A better way of understanding Where the Red Fern Grows is by understanding
the setting. This web page has many of the different places and events
the book took place in such as, the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, the
Ozark Mountains, and Oklahoma.
The Dust Bowl
The Dust Bowl was caused by a huge drought. The land dried up really
hard and dusty and hardly anything could be grown. The Dust Bowl
was a combination of destructive wind and dust. The Dust Bowl covered
over five different states, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and
Texas. Most storms occurred in the spring. The most damage was
caused from 1935-1938. Many people died because their lungs were badly
damaged or they got lost and were never seen again. Many families had
to move to California which made Los Angeles one of the most popular cities
in America. Over one million families moved and formed the largest
migration in the history of America. The Dust Bowl was partially caused
from the grasslands being turned into wheat that didn’t protect the ground
Life in the Dust Bowl
Life in the Midwest had always been hard but when
the Dust Bowl struck it was gruesome. When they had rain they could
grow corn and wheat, but when they didn’t they had to borrow money from
the bank. They hardly had any water to grow food to feed their families.
The stock market crash caused the price of wheat to go really low and since
they didn’t have much wheat they didn’t make much money.
The Great Depression
Where the Red Fern Grows also took place during the Great Depression.
The Great Depression all started when the stock market crashed in the 1930’s.
Many people lost their jobs and their homes. Some people even committed
suicide so that their family could have death insurance. Since the
farmers weren’t able to grow much food and the people in the cities didn’t
have much money to buy the little amount of food there was hardly anybody
was making money or getting much to eat. People tried to sell their
stock when they saw it was going down but nobody wanted to buy them.
In Where the Red Fern Grows Billy lives and hunts in the Ozark Mountains.
The Ozarks are surrounded by five major rivers, the Mississippi, the Missouri,
the Osage, the Neosho, and the Arkansas Rivers. The Ozarks cover
50,000 square miles. The highest point on the Ozarks is in the Boston
Mountains where it stands over 2,200 feet. The word “Ozark” is the
French name for the region Aux Arks, which means “at the bows.”
In the book Where the Red Fern Grows Billy lives in
the state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma is home to one of the greatest mountain
ranges in the United States, the Ozarks. Scraper Oklahoma (Where
Billy lived) was close to the heart of the Dust Bowl. Many farmers
(Such as Billy’s dad) were able to grow what they needed to grow because
of the warm dry climate. The Ozarks extend over the northern half
of Oklahoma. Oklahoma became the 46th state on November16, 1907.
Oklahoma is located in the Midwest of the United States.