Lassie Come-Home

For the film adaptation, see Lassie Come Home.
Lassie Come-Home

First edition
Author Eric Knight
Illustrator Marguerite Kirmse
Country United States
Language English
Publisher The John C. Winston Company
Publication date
Media type Print

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 December 17, 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 refers to Lassie allegedly being a “come-home” dog. 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.”[3] Thus, “Lassie Come-Home” should not be construed as an imperative phrase, but as anastrophe (the inversion of normal syntax, as in “enemy mine” or “riches untold”). Film adaptations of the novel do not include the hyphen.


Lassie Come-Home won the 1943 Young Reader's Choice Award.[4]

Preceded by
By the Shores of Silver Lake
Young Reader's Choice Award recipient
Succeeded by
The Black Stallion


  1. Publishers Weekly
  2. The New York Times
  3. Eric Knight (1940). Lassie Come-Home. Holt, Rinehart, and Winston. p. 30.
  4. "Past winners". Young Reader's Choice Awards. Retrieved 25 November 2012.

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