by Erin K. | | 4 Comments | Tags:

Welcome to Week 4 of the Online Book Club discussion of Old Yeller!

We made it through the end of the book. Be honest—did you cry or at least tear up a little? I only skimmed those last couple chapters, so I was able to stay strong.

At least we could see the end coming. Animals at the farm start getting rabies, so we know that something rabid is close to the farm. And, due to Old Yeller’s past protective actions, we know that he will protect the family if a rabid animal tries to attack. It was just inevitable, then, that a rabid animal would attack, and Old Yeller would protect the family and get rabies. But, it was still sad to read that Travis had to be the one to put him down. I know I would not have been strong enough to do that, especially since Old Yeller wasn’t showing any symptoms of rabies yet.

What did you think of the book as a whole? Do you think it was worthy of being named a Newbery Honor book for 1957? The Newbery Winner of that year was Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorensen. Has anyone read it? If you have, do you think it was more deserving of the Newbery Medal than Old Yeller?

For those who watched the movie, did you enjoy it? It’s a pretty old movie—if they made a remake, who do you think would be picked to play the starring roles? I honestly can’t think of any actors that I think could step into these roles.

I hope to hear what you thought of the book and movie in the comments. Let me know if the book moved you to tears or if you were able to stay strong and make sure to tell me if you can think of any actors who could play in our hypothetical movie remake!

I hope you’ll join us next month as we read Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee!


4 Responses to “Old Yeller: Week 4”

  1. Carrol

    I am really glad I read the book. It is hard to believe I didn’t read it sooner since it has been around for so long. The online book club motivated me to finally do it.

    I was able to stay strong. It was easy to tell what was coming. I did feel really sorry for Travis. I can’t imagine shooting an animal that was so loyal to the family. I was glad Dad was so encouraging and complimentary to Travis.

    I cannot think of anyone who could fill the role of Travis in a remake.

    Thanks for your encouragement and personal comments along the way. It is nice to know others respond to things they read the way I do.

    • Erin K.

      Carrol, I feel the same way about the book as you do. I couldn’t believe that I had never read it. It’s a story that I feel like everyone kind of knows about, but I wonder how many people have actually read the book.

      I was glad that the book ended with Travis getting to have a little puppy. I think that probably helped him feel a little bit better about having to put Old Yeller down.

      Thanks for being so faithful to comment every week this month! I hope we have another book in an upcoming month that interests you!

  2. Jane Engle

    By reading the book, I was able to more easily accept Travis’ decision to shoot his beloved dog without any doubt that it was necessary. I had always felt that the film showed hesitation and uncertainty on his making the decision.

    If a remake was made now and if he was a bit younger, I could see Chandler Riggs from “The Walking Dead” in the role of Travis. Perhaps his younger brother Chandler, who is also an actor, could display the same character traits and professional abilities necessary to make the role believable.

    • Erin K.

      I’m glad that the book provided more of a realistic portrayal of Travis’s decision that shooting Old Yeller was the best course of action.

      I’ve never watched “The Walking Dead” so I wasn’t familiar with those actors. But, with a quick Google search, I could definitely see how both of those boys could fit into the role of Travis easily. I even saw one of the boys wearing a cowboy hat, so that really allowed me to imagine him as Travis.

      Thanks for contributing to the discussion all month again! I look forward to hearing your perspective every week! I hope you’re able to join us next month as well.

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