I first read this book in 8th grade and I was finishing it on the city bus on the way home from school one day. I could sense where the ending was going and didn't want to cry in front of anyone, so I closed the book up and waited until I got home to finish it. I ran straight to my room and got under the covers. I reopened the book and finished it around dinnertime. Mom came in to let me know dinner was ready, but I stayed in my room and cried myself to sleep. It was the first book that had done that to me. Every once in a while I reread it -- it's different through my adult lens (the religious theme isn't in my childhood recollection of it) -- and appreciate the journey.
Recently, as I reread it, this quote about a dog's love resonated most:
"It's a shame that people all over the world can't have that kind of love in their hearts," he said. "There would be no wars, slaughter, or murder; no greed or selfishness. It would be the kind of world that God wants us to have - a wonderful world.”
"When I left my office that beautiful spring day, I had no idea what was in store for me. To begin with, everything was too perfect for anything unusual to happen. It was one of those days when a man feels good, feels like speaking to his neighbor, is glad to live in a country like ours, and proud of his government." -- Opening lines from Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, published in 1961.
5.25x7.5x1; mixed media collage (linen, tulle, cotton, tweed, gold wire, beads); 2020; unframed