Monday, August 15, 2016

Children's Classic Review: Where the Red Fern Grows

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, September 1, 1996 (originally published 1961). 212 pages. Published by Yearling. Source: Own/Bought.
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 doesn’t matter that times are tough; 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, and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past.
First Sentence:
When I left my office that beautiful spring daym I had no idea what was in store for me.

Guys, I do not know what possessed me to torture myself with a second read of Where the Red Fern Grows! I knew it was sad, I knew it was going to tear my heart out, and what did I do, I read it again when I had no need to.
  • Sometimes, I randomly read or in the case of Where the Red Fern Grows, reread books that I (again) randomly pick up when said book catches my eye. While I did remember that this book was sad, yet so well done, If you can make it past the first chapter then you should be able to make it throughout he book. Though there is no guarantee that you will not shed any tears.
  • While there were things I liked about Billy, there were things that annoyed me extremely. What made me look dis-favorably upon him was the way he acted when he could not get what he wanted, i.e. hunting dogs. Even though I can understand wanting something so badly, come on we've all been there, but that he would turn useless at the denial of his request that was just annoying. It may sound harsh, but it just irritated me okay. What I did like about Billy would have to be how hard he worked to make his dream come true. It was nice to see a character work so diligently to achieve their goal. 
  • Question, do you know why this book is a tearjerker?? As you most likely do, I won't go into detail about the latter half of the book and how it tore my heart to pieces. UGH! Just know that it broke my heart to see the grief that Billy went through after what happened. As sad as it was, it was really well written and the character's hurt just poured off the pages as I read it. Just so you know, there are two points in the book, chapter one and somewhere near the end, that will, unless your heart is made of stone, hit you right in the feels with the emotions. 
  • When it comes down to it, what I really enjoyed best about Where the Red Fern Grows would have to be Billy's dedication. It was really enjoyable to read a book where the character works, for years as was Billy's case, to achieve their goal and not just sit around waiting for it to be handed to them. How he never gave up and how ardently he prayed were two things that really made this a great book. These reasons alone, make it obvious why so many people have had to read it for school. If it's been awhile since you last read Where the Red Fern Grows, I cannot recommend enough going back and reading it. Sure, it'll make you cry buckets, but the change in perspective that a few years brings might bring a different light to the story for you.

Final Verdict: Where the Red Fern Grows- As painful as it was rereading this one, it was also a great choice. While it tore my heart out, again, it was interesting to see how my perspective on it has changed. 

Where the Red Fern Grows earns

Yeah, so, I own a copy of this book and decided to share my thoughts on it. All thoughts are my own.

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