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Thursday, February 21, 2019

REVIEW: Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Where the Red Fern Grows 
by Wilson Rawls

💖GAH! This book.  EVERY. SINGLE.TIME.💖  

Publisher: Doubleday Books
Publish Date: September 1, 1986, first published 1961
212 Pages
Genres: Classics, YA

Billy, Old Dan and Little Ann -- a Boy and His Two Dogs...
A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn, Little Ann had the brains -- and Billy had the will to train them to be the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. And close by was the strange and wonderful power that's only found...
An exciting tale of love and adventure you'll never forget.

My Review:

I had read this book for the first time as a child and have been mesmerized with it ever since. My Dad gave me the 25th anniversary edition on Christmas of 1986 and I have tried to read it every year since.  It had been a couple of years since I had reread so I was over due.  When I found out a friend was reading it for the VERY FIRST TIME, I had to buddy read it with her.  Opening up that first page was like greeting an old friend again.  And that was it - I was back in the mountains with my favorite doggies and Billy.

I thought after SO many reads that eventually it wouldn't get to me as much as it used to but no... even though I know every scene, I found myself laughing at certain parts, getting angry in others and then flat out ugly crying at the very end. EVERY.SINGLE.TIME.

Billy is probably my favorite character of all time.  This kid has got gumption! His bond with these dogs, all the hard work, the sweat and blood he gave - I wish I had half the focus that he did.  When there's a will, there's a way! The family dynamics, struggle and a boy's view of the world are astounding.  Rawls has me feeling like I'm barefoot, running through the Ozarks, whooping at my dogs on the hunt.  

Y'all, this isn't even in my normal wheelhouse of books I read and yet I remember distinctly the very first time I picked this book up.  It has been my absolutely favorite book of all time and no other book has changed my mind since.

I could go on and on and on about this book, my love for it, the deep connection I have with this story on a level that can't even be explained.  If you haven't read this book yet, do yourself a favor and pick it up RIGHT NOW.


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