Where the Red Fern Grows is Wilson Rawls’ classic coming of age story, set in the Ozark Mountains. Ten-year-old Billy Colman dreams of owning a pair of Coonhounds, but his farming father cannot afford them, so his dad purchases traps instead to keep young Billy occupied. Billy becomes a skillful trapper, but he still longs for a pair of pups. He works hard for two years selling fishing bait, and finally earns the forty dollars to order the registered Redbones. They arrive on a train from Kentucky, and, unbeknownst to his family, Billy hikes the twenty miles to the depot to claim his hard won pups. Once he has them in hand, he must battle bullies, and keep a mountain lion at bay, in order to get them safely home. Billy brings gifts from town for his family, who are relieved to see him and his playful pups. With help from his grandfather and a great deal of ingenuity, Billy traps a raccoon, and uses the hide to train Old Dan and Little Ann. They soon become prizewinning coon hunters, thus beginning adventures that will alter Billy’s life, and mark his painful passage into adulthood. Preteens will enjoy this realistic historical adventure.