by Erin K. | | 4 Comments | Tags:

Welcome to Week 3 of the Online Book Club discussion of Old Yeller.

How are you enjoying the book, Old Yeller? If you haven’t read them yet, make sure to go back and read the first and second blog posts, just so you’re up to speed on our discussion!

In chapters six through eleven, Old Yeller continues to entrench himself in the lives of the Coates family. And he proves himself to be especially useful to Travis in the section where he saves Travis from the hogs.

Could you get over that section where Travis falls out of the tree and lands in a pile of wild hogs? First of all, I can’t imagine how scared someone would be if that happened to them, and second, I can’t imagine that I would have the wherewithal to run away if I were put in that sort of situation. Travis describes falling and immediately jumping up and trying to escape. I think I would fall and would be so shocked that I would just lie there as the hogs trampled me. Old Yeller immediately jumps in, though, and saves a member of the Coates family once again. He’s such a loyal dog, even though he hasn’t known them for very long!

The descriptions of Old Yeller’s horrific injuries reminded me of Where the Red Fern Grows. Have you all read that one? What is it about these animal stories that make me feel like my heart is being ripped out of my chest?

How are you guys enjoying the book this month? If you find that you really love animal stories and are looking for others, you should check out the library’s NoveList Plus resource. With NoveList, you can search titles or authors and find books that are similar to those you searched. So, if you’re really loving dog books, you can find others to read after you finish Old Yeller.

How is the movie stacking up to the book? Which one are you enjoying more?

Finally, please let me know in the comments if there is another animal-themed story that I should read. But can you do me a favor and only recommend happy animal stories? I don’t know if my heart can handle another one like Old Yeller.

I hope to hear from you in the comments! See you next week!


4 Responses to “Old Yeller: Week 3”

  1. Carrol

    Thank you for the recommendation of NoveList. That sounds like a very helpful resource.
    Like you, I was so worried about Travis when he fell. I knew his good fortune with these wild animals was going to fail sometime.
    I haven’t watched the movie. I love the mind pictures I have of these characters already. Sometimes, watching the movie ruins those pictures.
    I have read Where the Red Fern Grows. I love that book. I read it to my 7th grade students, and I always enjoyed their reactions to the book. Reading about Old Yeller’s loyalty to Travis reminded me about the loyalty of Old Dan and Little Ann. I would strongly encourage anyone to read that book, too.
    Thanks again for sharing your personal feelings with us. It is nice to know there is someone else who feels so emotional when reading these stories.

    • Erin K.

      I hope you get a chance to really explore NoveList–it’s a really helpful resource.

      Thanks for sharing your thought on Where the Red Fern Grows. I read that book in fifth grade, and it still sticks with me all these years later! And, I agree that Old Yeller’s loyalty was really similar to Little Anne and Old Dan’s loyalty.

      Thanks for reading along with us. I hope to hear from you next week! I want to hear your thoughts on the end of book!

  2. Jane Engle

    Having grown up around a father who was very proficient and knowledgeable about what it took to live and survive and would have taught his son the same things, I was not surprised by Travis’ reaction when he fell. He was old enough to know to run from the hogs and that it was necessary under his circumstances. His father and mother knew it too and that is why he was left in charge while his father was away. Having been around my older relatives who took time to teach my cousins and me how to do various farm chores including dealing with various animals and not to question them when we were told to do something, they trusted us to properly react should it become necessary. When my grandfather died and there was no other relative available, one of my male cousins who was ten at the time was told he would be responsible for caring for my grandmother’s needs during the week. This was much like Travis being told what was expected of him while his father was attending to other things that took him elsewhere.

    While I have always enjoyed the movie throughout the years, reading the book gives me more insight into the story as an adult. I like being able to learn how the book was adapted into what became the movie with which I was familiar.

    Although it has been a long time ago, I too have read Where the Red Fern Grows. If anyone cares about animals, it, Old Yeller and similar stories involving animals suffering or dying results in an extremely emotional reaction on the reader’s part. Trying to find animal books that are more upbeat is difficult. Almost everything seems to have some elements of sadness or harshness The Sheep-Pig (or Babe, the Gallant Pig in the U.S.) by Dick King-Smith would fit the bill. Perhaps National Velvet by Enid Bagnold about a prize-winning horse and a 14-year-old girl rider or Big Red and other works about Irish setters by Jim Kjelgaard would be books you would like. Despite being very sad at times, eventually things work out alright.

    Thanks for sharing the information about NoveList with us. It is a resource of which I am pleased to be aware and both my husband and I will be using in the future.

    • Erin K.

      Jane, how cool that you had so many people in your life that knew how to do so many cool things. I grew up here in town in Cedarville, so my outdoor skills are not the best. My husband, on the other hand, grew up in the woods in Michigan, so he knows how to do so many more handy things than I do. I remember seeing him chop wood for the first time and marveling that he knew how to do something like that. I am easily impressed, I guess!

      I’ve only heard of the movie version of National Velvet–I’ll have to check out the book version! Thanks for the suggestion.

      I hope you get a chance to explore NoveList. I really enjoy it–but, it can be dangerous because it makes me want to read so many books. I am constantly checking out too many books!

      I hope to hear from you next week!

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