Fans of the Classics - Check out BOOK REVIEW Where the Red Fern Grows
Story line: For fans of Old Yeller and Shiloh, Where the Red Fern Grows is a beloved classic that captures the powerful bond between man and man’s best friend. This special edition includes new material, including a note to readers from Newbery Medal winner and Printz Honor winner Clare Vanderpool, a letter from Wilson Rawls to aspiring writers, original jacket artwork, and more.
Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann—he’s ecstatic. It’s true that times are tough, but together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks.
Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan’s brawn, Little Ann’s brains, and Billy’s sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy awaits these determined hunters—now friends—and Billy learns that hope can grow out of despair.
Avid reader Chelsea Gouin gives this book
4 out of 5 stars.
This was a wild ride for a children's book... I mean, I know everyone picks this up in elementary school at some point but after Old Yeller I swore off dog books then. And good thing cause this one was a doozy!
Billy is a simple country boy living with his Papa, Mama, and trove of sisters in the Ozarks. All Billy wants is two hounds to hunt coons. He takes almost 3 years to raise enough money to buy the dogs and when he does they are his best companions. Of course the dogs are special, they are practically of human intelligence and Billy takes them to a competition to show they're the best "coon hunters".
It's a fairly typical children's book in the regard of pacing and plot...until you get into the Faith aspect. Billy has 3 moments where he is moved to his knees to pray to God. Twice he questions his parents about God answering his prayers and the books conclusion about grief is based on Faith and believing in God, an aspect that I had never heard discussed in regards to this book in the past. I actually really liked it and thought it was handled very well...just a surprise.
The ending was rather graphic when a dog's entrails are falling out of him and the discussion of "will to live" was really deep for a children's book. Overall, I can see why this became a modern classic, it has heart and is a very warm story about a boy and loving his dogs. The significance of the title doesn't come in until the very end of the book but it was beautiful.