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Jim Kjelgaard Books In Order

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Publication Order of Big Red Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Forest Patrol (1941)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rebel Siege (1943)Description / Buy at Amazon
Buckskin Brigade (1947)Description / Buy at Amazon
Snow Dog (1948)Description / Buy at Amazon
Kalak of the Ice (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Nose For Trouble (1949)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chip, the Dam Builder (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wild Trek (1950)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Explorations of Père Marquette (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fire-Hunter (1951)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trailing Trouble (1952)Description / Buy at Amazon
The coming of the Mormons; (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Spell of the White Sturgeon (1953)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cracker Barrel Trouble Shooter (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Haunt Fox (1954)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lion Hound (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Wagon (1955)Description / Buy at Amazon
Desert Dog (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Trading Jeff and His Dog (1956)Description / Buy at Amazon
Double Challenge (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Swamp Cat (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
We Were There at the Oklahoma Land Run (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wildlife Cameraman (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
Wolf Brother (1957)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Black Fawn (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Land is Bright (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rescue Dog of the High Pass (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Story of Geronimo (1958)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hi Jolly! (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Stormy (1959)Description / Buy at Amazon
Boomerang Hunter (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Duck-Footed Hound (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Ulysses and his woodland zoo (1960)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tigre (1961)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hidden Trail (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Two Dogs and a Horse (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Furious moose of the wilderness. (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dave and his Dog Mulligan (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Coyote song, (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rebel horse (1980)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hunter Returns (With: David Drake) (1991)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order ofShort Story Collections

Fawn in the Forest (1962)Description / Buy at Amazon
Big Red and Other Great Dog Stories (1977)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jim Kjelgaard was a reputed American writer of juvenile fiction, young adult, and children’s literature stories. He was known for writing more than 40 standalone books and several book series, including the Chiri series, Big Red series, and the Smoky series. Additionally, Kjelgaard had penned a few short story collections and edited an anthology. To write one of her books, he had collaborated with author David Drake. Author Kjelgaard was born as James Arthur Kjelgaard on December 6, 1910, in New York. His father, Carroll W. Kjelgaard, worked as a physician. Kjelgaard was the fourth child of the six children born to his parents. When he was small, his family used to live on a large farm spread over seven hundred and fifty acres in Pennsylvania’s Allegheny Mountains.

Kjelgaard used to play with his siblings in the outdoor playground. On one occasion, Kjelgaard and his younger brother Henry were playing when they saw a bear coming towards them. Both of them climbed on to a nearby tree until the bear didn’t go away. After Kjelgaard came down and went inside, but could not come down on his own. Later, the bear came back and stared at Henry. Kjelgaard stood laughing at a distance. This was the first instance when Kjelgaard developed a love for bears. He later depicted it in his books. During his childhood, Kjelgaard developed a keen interest in reading and used to read whichever book he would find. Though there was not enough money with the family, his parents often tried to support his reading habit by providing him as many books as possible.

When the farming venture of the family resulted in a loss, Kjelgaard relocated to Gelaton, Pennsylvania with his family. Shortly after the relocation, he developed a liking for writing. Kjelgaard fabricated a desk for himself so that he could keep his typewriter on it and write his poems. Meanwhile, he was also developing interests in fishing, hunting, and trapping. Kjelgaard also grew close to dogs. Unfortunately, he started showing epilepsy symptoms. His family moved him to Baltimore-located John Hopkins Hospital for treatment. Kjelgaard condition was found to be a tumor and fortunately for him, he didn’t have to undergo surgery. Following his discharge from hospital, Kjelgaard was able to continue with the activities and adventures of his life, but under careful observation, as he had not recovered fully.

Among over forty novels penned by Kjelgaard in his entire career, the most popular one was the 1945 book called Big Red. It had sold 225,000 printed copies until 1956. Walt Disney developed a film based on the novel in 1962 with the same title. Many of Kjelgaard’s books were primarily based on wild animals and dogs. They often featured animal protagonists and narrated from the point of view of animals. In addition to the full-length novels, Kjelgaard had also written short fiction for a few literary magazines and journals, including Argosy, Adventure, and The Saturday Evening Post. After fighting depression and chronic pain for several years, Kjelgaard ended his life by committing suicide on July 12, 1959, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was just 48 years old. The critics at that time didn’t know that he would leave the world so soon and they were hoping to read some more of his works. Kjelgaard is now remembered through his books that are now available online.

A successful novel series written by author Jim Kjelgaard is known as the Big Red series. It is comprised of 3 books released between 1945 and 1953. The primary characters mentioned in the novels of this series include Danny Pickett, Red, Old Majesty, Mike, Sean, and several others. Author Kjelgaard has set the stories in the fictional Wintapi wilderness. The debut book of this young adult series is entitled ‘Big Red’. It was released by the Yearling publication in 1992 after its first release in 1945. The novel opens by introducing Red as a beautiful Irish setter. The moment Danny Pickett sets his eyes on him for the first time, he becomes sure that he is going to be his perfect dog. Red is fast, strong, noble, and smart and Danny wants no other dog to be around him except Red.

As time goes by, neither Red nor Danny are able to stand apart from each other. They go on to face numerous dangers together. Danny and Big Red roam through the harsh wilderness of Wintapi every day and start calling it their home. They go on to face the greatest test of their friendship and courage from a foe more cunning and smarter than the ones they have encountered before. He is none other than a big bear, who likes to call himself the wilderness’ undisputed king and goes by the name Old Majesty.

Another exciting book of this series is called ‘Outlaw Red’. It was also published by Yearling in 1984 after its original publication in 1953. This novel features the lead characters as Danny Pickett, Sean, Big Red, etc. Initially, it is depicted that Sean is the most handsome and the biggest son of the popular Irish setter, Big Red. He is smart like his father and a champion at everything. Sean is filled with hunting instincts. He frets under the pampered life of his kennel and longs to go out in the wilderness to hunt. All of a sudden, Sean’s life changes when he finds himself all alone in the wilderness. He seems to be lost and separated from his human protectors.

When the hill men set their eyes on the outlaw Sean, they begin to shoot him with the intention of hunting him down. But, Sean manages to dodge every bullet. He learns to survive the constant danger to his life and challenges every difficulty that comes his way with courage and bravery. On one occasion, Sean saves his mate by challenging a coyote killer. Overall, this novel provides an exciting tale of wilderness adventure and bravery. Another aspect of this book shows the heart-touching story of the boy who desperately wants Sean back. Just like the previous installment, this installment also became widely popular. It entertained readers in different parts of the world and achieved immense success. The worldwide success motivated Kjelgaard to write other interesting novels in the later years of his career.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Jim Kjelgaard

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