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Where the Red Fern Grows, Wilson Rawls

Young Billy Colman is about as happy as a fellow can be. Having worked hard for two years to buy two bluetick hound pups, he is now free to roam the Ozark hills of northeastern Oklahoma with his cherished dogs, treeing raccoons and eventually taking the coveted gold cup in the annual coon-hunt contest. This simple story of a young boy growing up during the harsh years of the Depression presents timeless themes of right and wrong, innocence and integrity. A tragedy leaves Billy grieving, but he learns important lessons about life from a culture very different from his own.

Related Readings

from Good Old Boy: A Delta Boyhood—memoir by Willie Morris

"Harnessing the Howls"—newspaper article by Karin Winegar

"Coon Hunt"—humorous essay by LeRoy Powell

"The Best Coon-and-Possum Dog" and "The Split Dog"—traditional folktales

"The Dog of Montargis"—folktale retold by James Baldwin

"The Velveteen Rabbit"—fairy tale by Margery Williams

Study Guide (PDF)


McGraw-Hill / Glencoe