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 started to read when I reached the emotional parts, because, well, I couldn t bear the insensitive reading and needed to read it myself.Oh, and I am not a big crier view spoiler even when Dobby died hide spoiler 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 rewarded with his wish upon his father s return.And on that note his father left with the other steer herders and they went off to the cattle market in Kansas to return in the fall.I acquired this book on another whim I wanted something light to read and I read an excellent review by Jim on Goodreads, so decided this was the book for me and a quick, light read too How surprised I was when I started reading it and found out what a gem, well in fact it sof a gem, it s a diamond and I absolutely loved it Here we are in Texas in the late 1860s, to find the settlers who indeed had their work cut out for them in order to survive and bring up their families I m terrified of snakes here in France but to think of the wide selection of animals that could be found there on an everyday basis bobcats, bears, wolves, panthers, rattlers, hogs, coons, etc plus the odd raiding Indians I m not at all surprised that the settlers would naturally have dogs as guard dogs if nothing else I believe that I would have either stayed indoors all the time, playing the helpless female or look for a good man who wanted to settle in safer climes But still in the 1860s, I would imagine that a woman s lot was a hard one and she had very little choice in life certainly nothing like the 21st century career women with choices galore if they want to take advantage of it.TheI read about fourteen year old Travis family, mama and papa, of course, and five year old Arliss known as Little Arliss and what a terror he was, constantly causing problems , theI became engrossed in this exciting, poignant, adventurous and yet magical book There was the constant thrill of their life be it with an element of death living around the corner, living in a log cabin that the parents had built in a place that they named Birdsong CreekWhen Travis loses his beloved dog Bell in a rather nasty way, he swears he ll never have another one, even though his father said that it essential for the safety of their daily lives I know how he felt When I lost my five year old black Labrador Jasper to a dreadful end, I also swore, no, I ll never, ever have another dog That emotional pain and the memories I would never consider again I can equate this to childbirth My mother told my father after the birth of my elder brother, nochildren, one s enough but still she went on to have threechildren So Travis although not wanting another dog, unsuspectingly does end up with one, and serendipitously too when one morning he finds Little Arliss playing with this ugly dog in their drinking water Travis is furious and remembers his father telling him, when he loses Bell, to get another dog and Travis is adamant in that he won t have it Nevertheless, his mother is clever, for when his father is away at the cattle market, 600 miles away, with Travis ostensibly in charge albeit under her watchful eye , she persuades him to let Little Arliss have the dog for company as he will be alone so much as she and Travis will be too busy to play with him So Travis begrudgingly agrees and slowly begins to love Old Yeller and what a blessing this dog turned out to be I actually had a lump in my throat from time to time as I continued reading this book 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 a strange turn of phase the sound he let out came closer to being a yell than a bark We live through the trials and tribulations of the family and Old Yeller surviving involvements with bears and hogs, and some of those sections were quite gruesome.I was amused when I saw that the family ate squirrel because they used to do that here about fifty years ago I live here in France in rusticana , about forty miles from a city and this is a land of hunters and fishermen, so I could truly relate to this book.Also the medicinal aspects were interesting, for example, in that when the mother used poultices for wounds she prepared mashed up prickly pear root to draw out the poison and also horse s hair for stitching up wounds as it was ostensibly the best.Lisbeth, who came to help out the family latterly when Travis gets involved in an accident, is a strange girl but she turns out well in the end and as for Old Yeller, what a fabulous find he turned out to be saving the family on various occasions from some possibly very unfortunate outcomes I could just continue in this vein The truly sad part is when hydrophobia rabies I guess strikes and does the family suffer in that regard.I initially thought that Old Yeller was the catalyst in this book but it is indeed the horse as Travis, through sheer hard work, progresses through the early stages of manhood The horse will be his ultimate reward when he has proved himself to be a man The ultimate test for this incredible young man and was I impressed.This is an excellent read for all ages I have the Kindle version and I m now going to order a hardback copy so that I can browse through it, as will be my want from time to time.This is an absolutely super read and my only regret is that I would have loved to have read it as a child. At First, Travis Couldn T Stand The Sight Of Old YellerThe 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 AbileneStrong 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 This 1950s Pocket edition, purchased from a Sonoma used book store, presented today as a gift to my eight year old daughteron 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 meOur 14 year old protagonist Travis comes of age when his father leaves him to be the man of the house while he does a cattle drive from Texas to Kansas Gipson s frontiersy narrative and dialogue feels right, sounds right, for a book written for children in the 1950s about life in West Texas in the late 1860s My memories of the movie are hazy, but it seems that the film action follows closely to the written word action, and while there is definitely sadness in the passing of Old Yeller, it doesn t feel like maudlin melancholy As an eight year old it is the kind of book I would want to read about such weighty subjects as death, grieving, living When I finished reading it, I handed the novel to my daughter and said, It s not so sad You ll like it She s read the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder series This book is a layup.When traveling my daughter often sees me reading on a Kindle or an iPad She knows I am reading a book she also knows that I prefer to read a physical copy rather than an E but that our luggage can only accommodate so many books here in Florida I ve been walking around with Women and Men like a KJV Bible clutched heavily to my chest She asks when she will be able to read a book on the iPad I know that in her lifetime a library will be as much of an anachronism as if I had a shelf of VHS tapes but I want to hold out for as long as I can and help her to experience the tactile enjoyment of the tree book over the ebook This paperback copy of Old Yeller is 60 years old, in decent shape and is only just showing the ravages of time with yellowing paper and crackling spine glue While reading the book I hand it to my daughter and ask her to flip the pages under her nose and breath in She does so, smiles You ll never get that from an ebook , I tell her I hope she remembers this. 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 gave this a go You should too. 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 these books and how possibly there was just no other way to realistically end the story I grew up in the Smokies and without going over my childhood, I had 2 dogs killedshot I ve lived through the loss of beloved animals, beloved people and beloved relationshipsI don t need a novel that leads me through what pain is If a book is of the life is tough and then you die school , it s going to get a down check from me While fiction does instruct, there are some lessons I learned from life, I don t need to have them rehashed in leisure time activities.This book movie I know but in this case I ll lump them together scarred me and I suspect other young people Ask anyone who has loved a dog an animal if the fact that you get a new puppy after you had to kill the dog makes up for it Maybe this book is well written I sometimes suspect that many if not most of the people who come to love books like this maybe haven t gone through that pain in life If you have and you still love this work, well, good I can not say that. 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 gone the next few months.When you get to this anachronistic charge, you may be tempted to throw the book down and dismiss the entire book as patriarchal and condescending If you have sons, keep reading You might even consider having your sons read this book In truth, Old Yeller is the timeless story of the journey a boy goes through to become a man I get tired of encountering men who don t know what it means to be a man, who don t speak the truth, who don t keep their word, who show no respect, who look for the easy way out, who show no backbone, and have few principles In short, men who refuse to accept responsibility I suspect these men have been shielded from hard and unpleasant tasks, and by being so protected, they fail to learn to do the right thing, regardless of its difficulty.I have seen Old Yeller on film two or three times and had read the book in years past multiple times I thought I was ready I really did.Last Sunday, I put my faithful dog to sleep.It was the right and merciful thing to do.It still broke my heart. 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 and stealing eggs when he can but he proves himself to be a key defender of the family when he faces a bear that is targeting Arliss Just as Old Yeller worms his way into the family s hearts, this book will burrow into the reader s heart I am not a dog person, but I really connected with this book I think this in part due to the fact that I grew up in the Texas Hill Country, so the scenery was alive in my imagination Butimportantly, I connected to the way Gipson portrayed the characters emotions fear, love, irritation, loyalty, happiness, sorrow This little book packs a big wallop. 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 that Pa had once had to kill a Comanche, Ma had to skin a deer, and Travis had to shoot several small animals It was life in the 1800s, in the wild frontier that was Texas, and times weren t what they are now And, yet, when we got to the first of the two pivotal parts of the heart breaking plot, she jumped up and shouted, WHY ARE YOU MAKING ME LISTEN TO THIS I asked her, Would you like me to stop She sat back down and answered, No When we got to the second sad part of the story, I collapsed in deep sobs, but I still heard her little voice say, Mom, it s like Charlotte s Web all over again Do you want me to read I pulled myself together and we finished the last part, the part that s so soul crushing, you almost can t get through it But, like life, you prevail.In the end, we were holding each other by the forearms, foreheads pressed together, shaking and sobbing When we stopped crying, I asked her, Do you wish I hadn t read it to you She paused, then answered, Yes No I don t know I worried I d made a bad decision as a mother Asked her, How many stars would you give it She looked up at me like I was an idiot and said, Five stars OBVIOUSLYNow the thing to do, Papa went on, is to try to forget it and go on being a man How I asked How can you forget a thing like that He studied me for a moment, then shook his head I guess I don t quite mean that, he said It s not a thing you can 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 You understand I read this book because I love dogs and I m a masochist.