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Free STEM activities for children on Saturday

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On Saturday, Sept. 28 at 2 p.m., the Roswell Public Library is hosting Saturday STEM, a series of science activities designed to strengthen STEM concepts in children. These engaging experiments will be led by Peggy Bohlin, a teacher liaison for the Space Foundation, president of the Roswell Astronomy Club and Roswell Junior Galaxy Club. This program is free to attend and no registration is required. For more information, you can call 575-622-7101, visit 301 N. Pennsylvania and like us on Facebook.

Book Talk
By Tomás González
Reference Librarian

One of the classic storytelling themes is the tale of a boy and his dog. There are many different stories of humans and their furry best friends’ adventures, from true-life explorations and miracles, to those of the fictional variety. This story revolves around a young boy growing up in the Ozark Mountains in Oklahoma and his two Redbone Coonhounds.

“Where the Red Fern Grows” was written by Wilson Rawls who has ties to New Mexico, spending some time here as a young boy, and then later as an adult. The story begins with a man, Billy Colman, coming home from work when he sees a group of dogs attacking an older coonhound. Billy chases off the other dogs and rescues the coonhound, taking it back to his house to mend the dog’s wounds and give it some food and water.

When caring for the coonhound he notices the dog’s crude homemade collar made of check-line leather with the name “Buddie” etched into it. After seeing that the dog was going to be OK, he sets the dog free to continue its long journey to wherever that may be. The interaction with this coonhound draws back strong, fond memories of his childhood and his two best coonhound friends.

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Billy grew up in the Ozark Mountains in Oklahoma. Billy, along with his mom, dad and three sisters, lived in a countryside plot of land in the valley of those mountains that they farmed to make ends meet. Billy had always wanted a dog to take hunting for raccoons, and also, more than anything, a companion to explore the surrounding areas. Billy’s family couldn’t afford a hunting dog, but did offer to get him a collie. Billy refused and had his heart set on a hunting dog.

One day, when visiting the river, he stumbled upon a magazine that had a listing for redbone coonhound puppies for sale, $25 a pup. This set a fire under Billy to save up enough money to buy two of the puppies. He did every little thing he could to make money and after two years of saving, he finally had enough money.

Finally, Billy had the two redbone coonhounds that he had waited so long to have. He set out to training his two dogs, Old Dan and Little Ann and they quickly picked up their natural instincts and began to grow a reputation for being two of the best hunting dogs in the area. Billy faces many trials and tribulations with his new companions.

Friendship, love, trust, perseverance and problem-solving are themes found throughout the book. Billy’s dogs are extremely special to him and his family. They prove that the reputation they had earned was well-deserved, as Billy, Old Dan and Little Ann explore the Ozark Mountains protecting one another from whatever comes their way. “Where the Red Fern Grows” can be found in the Children’s section of the library, as well as both CD and Downloadable Audiobook formats.

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