Cover image for Old Yeller
Title:
Old Yeller
Author:
Gipson, Fred, 1908-1973.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First Harper Trophy edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Harper & Row, 1990.

©1956
Physical Description:
184 pages ; 20 cm
General Note:
"A Harper Trophy book."
Language:
English
Reading Level:
910 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 5.0 5.0 66.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 5.4 8 Quiz: 08592 Guided reading level: V.
ISBN:
9780064403825

9780738300184
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Concord Library X Juvenile Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

A timeless American classic and one of the most beloved children's books ever written, Old Yeller is a Newbery Honor Book that explores the poignant and unforgettable bond between a boy and the stray dog who becomes his loyal friend.

When his father sets out on a cattle drive toward Kansas for the summer, fourteen-year-old Travis Coates is left to take care of his family and their farm. Living in Texas Hill Country during the 1860s, Travis comes to face new, unanticipated, and often perilous responsibilities in the frontier wilderness.

A particular nuisance is a stray yellow dog that shows up one day and steals food from the family. But the big canine who Travis calls "Old Yeller" proves his worth by defending the family from danger. And Travis ultimately finds help and comfort in the courage and unwavering love of the dog who comes to be his very best friend.

Fred Gipson's novel is an eloquently simple story that is both exciting and deeply moving. It stands alongside works like The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Where The Red Fern Grows, and Shiloh as a beloved and enduring classic of literature. Originally published in 1956 to instant acclaim, Old Yeller later inspired a hit film from Walt Disney. Just as Old Yeller inevitably makes his way into the Coates family's hearts, this book will find its own special place in readers' hearts.


Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-9. Left in charge of his pioneer family's Texas farm while his father is away, Travis is forced to grow up quickly with the assistance of Old Yeller, an unwanted stray dog. Animal and human interaction in this semidesert environment is strikingly portrayed.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Old Yeller Chapter One We called him Old Yeller. The name had a sort of double meaning. One part meant that his short hair was a dingy yellow, a color that we called "yeller" in those days, The other meant that when he opened his head, the sound he let out came closer to being a yell than a bark. I remember like yesterday how he strayed in out of nowhere to our log cabin on Birdsong Creek. He made me so mad at first that I wanted to kill him. Then, later, when I had to kill him, it was like having to shoot some of my own folks. That's how much I'd come to think of the big yeller dog. He came in the late 1860's, the best I remember. Anyhow, it was the year that Papa and a bunch of other Salt Licks settlers formed a "pool herd" of their little separate bunches of steers and trailed them to the new cattle market at Abilene, Kansas. This was to get "cash money," a thing that all Texans were short of in those years right after the Civil War. We lived then in a new country and a good one. As Papa pointed out the day the men talked over making the drive, we had plenty of grass, wood, and water. We bad wild game for the killing, fertile ground for growing bread corn, and the Indians had been put onto reservations with the return of U.S. soldiers to the Texas forts. "In fact," Papa wound up, "all we lack having a tight tail-bolt on the world is a little cash money. And we can get that at Abilene." Well, the idea sounded good, but some of the men still hesitated. Abilene was better than six hundred miles north of the Texas bill country we lived in. It would take months for the men to make the drive and ride back home. And all that time the womenfolks and children of Salt Licks would be left in a wild frontier settlement to make out the best they could. Still, they needed money, and they realized that whatever a man does, he's bound to take some risks. So theytalked it over with each other and with their women and decided it was the thing to do. They told their folks what to do in case the Indians came off the reservation or the coons got to eating the corn or the !)cars got to killing too many hogs. Then they gathered their cattle, burned a trail brand on their hips, and pulled out on the long trail to Kansas. I remember how it was the day Papa left. I remember his standing in front of the cabin with his horse saddled, his gun in his scabbard, and his bedroll tied on back of the cantle. I remember how tall and straight and handsome he looked, with his high-crowned hat and his black mustaches drooping in cow-horn curves past the corners of his mouth. And I remember how Mama was trying to keep from crying because he was leaving and how Little Arliss, who was only five and didn't know much, wasn't trying to keep from crying at all In fact, 'he xas howling his head off; not because Papa was leaving, but because he couldn't go, too. I wasn't about to cry. I was fourteen years old, pretty near a grown man. I stood back and didn't let on for a minute that I wanted to cry. Papa got through loving up Mama and Little Arliss and mounted his horse. I looked up at him. He motioned for me to come along. So I walked beside his horse down the trail that led under the big liveoaks and past the spring. When he'd gotten out of hearing of the house, Papa reached down and put a hand on my shoulder. "Now, Travis," he said, "you're getting to be a big boy; and while I'm gone, you'll be the man of the family, I want you to act like one. You take care of Mama and Little Arliss. You look after the work and don't wait around for your mama to point out what needs to be done. Think you can do that?" "Yessir," I said. "Now, there's the cows to milk and wood to cut and young pigs to mark and fresh meat to shoot. But mainly there's the corn patch. If you don't work it right or if you let the varmints eat up the roasting ears, we'll be without bread corn for the winter." "Yessir," I said. "All right, boy. I'll be seeing you this fall." I stood there and let him ride on. There wasn't any more to say. Suddenly I remembered and went running down the trail after him, calling for him to wait. He pulled up his horse and twisted around in the saddle. "Yeah, boy," he said. "What is it?" "That horse," I said. "What horse?" he said, like he'd never heard me mention it before. "You mean you're wanting a horse?" "Now, Papa," I complained. "You know I've been aching all over for a horse to ride. I've told you time and again." I looked up to catch him grinning at me and felt foolish that I hadn't realized he was teasing. "What you're needing worse than a horse is a good dog." "Yessir," I said, "but a horse is what I'm wanting the worst... Old Yeller . Copyright © by Fred Gipson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Old Yeller by Fred Gipson All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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