My first reason for liking Where the Red Fern Grows was because it brought to mind some other wonderful books. To me it has the comfortable pace, charm, and extraordinary detail of animal and farm life like All Creatures Great and Small and Charlotte’s Web. The author’s voice is folksy and likeable.
The main character, Billy, narrates his story as he reminisces about his boyhood adventures with his beloved hounds—Little Ann and Old Dan. He begins his story at age 10, describing his passion for hunting and desperation to own two hounds. Billy lives with his caring parents and three younger sisters, and the family barely survives on their modest farm in the Ozark Mountains of Oklahoma. Despite his family’s poverty, Billy works odd jobs for three years until he finally earns enough to purchase his dogs. The remarkable relationship the dogs have to each other and to Billy is tender and beautiful, and their many (sometimes dangerous) adventures together—night hunting wily, ring-tailed racoons, a violent evening with two vicious neighbor boys, visiting his grandpa’s store in town, and entering a hunting competition create such an enjoyable story.