One only needs to read a page or two of this book to realize that it is a classic. It portrays well the simple mountain life of the mid-twentieth century and the love of a boy for his dogs.
Growing up in the Ozarks, Billy wants desperately to own two hunting hounds. He works for two years, saving pennies, nickels and dimes to buy them and then trains them to hunt raccoons. A model of industriousness and perseverance, Billy is delightfully innocent. He never takes his blessings for granted and shares everything he has with his three younger sisters. Although his family is poor, they are happy. Billy’s relationship with his dogs is unusually deep, but still believable. They love him to the point of giving their lives to save him. Although the book has a sad ending, the exquisite writing makes it a must read.
Jennifer Minicus lives in Ridgewood, NJ. Her love for the formation of young people inspired her interest in children’s literature.