Well, I finally read it. All my life I have avoided Where the Red Fern Grows because I knew it was a sad dog story. But one of my students wanted to write about it, and I needed to make a story chart, so I finally read it.
Not only is it a beautiful story of love between a boy and his dogs and a boy and his family and a boy and nature, it is a “time capsule” book. It is a look at life as it was before everyone was afraid for their children to run free in nature, to explore and enjoy free play and learn about life from real life. Yes, sometimes it was dangerous, and sometimes even brutal, but it is the way people always grew up before our sophisticated modern age. It is how my parents grew up, and to a lesser extent how I grew up, and as much as possible how my children grew up.
This book will always be in my heart now. I’m so glad I read it.
SPOILER ALERT! Don’t look at the chart until you have read the story! Then click on the story title below to go to my story chart. The chart summarizes the elements of literature in the story: Characters, Setting, Conflict, Plot and Theme. It is a great tool to talk about the story after you have read it.