Coon hunting with hounds

Where the Red Fern Grows

This book will take you on a great adventure to the Ozarks. Here, you will meet Billy, who dreams of owning his very own coon dog. Billy's father knows how bad his son wants a coon dog, but coon dogs cost money. Billy's parents are poor and his father can't afford a coon dog for his son.

Billy's father knows that he can get Billy a Collie from a neighbor. He asks Billy if he would like to have a Collie. Billy refuses. How can he hunt coons with a Collie?

Ten-year-old Billy is determined to own a coon dog one way or the other. For the next two years, he works at every odd job he can. Finally, he's saved enough money to buy, not one, but two, coon dogs. The dog's names are Old Dan and Little Ann.

Billy teaches his dogs to hunt by dragging a coon skin around the woods near the cabin. The dogs turn out to be great hunters. Billy and his dogs work together to outsmart the coons that live in the forest near his home. The bond between Old Dan and Little Ann is a close one. Soon Billy finds himself included in a bond of love and loyalty. Billy cares for his dogs with love and respect. The dogs return his caring with love and loyalty.

There are lots of things that keep this wonderful book moving at a fast pace. Old Dan and Little Ann tree a cat instead of a coon. Billy clears a patch of forest to try and get the coons. Billy enters the dogs in coon hunting contests and wins gold. Then, the big coon hunt contest comes up. It is a championship to try and hunt down the "ghost coon." Will he succeed in his quest or will the adults who have joined in the contest not take him seriously? This scene is uproariously funny. You will enjoy the comical antics.

There are a couple of scenes that are sad. Remember, this is a book about hunting. A young boy dies when he runs through the woods carrying an axe. However, accidents like this did happen during the era (time) when Billy was a boy.

“Where the Red Fern Grows,” takes us back in time to a more simple life. The books shows us that hard work, loyalty and honesty pay off. It teaches us to follow our dreams because dreams can really come true if we try hard.

Wilson Rawls, has written this book in a way that will make you feel a part of the story. The book is the winner of the Great Stone Face Award. It is a great book that has been read through several generations. You will love exploring the woods with Billy, Old Dan and Little Ann. For children age 8+.

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