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Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 213

Big Red by Jim Kjelgaard is a book about the bond between dog and man. Danny, the main character, stays with his father in a one-room house. They struggle financially, unlike their closest neighbor, Mr. Haggin.

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Mr. Haggin has a huge piece of land, where he rears cattle, horses, and dogs such as Big Red. Danny is one of Mr. Haggin’s workers. One day, while performing his daily duties, he comes across a dead bull. Close to the bull is a bear, which has been hunted by Danny’s family for many years, so Danny is eager to kill the animal. Danny reports what he saw to Mr. Haggin. While explaining to him the events that led to the bull getting killed, Danny sees Big Red for the first time.

Danny is fascinated with Red, an Irish setter. After being acquainted with each other, the two go for many adventures in the Wintapi Forest. Their friendship is tested when they decide to go after the bear. Despite the dog being expensive, Mr. Haggin gives Danny the dog toward the end of the story. Danny finds a companion for his new dog and breeds puppies for sale. He intends to sell the puppies at a high price because they are a rare breed.

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