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Rascal by Sterling North, John Schoenherr

A Newbery Honor Book

Celebrating 50 years of a beloved classic!

Nothing's surprising in the North household, not even Sterling's new pet raccoon. Rascal is only a baby when Sterling brings him home, but soon the two are best friends, doing everything together—until the spring day when everything suddenly changes.

Rascal is a heartwarming boyhood memoir that continues to find its way into the hearts of readers fifty years later. This special anniversary edition includes the book's classic illustrations restored to their original splendor, as well as a letter from the author's daughter, and material from the illustrator's personal collection.

"Everyone should knock off work, sit beneath the nearest tree, and enjoy Rascal from cover to cover."—Chicago Tribune

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140344455
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 02/28/1990
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 208
Sales rank: 82,092
Product dimensions: 5.06(w) x 7.75(h) x 0.52(d)
Lexile: 1140L (what's this?)
Age Range: 8 - 12 Years

About the Author

Sterling North was born into a family of poets and was himself first published at age eight. He went on to have a career as a journalist and literary editor of several well-respected newspapers.  Sterling North won a host of literary awards during his lifetime, including a Newbery Honor for the autobiographical Rascal.

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Rascal 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book was amaz , I could'nt get over how the moviwas just like the book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JonathanFrankinTrotter More than 1 year ago
In the story Rascal a 13 year old boy named Sterling, his dog Wowser, and his friend all find a nest of raccoons in the woods. Sterling decides to keep one of the kits and name it Rascal. This is a very intelligent raccoon that Sterling will have many adventures with in the future. Before Rascal could drink from a bowl, Sterling fed him milk through a straw. Rascal soon begins to sleep in Sterling’s bed every night. A few weeks later Sterling’s older sister Theo visits. She isn’t very fond of Rascal or the fact that he sleeps in Sterling’s bed at night, in the same room as her. While she is there, Rascal and Sterling’s pet crow, Poe fight over Theo’s engagement ring. Sterling soon finds the ring in Poe the Crow’s nest and returns it to his sister. In the end, Sterling begins to feel bad about keeping a full grown wild animal like Rascal in his home instead of the woods. Later, Sterling reluctantly gets in his canoe with Rascal and heads downstream. He takes Rascal into the woods and from the bushes a female raccoon is calling for Rascal. Sterling and Rascal said their good-byes before Rascal retreated into the woods with the female raccoon to never be seen again. When I read the book Rascal I was disappointed. In my opinion, it was very boring. The beginning wasn’t that bad, but after Sterling gets his raccoon home, nothing else really happens. Sadly, I did not enjoy the read as much as I thought I would. It wasn’t very interesting and in all honesty, I would not recommend this book to anyone. Some people may enjoy it, but others won’t. Nothing exciting really happened and that was a problem for me while reading.
cc3301 More than 1 year ago
At the North residence there are woodchucks, skunks, an absent-minded father, a half done canoe in the living room, an eighteen foot and a crow named Poe. Nothing at the North residence is shocking, including the new pet raccoon brought home by Sterling. Rascal is nothing but a baby when he is brought home to join Sterling¿s peculiar family. Sterling and the naughty raccoon were the best of friends. They swam, fished, and explored the country side. One spring day things out of nowhere became different. Sterling came to the painful realization that he could no longer keep Rascal. This is a wonderful and touching story of a friendship between a young boy and a raccoon, and also the boys growing awareness of the world happening all around him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nikki31NM More than 1 year ago
Rascal is written by Sterling North and the setting is Wisconsin in the 1980's. Sterling lost his mother at a young age and to fill the void he has a various amount of pets, inarticulately his pet raccoon Rascal. One day Sterling and his friend Oscar and Wowser (Sterling's dog) were out in the wood when they found a raccoon den. The mother leaves one of her babies behind so Sterling takes it home. He learns how to feed him by Oscar's mother Sterling gives Rascal a place to sleep until Rascal opens his eyes and learns how to open the back door and then he sleeps with Sterling. Rascal goes everywhere with Sterling whether that fishing or to a store. Rascal is a very friendly raccoon to everyone except Poe the crow. Sterling and Rascal spent all summer, fall, and winter together, but when spring comes Sterling has a very hard decision to make. At the end of the Sterling decided to let Rascal decide where he wants to be, with Sterling as a pet or out in the wild. Rascal decides to live in the wild with a female raccoon. This book is a heartwarming story with a sad ending. This book would be perfect for the whole family, especially animal lovers. I loved this book because I love animals, for all the mischief Rascal and Sterling get into, and for the bond Sterling and Rascal had.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book I have read many times, and it never gets old. This story can find the inner child in you. It teaches a lesson between a boy and his best friend rascal, and there many adventures during the war. The struggle between a young boy making a canoe and a curious little racoon who just wants to fit in with the other animals living around the the family home. This also a sad story, it teaches life lessons on how to grow a bond between two best friends. This is the reason I just love the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books as a child and as an adult. I still want a little "masked ball of fury" raccoon kit as a pet. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeamCrosby87 More than 1 year ago
it was pretty good. it's just not my kind of thing. it's more of a happy go lucky book, but the ending is kinda sad.
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Conny More than 1 year ago
My son, age 11, who is not an avid reader, thoroughly enjoyed this book. He identified with the young boy in the story and spoke about it for days. This book is full of innocent adventures and will be good for any caring child that cares about animals and the wild.
Kenneth_Leroy_Todd More than 1 year ago
I had a pet raccoon when I was five and another one when I was in my forties so I have familiarity with what is, in my opinion, the best pet there is. A raccoon is like several other pets all rolled into one. He looks like a dog when he chews (both mine were male), climbs like a squirrel, walks and spins in the air like a cat, is somewhat like a monkey, and is funny and curious and intelligent and warmly affectionate. The only downside is that you only get to keep them for a season. You get them as a kit in the spring (both mine came to be mine by unusual circumstances and were gifts, in every sense of the word) and in the fall you have to let them go or they will get mean if you try to hold them back. They are strongly instinct driven and have no fear.

My older brother gave me the book Rascal some time after I had my first raccoon, "Joe". I read it as a boy and loved it. Now, I am reading it to my seven year old and we both love it.

The story is well paced and nostalgic. The characters are at once familiar and interesting. The descriptions are amazing if you are familiar with nature, and there is a humor and a gentle sadness that is touching. It is a true story of a time ninety years ago, and more innocent.

I cannot say enough good about the book and I will not be wordy trying. Read it slowly and try to see it in your mind's eye.

You who love the haunts of Nature,
Love the sunshine of the meadow,
Love the shadow of the forest,
Love the wind among the branches,
And the rain shower and the snow storm,
And the rushing of great rivers
Through their palisades of pine trees,
And the thunder in the mountains...
Introduction to Longfellow's Hiawatha

"Rascal" is a wonder full book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rascal is a tale about a boy who has a coon not a dog for pet. This is possibly what makes the story so great. Or it maybe the many funny and magnificent adventures these two go through. I would set for hours hypnotized by there suspenseful adventures. perhaps the best one of all was when they went to the great lakes for two weeks with his father. This was my favorite because all they done was fish and goof off all day long for two weeks. It was also cool when they went school together and some one flipped rascal in the nose with a rubber band and rascal bit him. This story is perhaps the greatest ever written even though its about a curious little raccoon and his best friend. It¿s a story for all ages it¿s exhillerating , suspenseful ,and hilariously funny .I liked it so I think you will to. I recommend you read this book you won `t regret it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
With animal friends out the gate, no mother, and an 18-foot unfinished canoe in the living room, Sterling¿s life is pretty amazing. When Sterling goes hiking with his friend and his St. Bernard, Wowser, they find a little surprise, literally. Sterling finds himself attached to a raccoon kit, and soon names him Rascal. They have unforgettable adventures together and can rarely be seen without each other. Rascal is a wonderful story of a friendship between boy and animal, and is recommended to everyone who enjoys inseparable friendships. Rascal and Sterling spend so much time together, they really are inseparable. Sterling would take Rascal with him wherever he went, whether it was to the store, or out in the woods. Sterling and his father went on a two-week getaway to explore nature and listen for whippoorwills and, of course, Rascal came. Even when Sterling went to school, Rascal came with him because his teacher asked the students to bring in their pets for a show-and-tell. Sterling would do almost anything to keep Rascal out of trouble. After Rascal is caught prowling through neighbors¿ crops, Sterling has to keep Rascal on a leash at all times so he goes and buys a really nice leash and collar. Sterling also has to keep him in a cage and he really doesn¿t want to because he doesn¿t want Rascal to feel like he has no freedom, but does it anyway. When Sterling¿s sister, Theo, visits, Rascal sleeps with Sterling so there won¿t be any `accidents¿. Most people who meet Rascal immediately fall in love with him. Sterling¿s Aunt Lillie falls for Rascal and wants to ensure his and Sterling¿s comfort while Sterling has the flu and has to stay with them. Jessica, Sterling¿s other sister, falls for Rascal too and doesn¿t mind if Rascal is in the house like most other people. Mrs. Sunderland, Sterling¿s friend Oscar¿s mother, is almost immediately in love with Rascal, and even teaches Sterling how to feed him when Rascal is only a baby. Rascal grows and grows, sometimes being a little mischievous, and loves Sterling more than anything. They have a bond that is forever unbreakable. This book is really astonishing by one boy¿s adventures with his pet raccoon, with people helping and people getting in the way, but this is a bond that is so strong. It¿s recommended for any animal lover, or someone who loves friendships because this boy¿s friendship with the raccoon truly is, unforgettable. E. Gray
Guest More than 1 year ago
My son and I sat spellbound by the incredible imagery we experienced reading the wonderful writing style of Sterling North. As a homeschool mom I loved the story, the excellent descriptive writing model, the science and history lessons that branched out. A must read for 9-12 year old boys.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved how courageoous sterling wuz. go bananas!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
RASCAL was actually first published in 1963 and won the 1964 Newberry Honor award. It is a wonderful autobiographical tale of a boy and his adventures with his critters, especially, a raccoon he called Rascal. In his youth, North reminisces about his father always writing (obviously an influence on why he later became an author himself), the early death of his mother, his brother at war, and his love of animals. I used this book as a read-a-loud with my fourth grade son and I'm glad I did, for we both enjoyed the story immensely. It's a sweet story about a different time, before my son and I were born, and gave us insight into the era. A. D. Tarbox, author of ALREADY ASLEEP (fall 2006)
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rascal is a great read-aloud title for the family or a wonderful book for any boy, animal lover or pre-teen struggling with the adult world. Sterling adopts a pet raccoon and then successfully faces all the challenges of keeping such a pet as it tries to eat neighbors' crops and cause other trouble. An interesting subplot is a boy essentially raising himself as his absent-minded and hands-off father remains the only one home after his siblings have grown and his mother died. It's a look into the freedom and self-reliance a young boy would never have in our generation. I think boys can enjoy it for that reason alone. It's a beautiful, touching story free from the sentimentality of Where the Redfern Grows or some similar books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love animals so,so much and i couln't help it to be touched my this story about an 11 year old who finds 4 baby racoons,takes one and names it Rascal.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This story is about an eleven year old boy who has a love for animals. One day he an a friend were walking in the woods and discovered a racoon. He and his friend do a lot together. All though his mother died when he was only 7. One day his father took a day off to go find whippoorwills with Stearling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rascal is a story about an 11-year-old boy named Sterling North and his funny, charming raccoon named Rascal. Sterling has many fascinating animals, but the one he find most amusing is his raccoon. My favorite part of the book was when Sterling and Oscar had to capture the little raccoon to take home. The two of them do many things together including fishing, vacationing freely in Wisconsin, and going to the Irish Picnic, a state fair where Sterling and Rascal win a pie eating contest. The two friends seem inseparable until Sterling has to make a difficult decision. Because Rascal had discovered the heavenly taste of corn and green beans he treasured them and could not stop eating them. He began to raid Reverend Thurman¿s garden for corn, and the he threatened to shoot Rascal. Now he has to choose to either encage his best friend or let him free in the wild to live, as his heart desires. This is a hard choice for Sterling, but he knew the best thing would be for Rascal is to let him go. I enjoyed reading Rascal. It is a wonderful book because of the interesting and exciting events that happened. I found it fascinating that this book was based on a true story. I highly suggest it to anyone who has a soft spot in his or her heart for furry little critters.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Who would of thought that a boy would become best pals with a raccoon? Rascal is a wonderful story of Sterling North and his pet raccoon. It starts when the family dog Wowser finds Rascal and it ends on a canoe when Rascal finds his mate for life. I'd recommend this story to anyone, any age!