Where the Red Fern Grows

  Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls

Billy, Old Dan and Little Ann -- a Boy and His Two Dogs ... A loving threesome, they ranged the dark hills and river bottoms of Cherokee country. Old Dan had the brawn, Little Ann had the brains -- and Billy had the will to train them to be the finest hunting team in the valley. Glory and victory were coming to them, but sadness waited too. And close by was the strange and wonderful power that's only found ... An exciting tale of love and adventure you'll never forget.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is Grandpa dumbfounded when Billy brings in his $50?
  2. Why doesn't Billy tell his parents he is going to Tahlequah?
  3. How is Billy's life different from that of the children in town?
  4. Why does Grandpa say that Billy shouldn't tell his father about the dogs?
  5. Why do the names carved in the tree seem perfect to Billy for his pups?
  6. Why do Billy's parents think they should move to town?
  7. How do the curiosity and stubbornness of a raccoon enable Billy to trap one?
  8. Why do Billy and his father care about whether a raccoon is caught in a sports-manlike way?
  9. What does it show about Billy's character when he buys gifts for his family?
  10. Why does Mama worry about Billy?
  11. How does Papa's treatment of Billy change?
  12. Why doesn't Billy give up when his dogs have a raccoon up the “big tree”?
  13. How do the Pritchard boys get Billy to accept their bet?
  14. Why would a hunter respect raccoons?
  15. Why does Grandpa lock the store when he goes to the mill?
  16. How did you feel about Grandpa accepting the Pritchards' bet?
  17. Do miracles really happen to Billy, or does he solve his own problems?
  18. Why doesn't Billy want to kill the ghost coon?
  19. Would Rubin have killed Billy's dogs if he hadn't tripped on the ax?
  20. Why do the hunters at the contest treat Billy like an equal?
  21. How do you know that Billy is a good hunter?
  22. Does Billy needlessly expose himself and others to danger during the storm?
  23. Why are Billy's dogs unusual?
  24. How does Big Dan's behavior get Billy and the dogs in trouble?
  25. Why does Billy bury Old Dan on the hillside?
  26. How is Billy helped to understand his dogs' deaths?

If you liked Where the Red Fern Grows, you might like:

Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
Shiloh by Phyllis Naylor Reynolds
Sounder by William H. Armstrong
Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard
The Incredible Journey by Sheila Burnford
The Yearling by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings
Hatchet by Gary Paulson
White Fang by Jack London
My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George