If my kids really loved this book, can you give me suggestions for more, please? I tried looking on amazon, but didn't get much inspiration.
How old are they? Did they read it independently or as a read-aloud? I'm not sure that matters, really, but some of these suggestions work better for certain age groups....
Was it the dog aspect or the rural living that they enjoyed, or both?
There are lots of dog stories that come to mind, many of them are pretty tragic though:
Lassie Come Home
Lad, A Dog (I actually can't recall any of this book, but I know I read it when I was about 8 y.o.)
Because of Winn Dixie
The Bravest Dog Ever: The True Story of Balto (DD loved this book about the dog that inspired the Iditarod, but I think it's for first readers)
Love That Dog (prepare to weep)
Sounder (for older kids)
The Incredible Journey
If it's the self-reliance or the rural living aspect, then maybe some of these will appeal:
My Side of the Mountain
The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
Gone Away Lake
We just finished this book this morning. Oh, how great it was. Even though I had problems with certain bits as far as environmentalism*, I could clearly see the value in how well the book was written and I feel it was like opening up a time capsule when it comes to early America. Anyway, we have read so many well written books simply by reading Newbury prize winning books. The stories are awarded well as they have opened up my children's world to so much when it comes to just about every subject. The heros in the books are true heros because of things like integrity, honesty and strength of character, not muscles or how well they fight. I am just about to finish my homeschooling journey with my kids and reading to them will be the thing we miss the most.
* had trouble with hunting for furs only and cutting down the grandest tree in the forest just for a coon skin.
For some reason, simple living mama's post about early America and integrity reminded me of Gene Stratton Porter's books: Freckles and The Girl of the Limberlost. There aren't any pets (at least that I recall), but there is an immersion into the natural world. I can see how young readers who liked Where the Red Fern Grows would like these 2 books. I think there are some issues with them (some environmental, some classism and possibly racism - not sure about that because it's been so long since I read them, but given the era they were written, I wouldn't be surprised).
ollyoxenfree thanks for the suggestions. I want to look in to these books as well. Another great (my fav) early american book is called Diary of a Early American Boy. It's not like the diary (America girl) type books I've also read to my kids. Completly different. The illustrations are amazing and this guy (Eric Slone) really loved early america everything so his descriptions are fantastic and really put you there. Bad part is, I think it's out of print but might finds used somewhere.