Lassie Come-Home
First edition
AuthorEric Knight
IllustratorMarguerite Kirmse
CountryUnited Kingdom
PublisherThe John C. Winston Company
Publication date
Media typePrint

Lassie Come-Home is a novel written by Eric Knight about a rough collie's trek over many miles to be reunited with the boy she loves.[1] Author Eric Knight introduced the reading public to the canine character of Lassie in a magazine story published on 17 December 1938, in The Saturday Evening Post, a story which he later expanded to a novel and published in 1940 to critical and commercial success. In 1943, the novel was adapted to the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer feature film Lassie Come Home starring Roddy McDowall as the boy Joe Carraclough, Pal as Lassie, and featuring Elizabeth Taylor.[2] The motion picture was selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry. A remake of Lassie Come Home, entitled Lassie, was released in 2005.

The hyphen in the title is both an adjective referring to Lassie's purpose as a dog that must turn home and it is the name given to the dog in the final chapter[3] where the boy says to the dog: "Ye brought us luck. 'Cause ye're a come-homer. Ye're my Lassie Come-Home. Lassie Come-Home. That's thy name! Lassie Come-Home".[3] In another part of the book, a cynical character falsely accuses the Carraclough family of training such dogs for fraud: "I know all about yer and yer come-home dogs. Training 'em to break loose and run right back 'ome when they're sold, so then ye can sell 'em to someone else."[4] Film adaptations of the novel do not include the hyphen.


Lassie Come-Home won the 1943 Young Reader's Choice Award.[5]


  1. ^ Publishers Weekly
  2. ^ The New York Times
  3. ^ a b Erica Fudge (5 December 2014). Pets. Routledge. pp. 28–. ISBN 978-1-317-48854-5.
  4. ^ Eric Knight (1940). Lassie Come-Home. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. p. 30.
  5. ^ "Past winners". Young Reader's Choice Awards. Archived from the original on 29 October 2012. Retrieved 25 November 2012.