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The Haymeadow

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  849 Ratings  ·  93 Reviews
Fourteen-year-old John Barron is asked, like his father and grandfather before him, to spend the summer taking care of their sheep in the haymeadow. Six thousand sheep. John will be alone, except for two horses, four dogs, and all those sheep.

John doesn't feel up to the task, but he hopes that if he can accomplish it, he will finally please his father. But John finds that

Paperback, 208 pages
Published February 1st 1994 by Yearling (first published 1992)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Katelyn Loehrke
Mar 21, 2016 Katelyn Loehrke rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 06, 2016 Josiah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not just frigid Northern winters and dogsledding that Gary Paulsen writes about with unique sensitivity and experiential knowledge. He speaks of the American West with the same unmistakable affection and familiarity, aided by the fact that he and his wife, Ruth Wright Paulsen (who contributed The Haymeadow's handsome illustrations), owned homes in Wyoming and New Mexico when this novel was first published in 1992. Gary Paulsen always was an indefatigable researcher, not laying pen to page ...more
Aug 09, 2016 Sandra added it
Fourteen-year-old John Barron lives on the land that used to be his great-grandfather’s ranch. He works the land with his father and his father’s helpers, but he wishes that something in his life would change. He is not sure what. One day, one of his father’s helpers is critically ill, and he has to stay with him in town near the hospital. That leaves only John to take the sheep to the hay meadow for their yearly summer stay. Just him, six thousand sheep, four dogs, and two horses. He is filled ...more
Laurie Carroll
Jun 25, 2012 Laurie Carroll rated it it was amazing
Shelves: young-adult-lit
I read this Gary Paulsen classic aloud to my husband and 13 year old son as we wound our way through Wyoming and Montana in our RV this summer. My husband's comment after we finished the book one evening by the campfire was, "I know his target audience is teenage boys, but I can't think of an author I like more." Another great coming of age story by the best outdoor writer of our time!
Dec 04, 2016 SFrick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: paulsen
In parts, I laughed so hard my sides hurt. The way Paulsen tells the story about the lands, John the boy who knew nothing about was he was tasked to do, but would shortly learn, the family heritage, not to mention the pristine beauty of the surrounding country, makes this book, in my estimation, one of Paulsen's Best.
Book Dragon
A novel about a young boy's coming of age in a way. Do to changes at the ranch, he is to drive the sheep to the hay meadow for the summer. Many things happen...good and bad. But this boy learns he has become a man in the end. Great book!
Nick Taylor
Feb 26, 2017 Nick Taylor rated it really liked it
The Haymeadow was a very interesting and outdoorsy book. I could relate to it except for taking care of 6000 sheep. It was probably one of my favorite books to read. I like John's love for the outdoors. I would recommend this book for any person who likes nature and the outdoors, or a farmer.
Mar 25, 2017 Julie rated it really liked it
14 year old motherland boy who has to be a Shepherd for three months all by himself while his father cares for the ranch and sick ranch hand. The story deals with the boys education about nature and himself. It ends with a bonding between father and son. I read this to my son and we both enjoyed it.
Mar 07, 2017 Kaci rated it it was amazing
Loved this sweet coming of age story about a boy growing up on a ranch and his time alone taking care of the sheep in the hay meadow.
Zachary Coleman
Apr 14, 2016 Zachary Coleman rated it it was ok
"The Haymeadow" is about a teenager named John Barron who is forced to spend the summer protecting six thousand sheep,in a haymeadow, in Wyoming. In the exposition we learn that his father's farmhand,Tink, has cancer and can't go with the sheep to the haymeadow for the summer. John is told that he has to watch six thousand sheep ,all summer, by himself, with nothing but nature around. He leaves the next day and gets there in two days time. Another farmhand,Cawley, accompanies him there but leav ...more
Dusty Phelps
Sep 08, 2011 Dusty Phelps rated it it was amazing
Dusty Phelps
Class: 1st
Zach Bales
The Haymeadow Review

(Gary Paulsen’s book, The Haymeadow, was just another book that was complete success. His western style books excite its readers, every time. Gary Paulsen is a well known author. Mostly due to his book, Hatchet.)
The main character, John Barron, is fourteen when his father gives him the task of watching the families six thousand head of sheep up in the hay meadow through the summer. He had nothing besides a wagon full of supply, two
Nov 29, 2010 Scott rated it it was amazing
The haymeadow is a book about a teenage boy that lives on a ranch that has sheep and horses. They use to have alot of land but couldn't make payments and had it taken away so now the people who own the ranch let them live there and have them watch over the ranch and all of the animals and in return don't have to pay to live there and they get to pretty much call it their ranch. It is adventurous because after a ranch hand that drives the sheep to a meadow up in the mountains and stays there from ...more
Yhover Perez
Oct 01, 2015 Yhover Perez rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 07, 2013 Gale rated it liked it

John is only 14 the year his father expects him to spend the summer in a distant haymeadow in the Wyoming mountains--alone with 6,000 sheep, 4 border collies and 2 horses. Unsure if he is up to the demands of prolonged living without human companionship in valley pasturage, lacking both experience and a guidebook, the boy psyches himself up by pretending he would do things the way he imagines the Old Man--his great grandfather who founded the spread--
Jacob Olson
Nov 22, 2016 Jacob Olson rated it really liked it
The book begins when john, the main character kind of tells you the back story on how his dad goes every month to visit his mothers grave and how he barely remembers her. Also about the farm and how their family farm came to be. This tradition is one that has been carried on ever sense the farm was created. every year they take tons of sheep just busloads of them and they keep them up there for the summer. Though out the story it talks about the adventures with the sheep and dogs like the coyot ...more
The main idea of this book is that a young kid in is 20's and has been put in charge to guide and take care of a flock of sheep in the middle of no where. The boy has been in charge of the sheep by an older man and the boy has to figure out how to make the sheep stay safe with the little knowledge that he has from the past in school and heard over the years. The boy has to been put into a cabin and given a truck and a few pairs of clothes and given a few herding dogs to help. While herding one ...more
Dec 01, 2013 Zachary rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: adventure lover
Recommended to Zachary by: my Dad
A 14 year old teeenager named John Barron was asked to take care of 6000 sheep for a summer all by himself. He had one gun, two horses,four dogs and 6000 sheep to keep him company. He was doing this because his father and grandfather before him had done this. (This sounds like fun.) He thought that he needed to do this in order to earn the respect of his father and grandfather. He went on a journey. His journey was long and treacherous and he needed to learn skills so that he could survive. One ...more
Mar 10, 2014 Marietje rated it liked it
Gary Paulsen is the champion of survival coming-of -age novels. This time 14 year old motherless John, is charged by his father with herding a flock of 6000 sheep far up the Wyoming mountains, because the farmhand who usually summers with the sheep has cancer. For three months John battles snakes, coyotes, flash floods and even a black bear. He finds himself hesitating to kill severely wounded sheep with his gun. He also needs to come to terms with his family history, which is not quite like he ...more
Nov 17, 2015 Mirrani rated it liked it
I liked this book less than I wanted to. I typically enjoy adventure stories that deal with overcoming some sort of natural obstacle in order to "survive", especially when it has to deal with horses or ranching. This was just a little too much survival though. Don't get me wrong, it was good to see all the stuff about ranching and all of the hardships that must be faced when caring for sheep on your own, but it felt like it was slam full of one chaotic event after another, leaving no time to tak ...more
Randy Daugherty
Jan 10, 2012 Randy Daugherty rated it really liked it
John Barron is 14 and is given the job of tending the 6000 flock of sheep in the mountain hay meadow. John is worried how will he ever manage it, no one has told him what to do, he will be all alone and isolated but for the dogs, horses and of course all those sheep.
Shortly after being on his own, one dog cuts his foot bad, his wagon is caught in a flash flood, the sheep are attacked by coyotes and then a bear and their is also a run in with a skunk and snake. Through it all John learns to hand
Michelle Barker
Mar 27, 2014 Michelle Barker rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-reads, ya
I read this book to help my son with his homework and had a happy surprise. What a lovely coming of age story about a boy who is forced into responsibility he doesn't feel ready for. I think my high rating might also have to do with the subject matter: ranching, the pastoral setting and the reality behind it of dealing with wild animals and the natural world that won't be tamed and must be respected. I loved the character of John Barron and the way he idolizes his great-grandfather. Everything w ...more
Essau Alli
Mar 31, 2010 Essau Alli rated it it was ok
This book is about a boy that becomes a responsible young adult. He is able to manage an entire farm. He learns how to become a farmer becasue he has a lot of help from others. He takes care of the animals very well because he knows how to do a good job.

I can relate this book to the world because a lot of people have farms and they have to live off of what animals produce.They have animals to produce resources such as cows produce milk.

I rate this book 2 stars because I thought i was kind of bor
Marleigh Brown
I loved this book, I couldn't put it down! I have read many books but this one really got me. Gary Paulsen is an overall amazing author. He did an AMAZING job using old-world activities and language and putting it into our world common activities and languages. This makes readers connect with the book and especially feel anxious, suspensful, frustrated at times, happy, and relived. The combinations of moods and tones are incredible also. I would recommend this book in a heartbeat to a reader who ...more
May 16, 2010 David rated it it was amazing
This story is yet again another coming-of-age novel, with a bit of survival mixed in. A young man is tasked with caring for and guarding sheep for the summer, all the while dealing with his relationship with his father, and his unhealthy obsession with his great-grandfather. This story is relatively more peaceful that some of Paulsen's other works, but there is still a good amount of adventure and challenges to overcome. This felt like a "modern western" to me, so anyone who grew up in the count ...more
Jan 12, 2009 Nickie rated it really liked it
I listened to this little book with the kids. This is a quick 3.5 hour reading, but we listened while I was working on another project.

I think many boys will love this story of a 14 year old boy called by his father to care for 6,000 sheep high up in the mountains with four dogs and two horses.

It's an exciting adventure with a mountain lion, coyotes,a black bear, flash floods and crazy sheep.

Lastly, it's a story about a father and son growing closer..finally.

My kids say they love all the adventu
Dec 10, 2015 Daisy_walden rated it liked it
Like other Gary Paulson books, the main character learns to survive on his own in the wilderness. The 14 year old boy had to take care of all these sheep all summer by himself. He looks up to his great grandpa who homesteaded this land, but at the end of the book his dad tells him what a rotten man that grandpa actually was. I thought that was wierd, and the book came to a quick ending which I didnt prefer. But thats how it goes for juvinile books, I guess. I would recomend it to Gary Pulason fa ...more
Brandon Gerdes
Oct 24, 2012 Brandon Gerdes rated it liked it
i thought that this book was very interesting. at times it made me not want to put it down. a 14 year old boy John Barron was very brave, I thought. John had many twists and turns while tending to his sheep. the roles that nature and wild animals played were the main reason that made me want to keep reading this book. at any time he was not paying attention, he took the risk of losing his sheep to coyotes, a flooding river, and a hurt dog. Overall i thought this was a good book, although it was ...more
I was really drawn into this story of a motherless 14 year old boy who lives with his father and two ranch hands caring for 6,000 sheep. One of the ranch hands must go into the hospital for cancer treatment, so the teen must stay with all those sheep in a mountain valley for the summer with just two horses and 4 dogs, while the other ranch hand manages the ranch.

The events that happen to this insecure teen are dangerous and exciting, and I enjoyed reading how he survived, adapted, and matured.

Apr 03, 2012 Theresa rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2012
This is a different sort of story than I would ordinarily read...a coming of age story where the boy is expected to live on his own and take care of the sheep for a summer. Perhaps I am becoming too cynical, but I am not all that interested. However, Paulsen is able to use language that maintains the beauty in the land while also reminding us of the destruction it can bring. I can see how middle schoolers would enjoy it, especially those interested in animals or farming.
Sep 11, 2015 Hayden rated it really liked it
The Haymeadow, by Gary Paulsen is about a teenage boy who is sent to a small valley with his family's herd of sheep. After packing up all the supplies for the weeks away from home, he sets off with one of the farm workers to the valley called, the Haymeadow. When the herd is in the Haymeadow, the farm worker helps the teenager set up camp and then leaves to boy with the sheep to watch them. But, many struggles come with herding the sheep for the first time.
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve
More about Gary Paulsen...

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