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Where the Red Fern Grows Audio CD – CD, October 11, 2005
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A Top 100 Children’s Novel, School Library Journal
A Must-Read for Kids 9 to 14, NPR
A Great American Read's Selection (PBS)
Winner of Multiple State Awards
Over 14 million copies in print!
“One of the great classics of children’s literature . . . Any child who doesn’t get to read this beloved and powerfully emotional book has missed out on an important piece of childhood for the last 40-plus years.” —Common Sense Media
“A book of unadorned naturalness.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Written with so much feeling and sentiment that adults as well as children are drawn [in] with a passion.” —Arizona Daily Star
“It’s a story about a young boy and his two hunting dogs and . . . I can’t even go on without getting a little misty.” —The Huffington Post
“We tear up just thinking about it.” —Time on the film adaptation
From the Back Cover
"From the Paperback edition.
- ASIN : 0307281698
- Publisher : Listening Library; Unabridged edition (October 11, 2005)
- Language : English
- Audio CD : 6 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780307281692
- ISBN-13 : 978-0307281692
- Reading age : 8 - 12 years
- Grade level : 3 - 7
- Item Weight : 6.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.06 x 1.16 x 5.89 inches
Best Sellers Rank:
#934,610 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #450 in Teen & Young Adult 20th Century United States Historical Fiction
- #1,810 in Teen & Young Adult Classic Literature
- #5,956 in Books on CD
- Customer Reviews:
Reviews with images
Top reviews from the United States
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My problem with this book is that I have long heard it is one of the classic dog fiction books. While the book is certainly about a special bond between a boy and his dogs, there is a regrettable undercurrent to the story. At its roots, this is a story about how a boy and his family exploit two loyal dogs, constantly endanger them, cause their deaths, and then profit from the exploitation to better their own lives. This is also a story rife with depictions of animal cruelty.
The basis of the story revolves around a boy using his two dogs to hunt raccoons. Throughout two thirds of the book, raccoons are brutally harassed, attacked, and ultimately killed. Their demise is documented extensively and often only happens after they are exhausted and terrified. There is a similar scene with a mountain lion being brutally torn to pieces by the dogs and the boy’s axe.
At the end of it all, the dogs die because they were so loyal to the boy and he continued to exploit their loyalty and ultimately put them in a final, dangerous situation. People who love their dogs do not endanger their lives every night and pretend it’s love. On top of it all, they boy’s parents are only slightly more than apathetic when the dogs die. They seem more content to call it God’s will and rejoice in the new life the dog’s garnered for them. In the end, they leave the country home behind, abandoning the dog’s graves and also the family cat who they just left behind without any concern.
Well-written story but full of horrible lessons around how we should treat animals. Nefariously, these lessons are cloaked as an “animal lover’s story” when in reality, it is the exact opposite.
This book is most definitely not any sort of beacon for how animals should be treated.
"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."
My Dad didn’t grow up in the Ozarks, but he trapped animals as a young boy to raise money for a dog. Selling skins to Sears Roebuck & Co. was enough then to fulfill that dream and then later to get him enough money to fly enough hours to be conscripted (after being declared 4F) to train pilots at Americus, Georgia. When he was able to return to being a civilian pilot, the first thing he did with the money he saved was to buy another dog. On multiple levels, I felt this story to be so close to my father’s, both coming from rural, impoverished areas.
“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.”
This is such a wonderful story; I highly recommend you read it. Re-read it, if you read it as a child.
Top reviews from other countries
I read this after lunch, one or two chapters at a time and when I had to stop to get on with other areas of the curriculum , it was always to loud complaints. When the final page was read, sadly, one of my girls jumped up and ran to the restroom sobbing. That's the king of novel this is.
I gave it five stars because it is one of the best books I've read and I would not only recommend it to dog-lovers but anyone who loves to read books that show great friendship or true heartbreak.
Son ( loves books he noticed it was based on a book ) he’s not put it down , will be reading it after him. Not often a book he really likes but this one in his words it’s great mum