Dear Mr. Rawls:
There was always a place in me that I never knew was there, or what was in it. Nothing had ever reached it to activate what was in it until I read your book, Where the Red Fern Grows.
I have lost 6 pets. Two birds, two hamsters and two dogs. All of them I had been sad about, but never really was as sad as when I read your book. I'd never really read a book that/thought that a book could make you cry like I did. But after I read this book I realized that you can.
When I lost one of my pets I was the kind of sad where tears just ran down your face for a couple of minutes and then you just accepted that it was gone and then weren't really sad anymore. To be sadder than that was something that I didn't realize I could do.
Toward the end of this book I started to cry. My tears were just warm tears, not hot burning tears of anger or the wailing kind of crying. Right now as I write this letter I realize that this was an excellent book and it was probably the best it could ever be. I had read another book by Gary Paulsen called The Island. Gary Paulsen's main character had written a piece of writing about his grandmother that was so good, that when his friend read it that she cried. Then the friend said that it felt as if the grandmother were her own. That part of the book was exactly this book. When I read The Island I thought nobody could write so good. But you did. To me it felt as if those dogs were mine, and I was that boy, and I had worked hard to get those dogs, and that I went through the pain and suffering that the boy and the dogs did, that I had that same love and care for those dogs just as the boy did. You did that. It was that good. You have turned many of my thoughts around and made me discover more things. I have understood a true care for things.
Thank you for your knowledge and great books with words with a life of their own that can also change your mind a bit. I understood kind of what true sadness is. Thank you.
Bianca D. Barrera
Bianca D. Barrera
Unalaska City School, Unalaska, Alaska
Teacher: Lara Crome Guthrie