The story of Billy and his two hunting dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann, was one of my favorites growing up. I read it multiple times--and sobbed every time. Many readers don't like how sad this story is, but I always loved the bond between Billy and the dogs, as well as the bond between the dogs. It's worth reading for the way it depicts respect for nature and animals, as well as life in poverty in the Ozarks.
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Where the Red Fern Grows
Billy has long dreamt of owning not one, but two, dogs. So when he’s finally able to save up enough money for two pups to call his own—Old Dan and Little Ann—he’s ecstatic. It doesn’t matter that times are tough; together they’ll roam the hills of the Ozarks.
Soon Billy and his hounds become the finest hunting team in the valley. Stories of their great achievements spread throughout the region, and the combination of Old Dan’s brawn, Little Ann’s brains, and Billy’s sheer will seems unbeatable. But tragedy awaits these determined hunters—now friends—and Billy learns that hope can grow out of despair, and that the seeds of the future can come from the scars of the past.
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