5 out of 5 beans.
This mesmerizing book will make your heart stop. This compelling story of a hound dog, a cat and her kittens, a snake, and an outcast swamp hunter presents an intense struggle between love and hate. This is a book of extremes. You will ache for Ranger, the hound dog, as he suffers tremendously and yearn for the demise of his hateful owner, Garface. But, not all characters in this book are that black and white. My sympathy grew for the lonely, bitter water moccasin who was filled with hate and regret. Kathi Appelt's beautiful language will lift you into a sensory wonderland where words liquefy in mid-air. Her use of repetition and imagery is nothing short of poetic genius. Though this book may be considered dark by some, it's nothing any sophisticated kid can't handle.