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What to know: Based on a true story that shows how one person's kindness radically changes another person's life.
GIFT OF THE RED FERN, THE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 7-16
12 minutes
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I love this documentary film and I think others will love it too. It is really outstanding and shows how one person's kindness affects another in such a meaningful way. The story is about a kid, Kevin Bracket and the influence that his 5th grade teacher made on his life. Kevin narrates the letter he sent to Mrs. McSheehy who takes Kevin under her wing when he lands in her class after a tumultuous round of moving from school to school, as a child of a military dad. It's a story about a kid who grows up and becomes a man and thanks to Mrs. McSheehy's kindnesses, it impacted his life in a huge way. Kindness should never be underestimated. What is most appealing about this film is seeing how the boy has to readjust to a new lifestyle each time. He attended 6 different schools in 3 states and 2 countries during that time. It shows how one teacher made such a huge impact on his life. The film is beautifully shot, with re-enactments of children the age that Kevin was at the time the incident took place. It flows well, makes sense and inspires at a deep level. The filmmaker is Mrs. McSheehy's daughter who read Kevin's letter and felt compelled to create a film out of it, not just for her mother but for teachers everywhere who haven't received a letter but have contributed to the lives of the many children they have worked with over the years. The production quality is excellent and the topic is certainly one that kids and adults can relate to, whether or not you have lived the military life. I give this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 7 to 16, as well as adults. Reviewed by Sev'n F. and Julie S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic and KIDS FIRST! Adult jurors.
This film is based on the true story of how one teacher's act of kindness changed a lonely boy's life. Now a District Attorney in South Carolina, Kevin Brackett, Esq, narrates the letter he sent to his teacher in 2017, sharing the events she set in motion with her caring gesture. Kevin begins his first day of 5th grade at Kenwood Elementary. He is 10-years-old and this is his fifth elementary school. A child of the military, he is always the new kid, shunned, lonely and friendless. His Air Force captain father was transferred from Colorado to Eglin Air Force Base, FL, so his family had to move once again. In Florida Kevin experiences his first hurricane, and then finds a compassionate and loving teacher in Mrs. McSheehy, who takes Kevin under her wing. An entertaining teacher, Mrs. McSheehy's boundless enthusiasm for literature is contagious, and a passion for reading sparks in Kevin's heart. She reads "Where the Red Fern Grows" to the class, and he imagines himself as the main character Billy, running and wrestling with two adorable, rambunctious puppies. But sadly, after only a few months at Kenwood, Kevin's parents buy a house in another school district, and he has to leave Mrs. McSheehy's class. Both are heartbroken. After Kevin has gone on to his 6th elementary school, Mrs. McSheehy is inspired to reach out to him with a thoughtful act of kindness, which brings joy into his life in a way she never could have imagined. Until now. This movie highlights: Children of the Military; the Unsung Heroes who also make sacrifices for our country. Shunning, and how it is just another form of Bullying. How the Right book can ignite a passion in your heart for Reading, and change the course of your Life. How Puppies can brighten anyone's day!
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