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Saturday, May 12, 2012

A BOY AND HIS OLD YELLER DOG


To celebrate CHILDREN'S BOOK WEEK, I'm continuing to pick favorite animal-themed books. As much as I love LAURA INGALLS WILDER’S Farmer Boy, OLD YELLER is superb in giving us a glimpse of a boy coming of age amidst the hardships of pioneer life. (And of course, I love first person narration.) How do we get drawn in after being told on the first page how the story will end? Because author FRED GIPSON is so convincingly 14-year-old Travis—every line oozes the boy’s love for his dog. And Travis is so convincingly trying to be brave—taking care of his mother and tiny brother in the Texas wilderness—the only crack to appear is the love he can’t help feeling for a dog he tries so hard not to like. Knowing that Travis is re-living the outcome again by sharing OLD YELLER’S heroic spirit with us makes the story even more aching. And every time I read it, I have to run down the stairs & give my own yeller dog a hug.

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