The Haymeadow

The Haymeadow

4.1 21
by Gary Paulsen, Ruth Wright Paulsen
     
 

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Fourteen-year-old John Barron is asked, like his father and grandfather before him, to spend the summer taking care of their sheep in the haymeadow. Six thousand sheep. John will be alone, except for two horses, four dogs, and all those sheep.

John doesn't feel up to the task, but he hopes that if he can accomplish it, he will finally please his father. But John

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Overview

Fourteen-year-old John Barron is asked, like his father and grandfather before him, to spend the summer taking care of their sheep in the haymeadow. Six thousand sheep. John will be alone, except for two horses, four dogs, and all those sheep.

John doesn't feel up to the task, but he hopes that if he can accomplish it, he will finally please his father. But John finds that the adage "things just to sheep" is true when the river floods, coyotes attack, and one dog's feet get cut. Through it all he must rely on his own resourcefulness, ingenuity, and talents to survive this summer in the haymeadow.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"...another fine adventure from Paulsen, who deftly blends an action-packed plot and a likable character..."-Booklist

"The action is nonstop...will have readers plunging over each cliffhanger into the next crisis until they finish the book." —The Bulletin, Recommended

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
PW praised the ``taut scenes of physical drama and suspense'' in the Newbery Honor author's tale of a boy who, on his own in a high-country meadow, cares for several thousand sheep one summer. Ages 10-up. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Susan Wilde
In this tale of survival, 14-year-old John Barron is responsible for guarding six thousand sheep for three months with the aid of two horses and four dogs. On the first day alone, he battles a rattlesnake, a skunk, a flash flood, and a ruined camp. In the course of his struggles, John gains an inner understanding of his heritage, the beauty of nature, his true self, and his father's love for him.
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-- Put in charge when the regular farmhand takes ill, 14-year-old John is sent up into the mountains for the summer to tend the ranch's sheep flock. Woefully unprepared, the boy has only the four sheep dogs, two horses, and his own common sense to see him through the experience. He also has his impressions of his great-grandfather, a man with whom he feels a strong indentification although they'd never met, to carry him along. The drive up to the summer pasture is uneventful but filled with observations of the landscape and the instinctive interaction between the sheep and the dogs. But as John has been forewarned, things have a way of just happening with sheep--and they do. A lamb who dies from a snake bite, a skunk encounter, an injured dog, a sheep stampede, a flash flood, and a coyote attack all test John's stamina and intelligence--and that's just in the first 48 hours. While the action has all of Paulsen's usual dramatic tension, it is a bit too much in such a short time span. Weeks are brushed aside, to be followed by more physical drama--a bear attack and a nearly fatal accident. Suddenly, John's reticent father appears and has found his voice, telling the boy the truth about the great-grandfather. While the new closeness of the two provides a satisfying ending, these abrupt and not fully credible revelations weaken an otherwise powerful, action-packed story. --Susan Knorr, Milwaukee Public Library

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780440409236
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
02/28/1994
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
199,474
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 7.66(h) x 0.53(d)
Lexile:
1010L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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Meet the Author

GARY PAULSEN is the distinguished author of many critically acclaimed books for young people, His most recent books are Masters of Disaster, Lawn Boy Returns, Woods Runner, Notes from the Dog, Mudshark, Lawn Boy, Molly McGinty Has a Really Good Day, The Time Hackers, and The Amazing Life of Birds (The Twenty Day Puberty Journal of Duane Homer Leech).

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