Where the Red Fern Grows is a heartwarming story about a boy and his two dogs, set in the Ozark Mountains of Oklahoma. Billy has wanted a pair of red-bone hounds since he was old enough to know what they were, and when he’s finally able to save up enough money for them, nothing can keep him from becoming the proud owner of Old Dan and Little Ann. The inseparable trio spends their days hunting together and being best friends. But tragedy strikes one day when both dogs are killed by a timber rattlesnake. Billy is overcome with grief but determined not to give up on his beloved companions. He plants saplings in honor of each dog along an abandoned stretch of track near his home known as “the red ferns.”Years later, after much hard work and patience, those trees have grown into tall oaks that shelterBillyand any lost animals who need it—including Two Socks, the deer who becomes Billy’s final pet and friend.
For who is this book for ?
This book is for children who are looking for an adventure filled story about the bond between a boy and his dogs.
- Rawls’ descriptive writing will make you feel like you’re right there in the Ozarks with Billy and his hounds.
- The story is full of tragedy but also triumph, showing that even the worst difficulties can be overcome with a little bit of perseverance.
- It’s a well-loved classic that has been capturing hearts for generations.
- The story might be too sad for some children.
- It is a bit long, so it may not hold the attention of young listeners.
- Some parts of the language might be difficult for kids to understand.
Learn more about the author
Wilson Rawls (1913-1988) was an American writer best known for the novel, Where the Red Fern Grows. He served in World War II and later worked as a logger, surveyor, construction worker and teacher before becoming a fulltime writer.
“This delightful story, set in Oklahoma’s Ozark Mountains, is narrated by Billy Coleman as he recalls his childhood. Rawls’ portrayal of a boy’s love for and attachment to his dogs is so strong that even young readers unfamiliar with hunting will feel empathy for the protagonist as he endures heartbreak when they are killed.”
“Rawls touches the heart with his loving story of a boy and his dogs.”
“It is a wonderful, heartwarming story that I’m sure most people have read or heard at one time in their lives.”
“Where the Red Fern Grows is an amazing and heartwarming story that I would definitely recommend to anyone. It’s about a boy who grows up in Oklahoma with two redbone hounds, Old Dan and Little Ann. The three of them are best friends and spend all their time hunting together. One day, when Billy is 14 years old, tragedy strikes and both dogs are killed by a timber rattlesnake. This leaves Billy feeling devastated but he doesn’t give up on them. He plants saplings in honor of each dog along an abandoned stretch of track near his home known as “