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Animal Stories: Realistic

Realistic animal stories are usually more about the humans involved than about the animals. This isn't always true (London's Call of the Wild is a notable exception), but anyone who's read The Yearling, James Herriot's 5-volume memoir, or most of Marguerite Henry's books knows that the main characters are people, and the animals are the primary concern of those characters.

That's not to suggest that the animals are incidental, just that what readers are supposed to take away aren't simply facts about horses or dogs, but what all good literature offers, insight and commentary on the human condition. The reason we like stories involving animals so much is that humans and their furry companions are able to forge unique bonds predicated on innocence and loyalty that rarely exist in strictly human relationships.

What sets realistic animal stories apart from fantasy animal stories is that the animals in them are real animals, not talking, clothes-wearing, pipe-smoking people in animal costumes. Dogs bark, horses gallop, cows give birth to calves (it happens a lot in Yorkshire, apparently), and the world is very much as we experience and know it to be.

Children are particularly drawn to these stories, not because they like animals more than adults do, but because their imaginations still recognize everything as fair game. Animal tales show the world from an often unfamiliar perspective, and the appeal is especially great for those whose own perspective is still largely unformed.

A lot of these make great read-alouds for really young kids, or good books for budding readers to practiceon their own. Just because they're in the kids' fiction section doesn't mean they're only intended for children, either, and plenty of adults are still as much into animal novels as they were thirty years ago. Our selection is intentionally broad, and steadily growing—we may or may not be included in that last group.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

 

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281 Items found Print
101 Dalmatians
by Dodie Smith
Reissue from Puffin Books
for 3rd-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.94
Album of Horses
by Marguerite Henry
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Animal Stories for 3rd-7th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$14.44 $6.80 (3 in stock)
Album of Horses
by Marguerite Henry
from Scholastic Inc.
Realistic Animal Stories for 3rd-7th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$6.00 (2 in stock)
Album of Horses
by Marguerite Henry
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Realistic Animal Stories for 3rd-7th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$16.99 $9.60 (1 in stock)
All Creatures Great and Small
James Herriot Series Book 1
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 8th-Adult
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.00
All Creatures Great and Small
James Herriot Series Book 1
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-Adult
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$13.59
All On a Mountain Day
by Aileen Fisher
from Rod & Staff Publishers, Inc.
Animal Stories: Realistic for 7th-9th grade
in Rod & Staff Fiction (Location: B10-02C)
$4.50 (1 in stock)
All Things Bright and Beautiful
James Herriot Series Book 2
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-12th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$13.59
All Things Wise and Wonderful
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
for 6th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
All Things Wise and Wonderful
James Herriot Series Book 3
by James Herriot
from St. Martin's Press
Realistic Fiction for 7th-Adult
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$13.59
Along Came a Dog
by Meindert DeJong & Maurice Sendak
from HarperCollins
Realistic Animal Fiction for 4th-8th grade
1959 Newbery Honor Book
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.09
Among the Farmyard People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Yesterday's Classics
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Yesterday's Classics (Location: A11-02C)
$8.95
Among the Forest People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Yesterday's Classics
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Yesterday's Classics (Location: A11-02C)
$8.95
Among the Meadow People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Yesterday's Classics
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Yesterday's Classics (Location: A11-02C)
$8.95
Among the Pond People
by Clara Dillingham Pierson
from Yesterday's Classics
for Preschool-2nd grade
in Yesterday's Classics (Location: A11-02C)
$8.95
Angus Lost
by Marjorie Flack
from Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Animal Realistic for Preschool-2nd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
$6.79
Animal Heroes
by Ernest Thompson Seton
for 2nd-5th grade
in Clearance: Fiction (Location: ACL-FIC)
$3.00 (1 in stock)
Bambi
by Felix Salten
from Aladdin Paperbacks
Animal Stories: Fantasy for 4th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
from Candlewick Press
Realistic Fiction for 3rd-6th grade
2001 Newbery Honor Book
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
$5.94 $3.20 (1 in stock)
Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
from Candlewick Press
Realistic Fiction for 3rd-6th grade
2001 Newbery Honor Book
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
$5.94
Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
from Candlewick Press
for 4th-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
$2.40 (1 in stock)
Because of Winn-Dixie
by Kate DiCamillo
Reprint from Candlewick Press
for 3rd-6th grade
in Realistic Fiction (Location: A09-01A)
$2.80 (3 in stock)
Big Red
by Jim Kjelgaard
from Holiday House
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$7.61
Biggest Bear
by Lynd Ward
from Sandpiper Books
Realistic Animal Stories for Preschool-1st grade
1953 Caldecott Medal winner
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
$5.91
Billy and Blaze
by C. W. Anderson
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
$6.79
Billy and Blaze Set
by C. W. Anderson
from Simon and Schuster
for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
$54.32
Biography of a Grizzly
Thrushwood Book
by Earnest Thompson Seton
for 3rd-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$4.80 (1 in stock)
Black Beauty
Classics for Young Readers
by Anna Sewell
from P&R Publishing
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$6.79
Black Beauty
Puffin Classics
by Anna Sewell
from Puffin Books
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.09
Black Beauty
Sterling Classics
by Anna Sewell & Scott McKowen
Unabridged from Sterling Publishing Co.
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-8th grade
in Sterling Classics (Location: A04-04A)
$8.46
Black Beauty
by Anna Sewell
from DK Children
for 4th-8th grade
in Adapted or Abridged (Location: A10-03F)
$6.80 (1 in stock)
Black Beauty
by Anna Sewell
from Nelson Doubleday, Inc.
for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$2.00 (1 in stock)
Black Gold
by Marguerite Henry
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 4th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.94
Black Gold (pictorial cover)
by Marguerite Henry
from Rand McNally
for 4th-7th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$9.60 (1 in stock)
Black Stallion
Black Stallion #1
by Walter Farley
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Black Stallion and Flame
Black Stallion #15
by Walter Farley
from Random House
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.53
Black Stallion and Satan
Black Stallion #5
by Walter Farley
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.94 $2.80 (1 in stock)
Black Stallion and Satan
by Walter Farley
from Random House
for 4th-8th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$2.40 (1 in stock)
Black Stallion and the Girl
Black Stallion #19
by Walter Farley
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.94
Black Stallion Challenged
Black Stallion #17
by Walter Farley
from Random House
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.94 $3.20 (1 in stock)
Black Stallion Legend
Black Stallion #20
by Walter Farley
from Random House
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
Black Stallion Mystery
Black Stallion #13
by Walter Farley
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Stories for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.94
Black Stallion Returns
Black Stallion #2
by Walter Farley
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$6.79
Black Stallion Revolts
Black Stallion #9
by Walter Farley
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$6.79
Black Stallion's Blood Bay Colt
Black Stallion #6
by Walter Farley
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5ht-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.09
Black Stallion's Courage
Black Stallion #12
by Walter Farley
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Stories for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.53 $2.80 (1 in stock)
Black Stallion's Filly
Black Stallion #8
by Walter Farley
from Random House
Realistic Animal Stories for 4th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$6.79
Black Stallion's Ghost
Black Stallion #18
by Walter Farley
from Random House
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.94
Black Stallion's Sulky Colt
Black Stallion #10
by Walter Farley
from Yearling
Realistic Animal Fiction for 5th-6th grade
in Animal Stories (Location: A06-03A)
$5.94
Blaze and the Forest Fire
by C. W. Anderson
from Aladdin Paperbacks
for 1st-3rd grade
in Picture Books (Location: CPB-03)
$6.79
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