Bless the Beasts and Children

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Overview

"Send Us a Boy -- We'll Send You a Cowboy!" is the slogan of the Box Canyon Boys Camp. But for the nail biters, thumb suckers, and teeth grinders -- the cast-away offspring of parents who are busy travelling, being divorced, remarrying, and garnering fortunes -- it's just another place to face rejection. Until Cotton.

Cotton pulls them together. In a hot-wired pickup, he leads "the Bedwetters" on a fantastic mission to save a heard of buffalo -- and in the process, to save themselves. But as the raw red Arizona ...

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Overview

"Send Us a Boy -- We'll Send You a Cowboy!" is the slogan of the Box Canyon Boys Camp. But for the nail biters, thumb suckers, and teeth grinders -- the cast-away offspring of parents who are busy travelling, being divorced, remarrying, and garnering fortunes -- it's just another place to face rejection. Until Cotton.

Cotton pulls them together. In a hot-wired pickup, he leads "the Bedwetters" on a fantastic mission to save a heard of buffalo -- and in the process, to save themselves. But as the raw red Arizona sun rises, they will discover the cost of their one grand moment of glory…

This is a special 25th-anniversary edition of a classic novel of youthful rebellion. With an insightful and heartfelt introduction by the author's son, which gives readers a unique view of this American classic, Bless the Beasts and Children is sure to continue its phenomenal journey as one of the most beloved novels of our time. Reissue.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780671688431
  • Publisher: Pocket Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/1970
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback

Meet the Author

Glendon Swarthout wrote sixteen novels, many of which were bestsellers and were made into films, among them Seventh Cavalry, They Came to Cordura, Where the Boys Are, Bless the Beasts & Children, and A Christmas to Remember. He was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction and won a number of other awards, including the Western Writers Award for Lifetime Achievement.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 16 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2002

    Charles' Review

    When I started reading Bless the Beasts and Children by Glendon Swarthout I thought I was gonna read another story about a bunch of kids who go to camp, and they have a lot of problems with each other. In the end they come together to topple this great feat. Well I was wrong, Swarthout wrote an excellent and compelling novel about a bunch of rich kids who see how cruel humans can be and they come together to help ?the beats.? These are good-hearted kids who deserve a chance at a better a life then what their parents give them. Symbolism shows society and how Swarthout wants to depict it. Many symbols help, move along the story and help Swarthout show us the cruelty of the people that live in Arizona. Wheaties, the children?s militaristic counselor at the Box Canyon Boys camp, represents this symbol. They go on a so-called field trip where their counselor takes them to a Buffalo hunt sponsored by the fish and game commission. The kids watch as the counselor and his buddies ?hunt? for the buffalo in a small pen where they can get away. They slaughter them and the boys are disgusted. Swarthout is trying to relay a message to the people of Arizona that such things go on. This book is somewhat based on a real story of Swarthout?s son and his trip to a camp in Arizona. The boys represent innocence for themselves and freedom for the beasts. The boys disapprove of the way the men treat the beasts and how they are treated by their parents. These are over privileged kids who have been sent to this camp to become ?rugged outdoorsmen.? Even the kids who wet the bed and suck their thumb will become cowboys at this camp. None of them like the camp and after the field trip with Wheaties they decide they will take action. With some trouble and the help of Cotton, a boy at the camp, they pull together and triumph by freeing the Buffalo so no man can hunt them so savagely. The boys are proud of them selves and prove they are real cowboys. The world in their eyes is now a little better. Finally, after this book was published in 1970 many read it and looked into what Swarthout talked about. Many found out that Wheaties buffalo adventure was something that actually happened in Arizona. Protests were help and people wanted it stopped. It finally was. Swarthout knew what he was doing when he wrote this book and I commend him greatly for that. Also having read Lord of the Flies was an interesting aspect. The relation of it is amazing. The boys are somewhat separated and they come together to start a group of people. This was an excellent book that was worth my time to read. I enjoy the way Swarthout uses symbolism. I recommend this book to all readers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Lovely Book

    We recently read this book in my English class and I must say that it was simply wonderful! It had a plot that kept you reading, and through the multiple eccentricities of the characters, willed you to turn each page. The book had unexpected twists that kept you surprised, and was not at all predictable. It's a great novel for anyone looking for a different read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2008

    suprisingly amazing.

    I have heard a lot of bad things about this book, but after reading it, I can't see why. It was amazing. Humorous and amusing at parts and it kept you entertanined. This is a must- read and I recommend for any age.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2008

    amasing

    this book was amazing i read it in shool i realy recomend this book for all ages

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 29, 2006

    amazing

    Bless the Beasts and Children is an outstanding book that I read when I was in 7th grade ( which was over 30 years ago .) I still remember it now.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 2, 2004

    Wonderful book that I still remember from 25 years ago

    I read this book when I was in 8th grade and loved it. I am looking for books for my own children to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2003

    Beauty on two levels....

    On first reading this work, you will no doubt understand the physical confilct of boys against their society. However, in looking deeper into this book, you can see that, not only are these young men struggling to liberate themselves and a group of animals, but are engaged in a greater struggle dating back two-thousand years. In this book, John Cotton, the boy that takes the leadership role, is an extended metaphor to Jesus Christ. The author has taken the age old approach of naming the character J C to represent this, but simply put, this is only an indicator of his religious similarities to those who cannot pick up on the more subtle clues. John Cotton is taken from among the boys and set as their leader by his actions, he goes through many trials and overcomes them through diverse measures. In the end, he is forced to choose whether his life is more important than the real freedom and adulthood of his followers. Although the symbolism is at one level obvious and can be taken to be a 'tree-hugging' message, this book is truly a religious affair. Due to it's short legnth most people can read it in only a few days, and it is well worth your time.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 10, 2001

    A Road to Freedom

    I thought that this book was one of the worst books I have ever read! For a best-selling author the book was very hard to understand and most of the words were very difficult

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 14, 2000

    Still Has An Impact

    When I first read this book some 23 years ago, I was in the 9th Grade and 14 years old. I thought the story was very effective then as it is now. It's about facing your fears while the odds are not in your favor. I recommend this book to anyone who has ever faced adversity in their lives from those who think they can control your every aspect of life. It made me feel that someone out there really understands what it's like to be a 'misfit' in our 'Holier-Than-Thou' Society!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2000

    The Same Old Story

    While it had some merits and a somewhat engaging plot, Bless the Beasts and Children is basically the classic story of adolescent rebellion retold. While it has the same basic characters--white male boys on the brink of adulthood--and theme as Lord of the Flies or A Separate Peace, it lacks their originality and momemtum. Instead, it provides sappy sentiment and weak attempts at engaging the reader's emotion. This is a fine book for reading on an airplane but by no means a classic.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 1, 2000

    the book has a meaning

    Cotton holds it all together. Reading it, you can see the similarity between Cotton and Jesus Christ. They both had Judas as their enemy. As for all the other boys, they wouldn't have been able to become men if it hadn't have been for Cotton. The message is as clear as a bell.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2000

    Best Book Ever Written

    I give this book 5 stars. It was outstanding. I read this book back in 8th grade and I can honestly say it's the best book I've ever read in my life. I'm going to be honest though. All my friends hated it. But I would suggest it to anyone. Great great book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2000

    Misfit Campers

    I would give this book, Bless the Beasts and Children, by Glendon Swarthout three stars. The book just went on and on; it got boring after awhile. I did not like how they mixed flashbacks with the other scenes. It is a good story on how the boys stick together. It also shows how these misfits become strong boys. I would recommend this book to people who like to red because you have to have lots of patience to get threw this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 16, 2000

    Shouldn't even be a classic, if it is one

    Having to read this in class I found myself in torture trying to get through it. I enjoy reading but it wasn't a book that was well written. The point, if there was one, was lost to me and key things in the book were easy to miss. You want a book to read? Check out some of the ones that are 5 stars that I list.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2000

    An important book for thoughtful discussion

    Once a person's reasons for living are fulfilled, must he die? Cotton comes to the rescue of the bedwetters and proves to them that they each have value. Rejected by their parents, this lesson saves their lives, but at what cost? A great book for book groups and class discussions.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 28, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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