Read Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard Carl Pfeuffer Online


From the moment Danny sees the beautiful Irish setter, he knows Red is the dog for him.  Fast and smart, strong and noble, Red is the only dog Danny wants by his side.  Soon, neither boy nor dog can stand to be apart.  Together Danny and Red face many dangers in the harsh Wintapi wilderness that they call home.  But the greatest test of their courage and friendship will coFrom the moment Danny sees the beautiful Irish setter, he knows Red is the dog for him.  Fast and smart, strong and noble, Red is the only dog Danny wants by his side.  Soon, neither boy nor dog can stand to be apart.  Together Danny and Red face many dangers in the harsh Wintapi wilderness that they call home.  But the greatest test of their courage and friendship will come from an enemy more cunning than any they've known before--a bear who is the undisputed king of the wilderness, a savage killer called Old Majesty....

Title : Big Red
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553154344
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 224 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Big Red Reviews

  • Debbie Zapata
    2019-03-20 03:13

    I thought when I began re-reading this book yesterday that I might change its star rating from 5 to 4. I had marked it 5 stars when I first joined GR and before I really understood how things worked here. But I've just finished the book and I'm leaving it with all 5 stars. I have a soft spot for Kjelgaard and the way he is able to bring dogs, people, and Nature to vivid life. This story of Big Red and Danny is no different and I was caught up from the beginning. Would Danny be able to work with the beautiful dog? Would he understand the science behind the show ring? What will happen when the lovely Sheila MacGuire arrives? And then there's that bear.....who will win that little contest?This is an outdoor book and should be read sprawled on your belly with the grass tickling your nose and little flying bugs landing on the page every so often, and the sun warming you as you follow Danny and Red through their woods.

  • Richard
    2019-04-05 06:21

    Jim Kjelgaard's Irish Setter books are the ultimate boy-and-his-dog adventure stories. Although it has been a very long time since I read them, I do remember that they completely enthralled me at the time, and captured my heart and imagination.

  • Kyle Loehrke
    2019-04-07 08:22

    I read Big red because it looked very interesting and I like dogs. This book is very enjoying and I think that it is a perfect book for a freshman to read that likes outdoor stuff. This book was action packed and I didn't want to put it down.In the beginning Danny is working for his boss Mr. Haggin. He finds a bull that was killed by a huge bear and then he sees the bear. His family has tried to kill this bear for years and he also wants to. After he told Mr. haggin about the bull he sees his dog named Big Red and he falls in love with this dog. Big Red is a show dog and was bought for seven thousand dollars.Towards the end off the book Mr. Haggin gives Danny Big Red and then Danny finds a mate for Big Red so he can raise pups and then he can sell them for lots of money. The pups are also great hunting dogs and show dogs. This book was written in the Rocky Mountains and is written quite a few years ago. This book was very interesting and I hope many more students will read it and tell there friends to read it. I will also hope to read more books by Jim Kjelgaard.

  • Casey
    2019-04-08 05:21

    Jim Kjelgaard really started my obsessive compulsive reading lifestyle. He was really the first author that I can vividly remember, at like 8 years old, going into a bookstore and blurting out to any employee "Do you have any Jim Kjelgaard books, I'll spell it for you..K-J-E-L-G-A-A-R-D" Great dog books too, by the way. Jack London lite.

  • Laura Verret
    2019-04-04 09:25

    Danny Pickett’s always loved dogs. Course, the only dogs he’s ever really seen are hounds, but he likes them fine. And then, he meets Red.Red is an Irish setter – a well built, but refined looking dog. His eyes shine with intelligence and he has spunk, too. He’s taken to Danny – but he belongs to Mr. Haggins, a rich and kindly neighbor. When Mr. Haggins sees how well Danny and Red get along, he hires Danny to help take care of Red.Red’s a fancy show dog. But during the months when he’s not competing, Mr. Haggins allows Danny to keep him as a companion. But he is to take no risks with Red. His perfect physical condition must be preserved. Danny agrees.But when Old Majesty, the ruthless bear, kills the Pickett’s hounds and injures Danny's father, Ross, Danny knows that the only chance to catch Old Majesty lies with Big Red. But is it worth the chance?Discussion.I’m so pleased to have found Jim Kjelgaard. For years I’ve been searching for the person who writes animal stories and doesn’t kill off the animal at the end. It’s such a wonderful experience!As a story, Big Red comes in between the other two stories I’ve read by Kjelgaard. It’s more engaging than Stormy, which was a sadder, bleaker tale, but not as magnetic as A Nose for Trouble, which featured a dangerous gang of poachers. Big Red throws together the devoted relationship between a boy and his dog, a spot of dog-showing, and some good, gnaw-on-your-nails hunting scenes.Danny is a boy (young man?) of good character. He respects Mr. Haggins, and acts responsibly with Red. He also has an excellent relationship with his father, Ross – they work together, talk together, eat together, and think together. They don’t always agree, but Ross is not overbearing and Danny is not rebellious. They solve their differences with respect for each other.Conclusion. Good. A driving story.Visit The Blithering Bookster to read more reviews!

  • Lisa Rathbun
    2019-03-24 06:25

    I loved this book as a child and reread it many times. I loved the thrilling adventures from the "smaller" ones like his encounter with the wolverine to the main conflict with the savage bear. Oooo, I remember being so creeped out by the bear! Danny sitting in the dark, hearing the bear's claws scraping on the rock and watching Big Red's hackles rise . . . brrrrr! IMO, if kids are looking to be scared and feel chills up and down their spine, this is a lot healthier than some of the truly twisted stuff being marketed for children today. Of course, thanks to this book and all those Drama in Real Life Reader's Digest stories about grizzly bear attacks, I am absolutely terrified of bears! Thankfully I live in Detroit now. Not too many bears around here.

  • Wendy
    2019-03-22 04:11

    I rated this when I first joined Goodreads, but I don't remember why I only gave it three stars. I seems to me that I enjoyed it more than that. I've recently picked up a used copy of the book, so sooner or later I'll get around to rereading it and give it a proper review. I'm really stumped that Kjelgaard seems to be largely out of print--I loved the few of his books I encountered growing up, and can't see why kids today shouldn't enjoy them, too.

  • Larry Piper
    2019-04-03 02:24

    So, we have a 17-year old hillbilly Danny Pickett, living in a shack with his father, Ross. They support themselves by hunting, fishing and trapping. Occasionally they do some odd jobs for the rich guy, Mr. Haggin, on whose estate they have been squatting for years. I'm guessing they're somewhere in Appalachia, although we're also told they're only 300 miles from New York City. Whatever, they live an idyllic life, albeit a bit on the rough side. One day Danny goes to see Mr. Haggin and is greeted effusively by an Irish Setter, whom Danny calls Red. Red is a show dog, so has a fancy name, but Danny doesn't much cotton to such fanciness. Anyway, it's obvious to all that Red and Danny can't be separated, so Mr. Haggin hires Danny to be Red's caretaker and also, through osmosis mostly it seems, to learn to handle show dogs. Danny's father, of course, thinks they should turn Red into a varmint dog, like his blue tick hounds. So, there's some tension there because everyone, save Ross, knows that a quality setter should be eschewing varmints in favor of birds. Also, there's tension in that a giant bear, Old Majesty, occasionally shows up in their valley to terrorize farm animals, people, and the creatures of the forest. Only Red, it seems, is not afraid of Old Majesty. So, mostly we have a story about a boy and his dog in the woods.Along about 5th or 6th grade, I read this book and adored it. I was determined to get myself an Irish Setter. So, when I was allowed to get a new dog, a year or so after our sheltie, Jeanne, was run over by a laundry truck, I started calling people advertising Irish Setters. Well, the first one seemed "sort-of" ok, but then someone who had called before I had showed up and snagged the dog. The second person I called told me they were selling Irish Terriers? WTF? I thought (well, in those days, WTF? hadn't been coined). Oh well, I want a damn dog! So I got an Irish Terrier, who was the grand daughter of the legendary Ch. Wahoo Satellite, one of the few Irish Terriers to have ever won a Best in Show. Bridget wasn't show quality, but was a great pal. She had a daughter, by Ch. Ahtram Legacy, named Colleen. Colleen was also a great companion. Then, after almost 30 years of Irish Terriers, I ended up for some reason, with Golden Retrievers for about 25 years. Now, thanks to my daughter, I'm stuck a little Jug dog. The above is all to say, I love dogs and have had a number of them. But sadly, none of them has ever come close to matching Big Red. He's a veritable paragon of dogdom, smart, quick to learn, loving and loyal to a fault, and so forth. I think this is a book better suited to impressionable 10- or 11-year olds, than to jaded geezers. It was a fun enough read, but rather fanciful in its telling. No dog could possibly be so wonderful as Big Red. But, to his credit, Big Red wasn't a racist asshole like Lad a Dog. Then too, no 17-year old hill billy could ever be quite so worldly wise and manly as Danny Pickett. Still, it was an enjoyable adventure. After all, what's better for a dog lover and Eagle Scout than reading about a boy and his dog in the wilderness?

  • Arliegh Kovacs
    2019-04-10 06:08

    This book has a copyright of 1945 (mine is a 4th printing dated 1962) and was written back when "Scholastic Books" had some real substance instead of the silly stuff I see now when I go to the Book Fairs at my grandsons' schools. My youngest grandson (3rd grade) and I chose this to read together because he's crazy about dogs. This is about an Irish Setter (a Championship show dog worth $7,000 back in the '50s) named Champion Sylvester's Boy. Mr. Haggin, his owner, trusts "Red's" care and training (as a partridge dog) to a young backwoods boy named Danny (at the same time, Mr. Haggin is teaching Danny about 'showing' and breeding fine show dogs).The story revolves around life in the backwoods (traplines, hunting, surviving), training dogs for different specialties (Danny's father Ross raises and trains hounds to hunt 'varmints' -- fishers, rabbits, wildcats, etc.), dog shows, and the love between Red and Danny.The book isn't an easy read. There were times that my grandson and I had to go over parts so that I could explain exactly what had happened and why (okay, and it was about showing & breeding, so the first time I read the word "bitch" I thought he and his brother would fall off the sofa with their mouths open, looking horrified -- until I explained that it was just what 'dog people' called a female dog) but he stayed fascinated throughout. Even when I teared up during the last chapter and could barely read aloud because I was crying. (I do that a lot at the really good parts...)This is a book definitely worth searching for and sharing with any child or young person who loves dogs (or just a good story.)

  • Justin Kooistra
    2019-04-17 10:02

    They were in the woods out in the country, at night, tracking Ole Majesty the bear. It wasn't long until they started hearing sounds. In the book Big Red, most of the pages talk about Danny and Red, but there are many other characters. This book shows that doing the right thing is best.This book shows that by doing the right thing, not necessarily the beneficial thing, happiness can be achieved. Mr. Haggin doesn't want to get rid of Red, his show dog, but he will with a discounted price just for Danny. Mr. Haggin said, “That's a reasonable enough offer, and I'll accept it, Danny”. Mr. Haggin is selling Red cheap to Danny because he knows Danny and Red have a bond that nobody can break. Mr. Haggin knows he is losing his best show dog, but he knows down in his heart, it is the right thing to do.This book also shows that if a boy loves a dog, they cannot be separated. Mr. Haggin loves his show dog, Red, but Danny loves him more more and the dog chooses which guy he likes best. “Danny! he panted. Wake up! That dog of Mr. Huggins, the one you were talking about, it followed you home.” This shows that if the dog feels treated the best with the this guy, he will follow him wherever he goes.A dog will choose who he/she loves more no matter what. In the book it also shows that doing the right thing for the dog is best and that a dog’s love is as strong as human’s love. The book shows two different things, the dog will choose love over anything, and doing the right thing for the dog is the best thing you can do. The way to a dog’s heart is to love him and take care of him the best you can.

  • Hannah Clennnon
    2019-04-17 06:03

    In the first quarter we had to choose a book, I chose this one, the lexile level is 910. This is the first book that I have read by Jim Kjelgaard. This is his most well known book he has written. He lived for 69 years and wrote 31 books. I picked this book because I really enjoy dogs and adventure stories. I`m also the kind of person who looks at the cover and gets drawn in. The book is called big red because a boy named Danny was given a dog named red. He is a Irish setter who is in dog shows, and is worth a lot of money. The teaches the dog how to hunt and they become best friends. Then red meets a girl dog but red has to fight off a bear. Red gets injured but has 5 puppies in the end. The book is fairly happy throw out the story in the beginning the book is happy the boy gets a dog and teaches him to hunt but as the book goes on things get sadder pets die and so does live stock. People Get hurt and feelings get hurt also. There were family moments and friends get brought together. Neighbors lend hands and money. Bears feel the wrath and hounds will be missed. Overall the book was ok. I enjoyed the family moments and the times that Danny and Red chased the bear around the woods. I did not like that all of Danny's hounds died and that his mule died too. I wouldn't recommend this book too little kids because there is a lot of death in it and also they really get into the death and explain how they die and it sticks into your brain. But if there are other people who enjoy animal stories of fun and adventure this would be the perfect book for you too read.

  • Conan Tigard
    2019-04-17 06:11

    Big Red a wonderful book about a young man and his dog, a champion Irish Setter. Although Danny doesn't own him, it is his job to take care of Red. The book was written by Jim Kjelgaard in 1945, so the reader must picture a time when life was a little simpler. Ross is a trapper and they live without running water and electricity in a small shack in the woods.Having been written in the 1940's, this book does not look at the world that we see it today. Danny has grown up with a trapper for a father, and he is a trapper himself. Danny is often with a gun, especially when he takes Red out partridge hunting. They often find themselves in trouble either with a bear, a wolverine, or just the hardship of life living out in the wilderness.I remember reading this book when I was in junior high school and loving it. Picking it up again 20 years, and many books later, I find that I still really enjoyed the story. Mr. Kjelgaard nailed the lingo of the poor, county folk and weaves a tale of a boy and his dog that no reader will ever forget. The relationship with Danny and Red is wonderful, and any boy could only hope to have a dog that loves him as much. I can remember wishing I had a dog like Big Red. Now I want him all over again.Big Red is a enticing story for all ages, but especially young readers who love the wilderness and all of its dangers.I rated this book an 8½ out of 10.

  • Karen GoatKeeper
    2019-04-13 05:25

    Reading through this book I kept finding outdated ecological ideas. Finally I looked up the copyright and found it was published in 1945. No wonder its ideas about how a predator fits into an ecosystem are so out of step with modern research.Such problems aside, the book is a good story of a boy and his dog. It has plenty of challenges and excitement. The ending is happy and lends itself to the sequels that followed.Jim and his father are trappers. They earn their living trapping and hunting then selling pelts. The prices are shockingly little but realistic when the dates are taken into account.The hardships of such a life are smoothed over. Some of the facts of trapping are similarly glossed over.Being rural I could relate to much of what was in the book. It would be a good boy's book. But urban boys would have trouble as they have no experience to help them understand the setting or the experiences.I did find the book an interesting read and plan to read the sequels.

  • Jerry
    2019-04-05 04:16

    Fans of boy-and-his-dog hunting stories like "Where the Red Fern Grows" and "Old Yeller" will love this book. While you can pretty much guess what is going to happen by the end of the book, based on the opening chapters, the journey getting there is full of twists and turns that keep the reader interested and eager to find out exactly how the events will unfold. My only complaint--and it's a mild one--is the sometimes hokey-sounding dialect the characters use when they speak. Other than that, this will be one I highly recommend to boys looking for hunting and adventure stories. I was a little late to the game in finding this one, but I am glad I did. Now I'll have to sample some more of this author's works.

  • T
    2019-03-27 07:10

    This is about a Big Red dog and a boy who really loves this dog and lives in a place I cannot remember the name. The dog is a show dog but he can tell he is a good hunt dog. Eventually he gets hired to be a trainer, but the dog's leg is injured and will not be able to show any longer. He turns him into a partridge dog. There is also a bear named Old Majesty because no dog has been able to run him down. Big Red is there to challenge him and they defeat him in the night. I really liked this book because because it shows a lot of old-fashioned adventure. There are more books written by the same author and I can't wait to read them.

  • Ed
    2019-04-03 03:19

    1945 debut of the Young Adult Big Red series. I remembered reading this book over 50 years ago and rereading it found that it was as engrossing and enjoyable as the first time around. Kjelgaard wrote a number of books featuring an animal, usually a dog. YA - "Big Red" was a champion Irish setter; Danny a young trapper who knew more about the ways of varmints and hounds than of the world of fancy kennels and dog shows. But Red's owner knew a good dog man when he saw one, and entrusted Red to Danny's training.

  • Rebecca McNutt
    2019-03-27 05:14

    Wonderful and creative dog story, but Bid Red is also a timeless tale of friendship, hard work and the beauty of natural and rural environments. This book was an excellent journey through time and I highly recommend it.

  • Bookworm
    2019-04-20 02:11

    A wonderful book! Jim Kjelgaard's style of describing and writing about the woods is unparalleled by any other boy's author. I loved this book-should have read it sooner! It was funny, tense, exciting, intriguing, and more.

  • A
    2019-03-24 07:56

    heart warming dad book

  • Kam Hope
    2019-03-27 05:18

    I would suggest this book to hunters.It is about a man and a dog who try to kill a bear who eats there cattle.

  • Jim
    2019-04-04 07:23

    It was ok. A little short.

  • Ben
    2019-04-12 03:20

    A great Read

  • Shantelle
    2019-04-12 08:55

    Read this when I was a bit younger, and remember quite enjoying it! Books about dogs aren't usually my thing these days; but I have fond memories of reading them in the past! :)

  • Andrea
    2019-03-23 05:05

    Read Kjelgaard's books when I was a kid and they were a formative influence. Indeed, here is a longer blog post I wrote up about the books (back when I was giving blogging a brief go):I gave my nephew a set of four books this last Christmas: Big Red, Irish Red, Outlaw Red (a trilogy of Irish Setter stories) and Stormy, all by Jim Kjelgaard, and then for his ninth birthday, I found two more (the books are mostly out-of-print) Snow Dog and Wild Trek. He’s loved the books, as I figured he would, him being a kid who has spent much of his life pretending he was a dog, or some other animal. Then, after he was done with them, he lent them back to me, and after over 25 years away, I happily immersed myself back in Kjelgaard’s universe.As a kid, I loved two authors above all others – Jim Kjelgaard and Jack London. Kjelgaard came first – I began reading him when I was about eight, and I read and reread him for the next couple of years until I found The Call of the Wild and White Fang and all of Jack London’s short stories. Kjelgaard is definitely a young adult writer, with story lines that are straightforward, lacking the difficult layering of themes. He writes about young men, mostly all trappers, and their dogs, and his characters are all men. The only woman in the six above mentioned books appears in Big Red, and she is cold, distant and gone in just a few short pages. However, as a kid, I wasn’t worried about the feminist implications of the lack of women. I cared instead about these men and their dogs, because despite the lack of women, or maybe because of it, these stories were unreservedly love stories of men in love with their dogs, and whose dogs love them. These were love stories I could relate to and understand. I read Kjelgaard knowing that he would never disappoint me like the Little House books did when Laura got married and betrayed our tomboy sisterhood. By reading these books I was given a chance to dream a life without bounds, outside of the construct of traditional relationships – of marriage, career and kids. Reading these books solidified my aspirations to be resourceful, tough, brave, loyal and possessing intimate knowledge of the land where I lived. Reading those books taught me how to love the world, because that is the other thing the men loved besides their dogs – they loved their land.These men were trappers, yes, killing hundreds of animals for their fur every year, but they were also mountain men who loved and lived in the woods. I was troubled by this seeming incongruity when I was a kid, having read of the suffering of animals in these traps, but it was by this trapping that these men ventured into the woods, and still today it is hunters, those men and women who go into the woods, fields and marshes to hunt venison, duck, turkey and quail – that know the land in a way that few of us will ever know. This is something that cannot be overlooked.In college I went on a NOLS natural history backpacking trip in the Absoraka and Beartooth ranges in Wyoming and Montana, and our primary purpose was to backpack for 28 days, learning the ecology of the mountain environments. However, one of our early lessons was also how to fly fish. Hiking, sleeping and cooking in small groups of four, I volunteered to carry my group’s flyrod everyday, happily accepting the extra weight of it’s PVC pipe carrying case, because that meant that I had first dibs of using it when we got into camp at night. We were graded for the skills we learned that month, and the only skill I “failed,” was cooking, because every night as my group prepped our meal, I was at a trout stream, fishing us our dinner, and my hiking group had fish to eat almost every night, a happy addition of protein to our backwoods, carbohydrate-heavy diets. And while I loved every day of hiking through those mountains, and marveled at the mountain lakes and the sweep of tundra and pine forest, what I remember most distinctly was the trout streams. I remember the lake where I caught my first trout (a small brook trout), the stream where I first caught a rainbow, and the stream I caught my first cutthroat. And of these creeks and brooks and occasional river, I know those waterways with an intimacy unlike anything I have for trails I walked. By acting as the predator, I saw the river deeply – I noticed where the small eddies were as the brook made a slight bend, I saw the hole behind the rock, the overhanging tree cooling the water, the place where the creek pinched together and the small falls that followed.Of course it is possible to see deeply without killing. Birders seek out their “prey,” with the same intensity as hunters, and a person just returning to the same spot again and again and simply being still in it will see and know that place greater than anyone else. Farmers know their land, and kids know their neighborhoods. Indeed, I worked as a sea kayaking guide for years, and got to know almost one hundred rivers and tidal creeks with varying levels of intimacy. But I know the rivers I fished even a little bit better than the rest, attuned to the snags that slow the water, and holes that cool, and “rocky” oyster bottoms that draw rockfish and bluefish. You do not need to hunt to see, but my point is that by hunting and fishing, one gets the chance to gaze upon the world in a way that the vast majority of people miss. Some of the wilderness’ greatest advocates were and are hunters. Aldo Leopold, the founding father of sustainable landuse was a hunter, Audobon hunted, and Rick Bass, the man who loves his Yaak Valley so deeply that I worry for his health, writes about hunting with as much love as Jim Kjelgaard once did.The nature writer, David Gessner wrote a blog post recently titled “Mr. Hopeless” ( about his dislike of purist environmentalists, and he makes a wonderful point. He recently wrote his Green Manifesto, with the objective: To describe the ways that my own life, and the lives of some people I admire, are connected to the natural world, and the benefits that come from that connection, benefits that are not always obvious.And in his manifesto, he celebrates environmental hypocrisy. He writes about hope being key, even when faced with the crisis of climate change. And he also argues for the necessity of hypocrisy. As he writes: Another part is about admitting our own hypocrisy but still fighting on. The best summary of this last sentiment was given by . . . Dan Driscoll, the eco planner who for two decades has fought to clean up the Charles River, adding greenways and native plantings. One day, while we were paddling down that same river, Dan said this to me: “We nature lovers are hypocrites, of course. We are all hypocrites. None of us are consistent. The problem is that we let that fact stop us. We worry that if we fight for nature, people will say, ‘But you drive a car,’ or, ‘You fly a lot,’ or, ‘You’re a consumer, too.’ And that stops us in our tracks. It’s almost as if admitting that we are hypocrites lets people off the hook.” I pulled my paddle out of the water to listen. “What we need are more hypocrites,” he said. “We need hypocrites who aren’t afraid of admitting it but will still fight for the environment. We don’t need some sort of pure movement run by pure people. We need hypocrites!”We humans are part of this world, and if we are going to save this world it will not be through perfectionism, but by living in our sloppy imperfect ways, but living with a goal of making things better rather than worse. We can strive for consciousness in our living, being aware of our watershed, biking more and eating as locally as we can afford to (but without self righteousness), and lessening our carbon footprint on the world. We can turn off lights and air conditioners, we can reuse and recycle. We can upcycle (a subject for a future blog). But we also must actually LOVE this world in order to save it. We must be allowed to live in it, to hike in it, to hunt and eat from it. We have to be able to live without the constant guilt of imperfection, of feeling that we can never be good enough to save the world on our own, so why even try. It is like going on a diet and then when you slip up, giving up entirely and eating whatever being punitive with ourselves for failure. Perfection gets us nowhere, but love, love in all its forms, love of place, of meat, of vegetables, of dogs, of fathers, of wives and husbands, partners and friends, love for our children, actual real love – that is a power that is real.One of the reasons I loved London’s books, and Kjelgaard, is the description of the food. Kjelgaard has his men cook breakfasts of pancakes and dinner’s of pork chops, or venison, or brook trout. He seasons his food with butter, salt and pepper, or in the case of Wild Trek, food is seasoned simply by the hunger of survival. Eating to survive, eating as fuel, was also a revelation to me as a child living a comfortable suburban life. The narrator of London’s story “To Build A Fire,” has a bacon sandwhich tucked inside his shirt to keep it warm. London describes it as such: "As for lunch, he pressed his hand against the protruding bundle under his jacket. It was also under his shirt, wrapped up in a handkerchief and lying against the naked skin. It was the only way to keep the biscuits from freezing. He smiled agreeably to himself as he thought of those biscuits, each cut open and sopped in bacon grease, and each enclosing a generous slice of fried bacon."The simplicity of that bacon sandwich was wonderful to me, as was the idea of eating with such true, real hunger. Of carrying a sandwich next to your skin to keep it from freezing – the using of food as real fuel for oneself. I even wrote a short story built around the idea of describing such a sandwich. The shopping list that Link Stevens gives in Snow Dog is for:"fifty pounds of sugar, two hundred flour, fifty each of rice and beans, thirty of raisins, maybe thirty of dehydrated apricots and peaches. You know what I need: about six hundred pounds all told."And with that he put in his grub stake order for the next year, everything else he ate he would catch or kill. It wasn’t the gourmet quality of the food, but rather the simplicity of it – the idea that you could quantify your food in such a way and survive on so little, and that food was necessary for survival, as fuel rather than as indulgence.I am teaching “To Build A Fire” this summer as part of a short story class. I sat down to dinner to reread it and prepare some teaching notes, but was distracted by the meal I prepared of lamb chops and sweet corn. Living alone for the summer, I quickly forgot my manners and tore into meat and corn with my hands and teeth, the juices and butter dripping down my chin and hands. It was the best meal I’ve eaten in ages, made out of five ingredients, lamb, salt, basil (from my herb garden), corn and butter. The dog I am watching this summer dozed through this all, sleeping a few feet from my table, ready to stand and follow me if he sensed movement, but otherwise not concerned with my lip-smacking. I didn’t finish reading “To Build A Fire” during dinner, I’ll have to do that later tonight. But I think my meal was as fine a tribute to Kjelgaard and London as I could have ever conceived. And getting back outside, into the world, and actively loving the world, is an even greater tribute.

  • Tanner Hutchings
    2019-04-13 06:18

    Big red, by Jim Kjelgaard is one of my favorite books I have ever read. It has so many great parts in it. This book is one of the classic boy and dog stories. It is about a boy named Danny who is herding the bulls into the ranch one day. One of the bulls runs away and gets attacked by a bear, but it was no ordinary bear. He saw it and immediately knew that is was the legendary bear that everyone calls “Old Majesty”. He finds an Irish Setter,(Breed of dog)and they call the Wintapi woods home. They never leave each other for as long as they live. But the woods are not their test. It’s what is in them that tests their survival skills. Old majesty is the bear to hunt. As I said, this was a breathtaking story of two of the best friends. I liked the story, because it gives you a taste of what it is like to live in the woods for more than a week. It actually makes me want to start to prepare for the worst if I was ever in the position that I needed to go live in the mountains. It also made me more in touch with nature and animals. This is a book that I would read in the winter next to a warm fire. Stories are always like that. This book shows how great a dog is, and it shows you real friendship and love. I will always love this book, and I will probably read this to my children when I grow up.

  • James Vachowski
    2019-04-20 10:00

    “Big Red” was a champion Irish Setter; from the moment Danny saw him, he knew Red would be his dog. Danny was just a lowly trapper, a boy who knew more about the ways of the woods than fancy kennels and dog shows. But when the two meet for the first time, they quickly become inseparable and Red’s owner entrusts him to Danny’s care. In the harsh wilderness that Danny calls home, Red proves to be a reliable, loyal companion…even when faced with a legendary enemy!Mr. Kjelgaard is the prolific author of more than forty novels for young men, and it seems as if I’ve done him a disservice by waiting so long to include him on this list. Although he was born over a hundred years ago and many of his books have now gone out of print, a good number are still available in retail shops today. “Big Red” was even made into a Disney movie, a sure sign of its powerful and moving story. These animal-focused books were some of my favorites growing up, so do yourself a favor and start searching for some of Mr. Kjelgarrd’s writing yourself!

  • Scott
    2019-04-16 10:17

    In this book Danny, who lives with his father Ross, is given an Irish Setter to take care of. The dog is a show dog worth 7,000 dollars. After going to New York to see a dog show, Danny teaches Red to become a Partridge Dog. Once Red's training is finished and he can hunt Partridges Danny is given a mate for Red, another Irish Setter. This dog takes a liking for Ross. Finally Red and Danny kill the Legendary bear who rules the forest named Old Majesty. And Red and Danny are honored for this achievement.

  • Alyssa Price
    2019-04-14 09:01

    All I can remember is that this was my favorite children's book! I read this in the 3rd grade and remember that it was one of my favorite reads of my life up until that point.

  • Amy Doeun
    2019-04-15 08:18

    We did this as a read aloud. The children were really happy with this book, it brought back many great memories from my childhood reading with my mom and grandma. Great story of a time gone by.

  • P.S. Winn
    2019-04-11 07:58

    Amazing story of love, danger and courage. Heart touching and well written story.