Book Review: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

By Ally

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“Dogs are a man’s best friend.” Not everyone believes this saying. Yet, after reading the enthralling novel, “Where the Red Fern Grows,” by Wilson Rawls,about the heartbreaking story of Billy Colman and his two hard-earned coonhounds- Little Ann and Old Dan, you will definitely become a believer of this quote.

As a little boy, Billy yearned for two coonhounds to hunt with. After seeing a deal in a magazine, an idea flashed in his mind. If he could save enough money, he could afford two coonhounds. Over the next two years, he used all in his power to save enough money. At last, proudly carrying a roll of dollar bills, Billy trekked over the mountains and harsh conditions to the dog store.

At first sight they became good buddies, protecting each other throughout their hunting experiences, from hunting in the local woods to winning first prize in a national hunting competition. Billy would always pour out his problems to his dogs, who always listened, as if they understood.

One day, while battling a mountain lion they encountered on their way to the woods, one of his beloved coonhounds, Old Dan, sacrificed his life for his owner without a second thought. Little Ann, no longer having the will to live anymore since her faithful partner died, also tragically passed away. All of it led to an imposing puzzle.

A few years later, the last time Billy visited their grave before he moved out of town, a stunning red fern grew between their graves. This sacred, one of a kind red fern symbolized the kindness and their devotion to their owner.

The love that Billy’s dogs show in this alluring story is the deepest kind of love to Billy. The author is well-versed in building moving and intense plots. This book, packed with rich emotions and adventures, is a riveting read.

Where the Red Fern Grows” by Wilson Rawls, Yearling, 304pp.

Age Range: 8–12 years
Grade Level: 3–7

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