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Where the Red Fern Grows
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Where the Red Fern Grows

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  300,168 Ratings  ·  9,654 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)
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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.
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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
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
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
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.
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
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.
Excellent story! Heartwarming and spiritual! 😊
Sh3llraiser (grumpybookgrrrl)

“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
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
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
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
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
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 the
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.



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

Jun 17, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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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
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 sinc
Ashley (TheNerdyBookmark)
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!
Spider the Doof Warrior
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
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
Review to come. Let me just go collect my feels, first.
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,
Mar 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I think there are going to be a lot of middle-grade readers that end up being a hot mess and their heart ripped out after reading this one. Oh wait, maybe I just described myself. A wonderful, coming of age story that I truly enjoyed. Who would have thought running dogs and catching raccoons could be so intense and exciting? So much to this story and one that I highly recommend. Grab the Kleenex and brace yourself. Loved it!
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. A classic story of a poor young boy in the Ozarks, saving his money for two years to buy two redbone coon hounds: a male (Old Dan) and a runt female (Little Ann.) Together always, they become the best racoon hunters in the area, eventually competing for a top award. Lots of adventures for the trio, whose companionship is indefatigable. Not sure how I missed this one growing up...
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing
You know how everyone you know says they cried after they watched "Old Yeller"? Yeah, I didn't cry nearly as hard watching that movie as I did when reading this book...worse yet, we read it for an English class in jr. high--yeah, that's a stigma an already geeky girl needs on her middle school resume!

Regardless of that, this is still one of my all-time favorite books. It does a great job of portraying loyalty, stamina, work-ethics, and love at a level that children and adults can understand and
Christian Guzman
This was a nice quick read. It felt dragged out, but the plot and overall message was very deep. The book wasn’t that long to begin with and somehow it did happen to feel lengthy. I like how it is realistic and the author didn’t hold back on depicting real life events. I never had any pets as a child so it was nice reading about this unbreakable bond Billy had with his dogs. I admired the way he was portrayed. He seemed to never give up and strived to achieve his goals. Also, at that age not man ...more
Lee Tyler
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Most all of us remember this from our childhood and have similar feelings to this very day. How can a book not be five stars while still evoking such memories so many decades later? But today I read for the first time a short excerpt of the authors life that some kind soul at Goodreads wrote and it compounds the feelings this book will bring to memory down the road. Obviously, the book is a recommendation for all,;you, your nephews and nieces, and children especially so they can talk about their ...more
A classic so called tear-jerker and for good reason, when we read Where the Red Fern Grows in grade six English (we also watched the movie), I most definitely was crying at the end, not just for the dogs, but also for Billy, having lost both of his loyal and treasured pets.

However, as much as I was emotionally moved and yes, affected by Where the Red Fern Grows, I have also always had some major and problematic issues with this novel, namely with the amount of hunting that is described (and in
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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
“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.”
“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.” 103 likes
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