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Old Yeller (Old Yeller #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  72,471 Ratings  ·  1,672 Reviews
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 Travis do the same for Old Yeller?
Paperback, 192 pages
Published June 1st 2004 by HarperTrophy (first published January 1st 1956)
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SFrick No I did not love the book. I rated it as only in the "I liked it", category.
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Raegan Butcher
Jan 08, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book because I love dogs and I'm a masochist.
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
Lynne King
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“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
Mike (the Paladin)
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
Jackson Burnett
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
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
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
Megan Campbell
Oct 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: histiorical
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
Feb 09, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Rebecca McNutt
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.
Richard Knight
Jun 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Marcia Van Camp
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
3.5 stars. This is an easy, quick-reading book, and the story was nice. I'd recommend this to anyone who wants to read a nice and easy English book :)
Chris Johnson
May 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can't remember when I first read this classic. Maybe I was nine, maybe ten. I recently borrowed it from the library to reacquaint myself with the story.

It's still a great read. I mean, of course it is. The words remain the same as back then. But it still evoked the same emotions, especially at the end when I felt like crying - only to experience a smile wrench me back again.

Some won't have read it yet, so I won't spoil it for you all. But I urge you to find it. It's a children's book, but it h
Rachael Marsceau
Boy, reading this bittersweet story for the first time brought back so many childhood memories of watching the endearing Disney film over and over and over, and crying every time! As I read this, I couldn't help but think how excellently cast everyone was. I have to say this is one case where the book and the film are equally good! I loved reading this from Travis's point of view. It's a rare thing these days for teen boys to aspire to manhood, and it was great to read the old-fashioned country ...more
Shanna Gonzalez
Jul 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-08-12
Travis Coates is a 14-year-old boy, left alone to protect his mother and younger brother on his family's 19th-century Texas homestead. When his father goes on a trip leaving him to "act a man's part," he throws himself into his new responsibilities. But the challenges of feeding and protecting his family prove to be greater than his boy's abilities, and he comes to depend on and love the stray dog which adopts their family.

The story follows chapter after chapter of gritty, riveting and often fun
Ah. I read this back in the day. (third grade? i don't know.)

I was not a big fan of this book. It was mainly about a dog. (read my review of The Incredible Journey to understand)

I was not a very big fan of this book. In fact, I liked the Incredible Journey better, and that itself was not a book I liked.

That's just my opinion because I really am not the biggest fan of animals.
Aug 07, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-reads
The end was pretty sad. Why did it have to be that way?
Martha b
Dec 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Abigail Cronk
Mar 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cried so hard in this book. Be sure prepared to cry in this book.
Zane H
Travis Coats, a young boy, is left to take care of the family ranch in Texas while his father is on a cattle drive in the late 1860s. While doing his chores one day a dingy yellow dog approached out of nowhere. Travis decides to keep the dog and named him Old Yeller.
Travis was busy every day working on the ranch and didn't have a lot of time for his new dog. In fact, he tried to ditch him couple of times. Old Yeller proved his worth one day and save Travis' younger brother from a bear, then a
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am getting old enough that it is quite possible I read this classic tale many years ago, but I sure don't remember it. What a delightful read! Filled with the lore of backwoods Texas in the 1860s, including a great deal of information about how they went about surviving in perilous circumstances with threats on every side from the natural world and their fellow humans.

The main character, of course, is a mangy cur named Old Yeller, who comes to stay with Travis's family one day, out of the blue
Edward Wohlt
May 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Personal Response: I really enjoyed the book Old Yeller. I really understood the book and could relate to a boy and his dog. The book kept me reading until it was over.

Plot: The book took place in the 1860’s in Texas. Jim Coates is off for the summer doing a cattle drive. He left Travis his oldest son in charge of the house. The day after his dad left, Travis went into the dog run and got some meat but a dog was in there. It was a big yellow dog and ate a bunch of the meat. Travis’s mom let his
Connie D
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'd heard of Old Yeller forever, but was always afraid it would be too sad. What I didn't know was how comical Old Yeller could be or what an engaging voice Travis the narrator would have. His mother and brother Little Arliss are strong characters too, all wrapped up in the interesting life in the bush of 1860s Texas . 4.5 stars.
Charity Cole
Ok so I knew the story but I'd never read it. We read it as a family this summer and it was a nice read but I personally thought it got bogged down in description and could have easily been a short story. My husband thinks I'm utterly insane and that it is a perfect book.
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Around the Year i...: Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson 3 16 Mar 07, 2016 04:15PM  
Larry Smith 1 3 Feb 19, 2016 06:22AM  
  • Sounder
  • Justin Morgan Had a Horse
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  • The Great Wheel
  • The Incredible Journey
  • The Yearling
  • Big Red (Big Red, #1)
  • The Perilous Road
  • Incident at Hawk's Hill
  • Moccasin Trail
  • Lad: A Dog
  • Lassie Come-Home
  • Li Lun, Lad of Courage
  • Thistle and Thyme: Tales and Legends from Scotland
  • Shadrach
  • Annie and the Old One
  • The Black Stallion (The Black Stallion, #1)
  • Belling The Tiger
aka Frederick Benjamin Gipson
More about Fred Gipson...

Other Books in the Series

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

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“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” 45 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.” 3 likes
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