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Big Red: The Story of a Champion Irish Setter and a Trapper's Son Who Grew Up Together, Roaming the Wilderness

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"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. "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.


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"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. "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.

30 review for Big Red: The Story of a Champion Irish Setter and a Trapper's Son Who Grew Up Together, Roaming the Wilderness

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessaka

    An Animal Story with a Happy Ending I read this when I was a child and wanted to see if I still enjoyed it in the same way, but I didn’t. Still, it was an adventure story, and I couldn’t put it down. One day Danny, age 18, went to visit his father’s landlord when a large red dog ran over to greet him. They immediately bonded. Danny went back home, and the next morcning Beg Red, the dog, was lying on his front steps. He took him home the long way, through the woods. Big Red saw a bear and chased af An Animal Story with a Happy Ending I read this when I was a child and wanted to see if I still enjoyed it in the same way, but I didn’t. Still, it was an adventure story, and I couldn’t put it down. One day Danny, age 18, went to visit his father’s landlord when a large red dog ran over to greet him. They immediately bonded. Danny went back home, and the next morcning Beg Red, the dog, was lying on his front steps. He took him home the long way, through the woods. Big Red saw a bear and chased after it. Unscathed, he returned, and they made it to Big Red’s home. The owner, seeing how they had bonded so well, allowed Danny to take Big Red home with him. Big Red was a show dog, so his owner hoped that he would win first prize as best of his breed. I thought how frivolous it was to breed dogs for show, not that I am against having a purebred for a pet because I had one once, a border collie named Mocha. When I was a kid I had a dog named Rex who I brought to the Pioneer Day Dog Show where he won Best Trick Dog two years in a row. Rex was a border collie mix that I brought home one day and was allowed to keep. I Just found him on the street. I thenbrought books home from the library on teaching your dog to do tricks and on obedience training. Rex was great at both. The third year that we went to the the show, I heard a kid say, “It’s her again. She is going to win,” and he was so disappointed to see me. I brought Rex into the circle of bystanders and hopeful winners, but then a dog attacked Rex. While he wasn’t hurt, I didn’t think that either of us were in the mood to compete. We left to watch the parade and probably went to the park afterwards for a free meal before going home. Rex used to go to the river with me, and we went for walks in the hills behind our house. We just had fun. He also walked to town with me and sat outside the store while I went into to buy an orange or cherry soda and candy bars. Now Big Red couldn’t freely do these things because he was a show dog, a purebred Irish setter. But he did go into the woods with Danny, who made sure that he didn’t chase any squirrels or rabbits, and certainly no more bears. He didn’t want him to tangle with an animal and possibly get injured, or worse yet, killed by a bear. Big Red couldn’t get any marks on his body; he had to be perfect for the show. My dog Rex could never win at that kind of show since he was a mix, and he had a small chunk cut out of his tongue. I used to believe that he cut it on a tin can while rummaging through a garbage can for food when he was a stray. I judged Red’s life by judging people who would want a dog for show. It was just like a Miss America pageant, I thought. I felt this way because I am older now and have different values. Danny and his father were trappers as well, and if a varmint caused problems, such as killing farm animals as well as those that he had trapped for their fur, they would track that animal down, only Big Red couldn’t follow. During my reading of this part of the book, I remembered how, as a kid, I thought nothing of trapping animals for their fur or even hunting them. I even got a book from the library on taxidermy. I had plans that never panned out, and for that I am grateful. Still, I understand hunting for food, but only if it is a necessity. Back in 1989, I got another dog, the first dog I owned after Rex. I didn’t teach her to do tricks like having her jump over my back, etc. I did teach her to not chase deer and other animals. All I had to do was say, No! and she would stop in her tracks. Megan was her name, and she was a border collie/Aussie mix. I still miss her. I had moved back to Paso Robles, CA by this time, and that is where I met my husband and her. I never thought to teach her many tricks, nor did I think of the Pioneer Day Dog Show that I believed was still being held. I just wanted her to be herself. Although, I admit, Rex loved to learn tricks, and Megan loved to learn to shake hands and learn obedience training. So, she could have won at the show if I had taken her and if it hadn't been just for kids. She was a winner to us as well as a trophy.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Cheri

    First published seventy-three years and twenty-six days ago, this story is based in the Wintapi Forest, in the eastern part of the United States, a three-hour drive to New York City. There are mountains nearby, and Danny and his father, Ross Picket, live a simple life in a small, very simple one room cabin, with the only home remotely near belonging to Mr. Haggins, a much wealthier man, financially speaking. Haggins owns a large estate, and raises cattle and sheep, and keeps a stable of horses, First published seventy-three years and twenty-six days ago, this story is based in the Wintapi Forest, in the eastern part of the United States, a three-hour drive to New York City. There are mountains nearby, and Danny and his father, Ross Picket, live a simple life in a small, very simple one room cabin, with the only home remotely near belonging to Mr. Haggins, a much wealthier man, financially speaking. Haggins owns a large estate, and raises cattle and sheep, and keeps a stable of horses, and dogs, which include Big Red. This is where young Danny, who is seventeen as this story begins, first sees Big Red. ”Mr. Haggin’s carefully nurtured acres stretched as far as the eye could see. Thoroughbred cattle grazed in the elaborately fenced pastures, and blooded horses snorted in the paddocks. Mr. Haggin’s gray barns, big as all the other barns in the Wintapi put together, rose in the center of the estate and beside them were the six miniature mansions Mr. Haggin had built for the families of the six men who worked his farms. Mr. Haggin’s house, a huge, white-gabled one protectively surrounded by imported blue spruces, was some distance from all the rest. Danny eyed it, then forgot everything but the red dog that was coming toward him.” “A shiny, silky red from nose to tail, the dog was trotting up the path Danny was walking down. His eyes were fixed on Danny, and his tail wagged gently a couple of times. Ten feet away he stood still, his finely chiseled head erect and his body rigid. Spellbound, Danny returned the dog’s gaze. He knew dogs, having owned and hunted with hounds since he was old enough to do anything. The red dog was not a hound—Danny knew vaguely that it was called an Irish setter—but never before had he seen any dog that revealed at first glance all the qualities a dog should have. Danny walked forward, and knelt to ruffle the red dog’s ears.” “’Hi boy,’ he said. ‘How are you, Red?’” Love at first sight. A boy and a dog. I’ve shared my life with dogs, most years of my life I have had a dog, or two, and when I began my life, when I was first brought home, my days were spent on an Irish Setter. Technically, he was our family’s dog, but I was his as far as he was concerned, and while I have loved all the dogs I’ve shared my life with (and some that I haven’t shared my life with) the dog who raised me holds the first piece of my heart I ever gave away. I am sure I read this as a child, or my older brother read it to me, I remembered it fondly but with no details, and so I’ve wanted to re-read it for some time. This is a beautifully told story, a story of courage and a life and time when the dangers that faced us were more likely to be from nature, especially when they lived in a remote wilderness filled with foxes, fisher cats, and bears, than our fellow man, but it is also more than just that. An ode to a life well lived and intrinsic in that is a life lived with love, perhaps above all, the love of a dog. Many thanks, once again, to the Public Library system, and the many Librarians that manage, organize and keep it running, for the loan of this book!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Zapata

    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 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.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    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. 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.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Rebekah Morris

    3.5 I needed a story that was easy to read, yet held wonderful characters and a lovely story. This book fit. Dogs, a young man, and mountain forests. There was excitement, amusing moments, and plenty of heart. I had seen the movie, but it wasn't anything like the book. I loved Red, and really liked Danny and his father. My only complaint were the times the whiteout was needed otherwise it would have been a 4 star book. 3.5 I needed a story that was easy to read, yet held wonderful characters and a lovely story. This book fit. Dogs, a young man, and mountain forests. There was excitement, amusing moments, and plenty of heart. I had seen the movie, but it wasn't anything like the book. I loved Red, and really liked Danny and his father. My only complaint were the times the whiteout was needed otherwise it would have been a 4 star book.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Casey

    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. 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.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kyle Loehrke

    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 do 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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Arliegh Kovacs

    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 trainin 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.)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Rathbun

    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 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.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Wendy

    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. 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.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Khia

    Ummmm am I literally the only person who sees traces of eugenics and American exceptionalism throughout this whole book? Suggesting some types of "dogs" do need to be beaten to learn and that doing what one is "bred" for is the highest achievement. Honestly thought I was going to read these reviews and see a lot of critics but no one else seems to have read it from that perspective. I found it pretty disturbing. Ummmm am I literally the only person who sees traces of eugenics and American exceptionalism throughout this whole book? Suggesting some types of "dogs" do need to be beaten to learn and that doing what one is "bred" for is the highest achievement. Honestly thought I was going to read these reviews and see a lot of critics but no one else seems to have read it from that perspective. I found it pretty disturbing.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chris LaTray

    I loved the Big Red books as a kid but hadn't read any for decades. When this 75-year edition hit my radar I had to get it and see if there is any magic left. And there is! I'm reminded of how much I loved traveling with Danny and Red through the woods, living in a cabin, all of it. Snowshoes! Re-reading this and London's The Call of the Wild I can see just how formative these early reads were to me and the worlds I retreat to in my head, when I can't retreat in the physical world, and for that I loved the Big Red books as a kid but hadn't read any for decades. When this 75-year edition hit my radar I had to get it and see if there is any magic left. And there is! I'm reminded of how much I loved traveling with Danny and Red through the woods, living in a cabin, all of it. Snowshoes! Re-reading this and London's The Call of the Wild I can see just how formative these early reads were to me and the worlds I retreat to in my head, when I can't retreat in the physical world, and for that I love them. Not that there aren't problems reading this book now. There are essentially no women to be found in the story. The only one who appears does so briefly and does little more than flirt with being a villain. The divisions of class and privilege are acute as well. Finally, all the predators in the blessed Wintapi woods are evil things—that horrible wolverine!—that must be destroyed to protect their prey, defenseless unless defended by these brave men of the woods. These are certainly attitudes I don't agree with now! But it was a curious glimpse of an attitude of the time. I'm still giving it five stars. Three for the story, one for the glorious illustrations, and another one for being there for me when I needed it to be so, so many years ago ... and then finding its way to me again. Thanks, Jim. And thank you, Red!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Hartman

    I was delighted to find a copy of Big Red in a used bookstore while on vacation recently. The copy was old and took me right back to the library where I spent so much time as a kid. As I reread this, it was so familiar but from my current vantage point also really disappointing. The world here and in so many of the books I read in my childhood is a masculine place. I hadn't thought of it before, but I spent an inordinate amount of time reading books with similar settings and similar characters a I was delighted to find a copy of Big Red in a used bookstore while on vacation recently. The copy was old and took me right back to the library where I spent so much time as a kid. As I reread this, it was so familiar but from my current vantage point also really disappointing. The world here and in so many of the books I read in my childhood is a masculine place. I hadn't thought of it before, but I spent an inordinate amount of time reading books with similar settings and similar characters and in every one of them women and girls are outsiders or objects of disdain. No wonder I wanted so badly to be a boy. The story is fine. It was just a sad experience to suddenly realize the lessons I'd been taking in when I was a girl wishing for a loyal dog like Red.

  14. 5 out of 5

    James Vachowski

    “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 autho “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!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ejayen

    I see this book has a couple of sequels. I must read them. Because WHAT IN THE WORLD!!!!! THE ENDING. Seven thousand dollars. In 1945 or whenever this book is set???? I enjoyed it, but... Got caught up in the details.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Valerie Basham

    A few slow parts but overall an excellent story of a boy and his dog.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Larry Piper

    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 greete 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?

  18. 4 out of 5

    Justin Kooistra

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 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 f 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.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Clennnon

    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, 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.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Conan Tigard

    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 fathe 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.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Karen GoatKeeper

    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 the 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.

  22. 4 out of 5

    T

    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 b 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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Ed

    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 Dann 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.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jovan

    This book is also very popular in the Balkans, as I have it in cyrillic. Recently I found it among old books and I am rereading it again. Interesting thing is that my dog‚s name is Danny, my niece called it that. It should have been her dog. This one is orange, mix breed of some hungarian pointer and bird chaser.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Colleen Houck

    I started reading these dog books when I was in third grade. There is no substitute for a child's love of their pets and I wanted one more than anything. I loved all of Jim Kjelgaards books and highly encourage anyone to read them. I started reading these dog books when I was in third grade. There is no substitute for a child's love of their pets and I wanted one more than anything. I loved all of Jim Kjelgaards books and highly encourage anyone to read them.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bookworm

    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 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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Matthew b anders

    A book for the ages This book portrays a life that has been almost forgotten in this Country. I lived a life like this and recomend this book to anyone as it is a wonderful read, experience and life.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kam Hope

    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.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shantelle

    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! :) 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! :)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    It was ok. A little short.

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