side of the Mountain (Mountain, #1)
  • Where the Sidewalk Ends
  • The Phantom Tollbooth
See similar books…
424 followers
Wilson Rawls was born on September 24, 1913, in the Ozark country of Scraper, Oklahoma. His mother home-schooled her children, and after Rawls read Jack London's canine-centered tale Call of the Wild, he decided to become a writer.

But the Great Depression hit the United States in 1929, and Rawls left home to find work. His family moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1935, and he came home each fal
...more

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
5 likes · 0 comments
“After the last shovel of dirt was patted in place, I sat down and let my mind drift back through the years. I thought of the old K. C. Baking Powder can, and the first time I saw my pups in the box at the depot. I thought of the fifty dollars, the nickels and dimes, and the fishermen and blackberry patches.

I looked at his grave and, with tears in my eyes, I voiced these words: "You were worth it, old friend, and a thousand times over.”
139 likes
“I buried Little Ann by the side of Old Dan. I knew that was where she wanted to be. I also buried a part of my life along with my dog.” 111 likes
More quotes…