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Old Yeller

(Old Yeller #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  85,194 ratings  ·  2,182 reviews
At first, Travis couldn't stand the sight of Old Yeller.

The stray dog was ugly, and a thieving rascal, too. But he sure was clever, and a smart dog could be a big help on the wild Texas frontier, especially with Papa away on a long cattle drive up to Abilene.

Strong and courageous, Old Yeller proved that he could protect Travis's family from any sort of danger. But can Trav
...more
Paperback, 1st Perennial Classics Edition, 132 pages
Published May 15th 2001 by Harper Perennial Modern Classics (first published January 1st 1958)
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Timothy Hendricks Yes, I love this book. It is hard to answer when someone ask me my all time favorite book. However this is one of them. I've read the book many times …moreYes, I love this book. It is hard to answer when someone ask me my all time favorite book. However this is one of them. I've read the book many times both as a child and as adult. It is an excellent book.(less)

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Average rating 4.09  · 
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 ·  85,194 ratings  ·  2,182 reviews


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Mischenko
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Old Yeller is a coming of age story about a boy named Travis and his family living in Salt Lick, Texas in the 1860s. Travis is fourteen years old and yearns to be a man. His father is leaving for Abilene on a trip to drive cattle for money, and Travis will be left to man their home until his father returns.

“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 afte
...more
Julie
I can only conclude that there must be something terribly wrong with me, that I would embark on a third reading of Old Yeller.

It's madness. It's the only explanation.

I just felt as though my 10-year-old was ready. And she was. I guess I felt ready again, too.

So we took on this 117 page classic from 1956, together, even though it had broken my heart twice before.

I was wondering if this daughter would consider the language dated, but, no, she took it all in stride. She was surprisingly unfazed tha
...more
Raegan Butcher
Jan 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this book because I love dogs and I'm a masochist.
Brian
Sep 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brian by: Lynne King
This 1950s Pocket edition, purchased from a Sonoma used book store, presented today as a gift to my eight year old daughter (more on this later). After thanking me she asked me what it was about. I told her it's about a boy and his dog. She asked me if the dog dies. I told her he does, but that it is still a good book. She asked if I had read it. I told her I hadn't - only seen the movie. She asked me to read it for her first to make sure it wasn't too sad. She's on to me...

Our 14 year-old prota
...more
Lynne King
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
“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.

His father had to go away to get some “cash money” by selling his steer. But the boy wanted a horse. The upshot being that if he acted as a man when his father was away, he would be rewa
...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Dec 29, 2009 rated it did not like it
Let me say first that some love this book and to be fair I never read it except to get an idea of the story. You will find in my books low ratings for Black Beauty, The Yearling, Old Yeller and any books that have the "pain of life motif" in common. By the way this includes Cold Mountain. Look up my review and you'll see I try to give recognition that it's well written but just not a book I can like. And these ratings are how I feel and what I think of these books. Some will say how they love th ...more
Calista
Amazing! There is a reason this book is such a classic. I cried at the end. What a dog that Yeller. A frontier family survive with the help of this scoundrel dog. This book is so grounded and down to earth. They had a lot of ingenuity living on the land as they did. I appreciated how Fred handled the emotions of the characters. Everything and everyone felt so real. I felt like they were living and breathing. Travis's emotional arch is touching. This is a work of art, it really is. I'm so glad I ...more
Catherine
Oct 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club
What I mean is, things like that happen. They may seem mighty cruel and unfair, but that's how life is a part of the time. But that isn't the only way life is. A part of the time, it's mighty good. And a man can't afford to waste all the good parts worrying about the bad parts. That makes it all bad… you understand?

This book totally exceeded my expectations. My favourite thing about it was the narrative style - it really felt like I was sitting with the protagonist, Travis, while he was giving m
...more
Jackson Burnett
Mar 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This review is for mothers and fathers of sons written by a man with no children. Forgive my presumptuousness, but please don't let my lack of experience stop you from reading.

Here's the story of Old Yeller: Daddy, Mama, young son, and early teenage son live as a family on the Texas frontier. To provide for the family, Daddy has to go on a cattle drive to Kansas. Before he leaves, Daddy takes the oldest son aside and tells him he is going to have to be the man of the house since Daddy will be g
...more
Sara
Jan 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read this when I was about ten years old. Hoping to visit it again, so adding it to my books so that I won't forget.
Book Concierge
Gipson’s simply told tale of a boy and his dog living in the Texas Hill Country of 1860 is a genuine classic of children’s literature. Travis Coates is only 14 years old, but while his father is off for months on a cattle drive, he is the “man of the house,” left on the homestead with his mother and younger brother, 5-year-old Arliss. A stray yellow mutt of a dog, with one ear virtually chewed off, and only a stump of a tail, shows up one day. He’s a no good, thieving rascal – taking their meat ...more
Tatevik Najaryan
This was rough and cruel (not in a bad sense) and heart-breaking. I think I am not capable of writing a proper review for this. Not now, not ever. I can't believe this is for 9-12 ages.

Just one thing. I started this with an audiobook from HarperCollins. The narrator's voice sounded like a character from an old western film The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. In this way I could feel the old American spirit of the story, kind of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn mood. But then I dropped the audio and s
...more
Jim
I'm so glad I listened to this again. Fantastic narrator, perfect voice for the part.

I thought I remembered the book well, but I hadn't, not really. Too many years & too mixed up from seeing the movie, which changes some things. Super movie, but nothing beats the book.

Gipson perfectly captured a mature 14 year old, the kind of boy I'd expect given the times, post Civil War Texas, late 1860's. He wasn't always perfect, but that just made him more real. The feelings he had were very well done as w
...more
Megan Campbell
Oct 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone
This is the first book that ever made me cry. I would read it during my study period in the 4th grade each day for almost 2 weeks (it was my class copy-- so I had to keep putting it back and hoping no one else would take it). I held my tears back until the lunch bell rang and then ran for the bathroom to cry. It may have been the first time I realized how incredible it was to read.
kenneth
Feb 09, 2014 rated it did not like it
The fact that this book is assigned in many elementary schools supports my belief that the government wants to discourage pleasure reading from the earliest possible age.
Marquise
For a childrens' classic, this book is better suited for animal lovers with a good streak of masochism, because that ending was rather brutal on the feels.
Jey
Jan 08, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bob
I am amazed at number of books I haven't read that I should have read when I was young. This is certainly one of them, I am in my sixties and I’ve just now read this wonderful story.

This is a story about a boy growing up, and becoming a man at the early age of fourteen.

When Travis’s father must leave the family on important business, Travis must step up and take care of his family. His father tells him that he must be responsible for the family’s wellbeing. This “you are the man of the family
...more
Whitney
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good and really sad book i was crying at the end. It is about a boy named Travis living with his siter, alice and mom.Travis always wanted a horse to ride on but everytime the dad said, " when you are a man,".The dog came to the house one time and ate the meat they hunted for and lay down dirty and guilty. Travis made the dog go but Alice always said no and actually the mom makes thm keep the dog. They named it Old yeller because of its color.Travis started to like the dog and too ...more
Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ...
One more children's classic that I wish so much I had read as a child. I watched the movie many, many times as it was often played in the after-school special time slot. If you have seen the movie or read the book you will know that I sobbed each time -- and again when I finished the last words of the book.

Old Yeller is the story of a 14 year old boy left to take care of his family when his father must leave for a long period of time for some work. Told by his father “you are the man of the fami
...more
Marcia Van Camp
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My mother read to us constantly when we were young, and still enjoys reading to us as adults. When I was about 9 years old, we decided to read Old Yeller together. I cannot remember why we chose the book, but I believe it was new to both of us. It was a special time for me, as I had my mom all to myself in a busy house, and we both really enjoyed the story, characters, and the writing. I remember the ending, and I won't spoil it for those who may not be familiar with the tale. What I will say, i ...more
Evelien Bullaert
I know this is deemed a classic and a must read. I also know that the writing style was supposed to create the athmosphere but to me it was just too simplistic and descriptive. It held me back from really visualising the story. I did cry... But that is mostly because I am unable to read books about dogs without crying. Do I think everyone should read this? Not really. I feel this speaks to a specific audience, however when you do read it, I hope it can take you on an adventure where I haven't be ...more
Kathy
Mar 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics, ehrtbm-2020
I love this tear-jerker. Every once in a while I re-read this classic. Its a great way to keep things in perspective.
John Turner
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics
Over the last 60 years, I've read this book numerous times, so many times, I've lost track. Twice in the past two years, for sure. Every read is fresh and entertaining. It's a story about a boy and his dog, a book purposely written for the juvenile reader, but one adults can readily enjoy.

Travis hates the old, yellow cur when it first shows up on his family farm. As Travis narrates the story, they named him Old Yeller, first for his dirty yellow color, then for his penchant to howl, a yeller rat
...more
Becky
Jan 28, 2012 rated it liked it
I read this as a kid and really liked it, and I just re-read it with one of my students.
It has lot of problems inherent in its time, like racism and mild sexism, but on the whole I think it stands up okay.

I think the important thing with books like these is that when grief is experienced (because it will be) there's an understanding that you're not alone. When Travis says he felt nothing but hurt for weeks, there's something there that can be recognized, and I think there's a kind of comfort in
...more
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
I still love this book about a boy and a dog he never wanted after losing his faithful old dog, Bell. He wanted a horse. His father promised that he'd get one after he returned from selling some cattle in Kansas. All Travis had to do is take care of his mother and his little brother, Arliss. Farm chores were a given. Then comes a mangy, ratty dog who steals eggs and such from them. He sees Arliss with the mutt at the trough. His mother suggests that the little boy will need a companion to play w ...more
Hope
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Old Yeller takes place just after the Civil War when Texas is still being settled. Travis Coates is 14 and his father leaves him in charge of the family while he goes on a cattle drive. Travis has the help of a stray "yeller" dog to protect his mother and little brother, Arliss.

It's a wonderful story of perseverance and self-sacrifice in the face of drought, wild hogs, hydrophobia, and other dangers. Travis often remembered what his father had taught him to do in various situations. So though h
...more
Richard Knight
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I must be a dog mood. First The Call of the Wild, and now this. I can say both are beautifully written books, but I prefer Old Yeller. It has a lot more heart. You already know that the dog dies, but the story around his eventual death is a lot more harrowing than you might suspect. Life in Texas at this time in history was bru-tal, and this is mostly a story of survival and fighting with the land. Amongst all this though is the story of a boy and his dog, which is also interesting. A great book ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Old Yeller is definitely a classic, I read it in the fifth grade and it's a well-written, unforgettable and original story, though incredibly depressing. The imagery, characters and scenery were what really made this book stand out.
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Also known as Frederick Benjamin Gipson. He is best known for writing the 1956 novel Old Yeller, which became a popular 1957 Walt Disney film.

Other books in the series

Old Yeller (3 books)
  • Savage Sam (Old Yeller, #2)
  • Little Arliss (Old Yeller, #3)

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89 likes · 16 comments
“What I mean is, things like that happen. They may seem might cruel and unfair, but that's how life is a part of the time. But that isn't the only way life is. A part of the time, it's mighty good. And a man can't afford to waste all the good part, worrying about the bad parts. That makes it all bad” 66 likes
“That was as rough a thing as I ever heard tell of happening to a boy. And I'm mighty proud to learn how my boy stood up to it. You couldn't ask any more of a grown man... It's not a thing you can forget. I don't guess it's a thing you ought to forget. What I mean is, things like that happen. They may seem mighty cruel and unfair, but that's how life is part of the time. But that isn't the only way life is. A part of the time, it's mighty good. And a man can't afford to waste all the good part, worrying about the bad parts. That makes it all bad.” 8 likes
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