The Story of Two Dogs and A Boy Where the Red Fern Grows By Wilson Rawls Number of Chapters: 20 Number of Pages: 249
Author’s Purpose The author wrote this book for entertainment and enjoyment. He also wanted to show how determination can change the expected outcome. The story also portrayed the loyalty between a dog/dogs and an owner. Summary A boy (Billy) was determined to own two coon hounds and was willing to do whatever it took to get them. His determination paid off when he had saved enough money to buy his two hounds. They became a great hunting trio and eventually earned/won enough money to make Mama’s dream of moving to town come true. Their love and loyalty to Billy and each other eventually cost them their lives. Even in the death of the dogs, the legend of the red fern lives on.
Main Characters • Billy: A ten-year-old boy who loves his dogs and hunting. He shows determination and loyalty throughout the novel. • Old Dan: Billy’s male coon hound. He has a belligerent and tough attitude. He is the was the brawn of the pair. • Little Ann: Billy’s female coon hound. What she lacked in size she made up in sweetness. She is the brains of the pair. • Grandpa: He helped Billy get and train his hound pups. He is the owner of a general store. • Papa: He is a farmer who works very hard to support his family. He is very supportive of Billy with his hounds and hunting. • Mama: She takes care of the house and the children. She doesn’t like Billy hunting because it is too dangerous. Her dream is to move the family to town to get a proper education.
Point of View • The story is told in first person throughout. The narrator of the story is telling the story as a flashback to his childhood. • This is effective because the introduction of the story is in the present and it provides some foreshadowing for what is to come. As the story progresses the reader is able to connect the pieces very easily.
Setting • This story takes place in the Ozark Mountains on a family farm far outside of town.
Conflict/Resolution • Conflict: Billy really wants two hound dog pups, but his family can’t afford them. • Resolution: Billy saves all the money he can earn by selling ... • Conflict: Old Dan and Little Ann tree their first coon in the ‘Giant Tree’ of the river bottoms. • Resolution: Billy chops down the tree by hand until he can’t chop anymore. Then a gust of wind brings the tree the rest of the way down and they catch their first coon.
Conflict: A strong storm hits the night of the final round for the championship coon hunt and Billy doesn’t want to quit. • Resolution: Old Dan and Little Ann won’t quit until they catch the final (4th) coon. The other hunters come out into the storm to find and help them and get to witness the dogs catching the winning coon. • Conflict: A ‘Devil Cat’ attacks Billy and the dogs. • Resolution: Old Dan and Little Ann fight the mountain lion to save Billy. Old Dan is severely injured and eventually dies. Little Ann is not severely injured but dies from a broken heart after losing Old Dan. • Conflict: Family is moving to town and Billy must leave his dogs behind at their grave site. • Resolution: Billy visits the grave site one last time before moving to town. He finds that between the graves a red fern has grown up and remembers the legend of the red fern.
Favorite Scene • My favorite scene is when Billy visits the graves one last time and finds the red fern. It is my favorite because it explains the title of the book and it lets the reader know that the dogs are going to be okay because they are in heaven.
Favorite Scene #2 • My second favorite scene is when Billy gets to town and sees his pups for the first time. I can really imagine what they look like and what Billy is feeling because of the description. It is a really exciting and happy part of the book. Little Ann Old Dan
Recommendation • I would definitely recommend this book because it is full of excitement. I really got into the book and was able to imagine myself as Billy because of the descriptive writing by the author. The story has really happy and sad parts, but in the end the reader is left with a sense of calm. • I think any reader that likes and adventure story that is filled with emotion would love this book. Also anyone that likes dogs would also enjoy reading this book because it shows many wonderful characteristics that dogs have.