The Haymeadow

by Gary Paulsen and Ruth Wright Paulsen

A survival story in the manner of earlier Paulsen novels such as Hatchet (Bradbury,... read more

A survival story in the manner of earlier Paulsen novels such as Hatchet (Bradbury, 1987) and Dogsong (Bradbury, 1985), The Haymeadow is set in a four-square mile valley high in the Wyoming mountains where the Barron's summer their herd of six thousand sheep. When the hired hand is unable to take the herd up as usual, fourteen-year-old John Barron is given the responsibility, with the help of two horses and four dogs. John can't comprehend how he will survive the summer alone with the animals in the isolated valley, and it soon seems that he is making more mistakes than he thought possible as he experiences river flooding and coyote attacks. In some ways, though, his physical isolation doesn't seem much different from what he feels at the ranch from his reticent father. While John discovers how to handle his responsibility with the herd, he also learns about his father during a late season visit. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 1992

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