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The Haymeadow by Gary Paulsen
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The Haymeadow (1992)

by Gary Paulsen

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I liked this book less than I wanted to. I typically enjoy adventure stories that deal with overcoming some sort of natural obstacle in order to "survive", especially when it has to deal with horses or ranching. This was just a little too much survival though. Don't get me wrong, it was good to see all the stuff about ranching and all of the hardships that must be faced when caring for sheep on your own, but it felt like it was slam full of one chaotic event after another, leaving no time to take a breath between mishaps. As a reader I felt like I didn't get the chance to take in my surroundings or get settled into the situation before I was uprooted again. I understand that the author was trying to convey the difficulties and responsibilities of ranching on your own, but it would be nice to have actually had a look around at the scenery and situation, to catch my breath and take the entire experience in. There is a little bit of family resolution at the end of the story, which was nice to see, but this is a true adventure story from beginning to end. ( )
  mirrani | Jan 7, 2016 |
Gary Paulsen was on of my favorite authors as a kid. I read this book in 4th grade but its great even more middle school. John has to care for thousands of sheep over the summer in the Haymeadow by himself. He encounters many challenges and undergo's tremendous growth and comes to know himself as an individual.
  carldgibson | Dec 16, 2015 |
John Barron is 14, and dissatisfied with his life on a sheep ranch. He dreams of being like his great grandfather, for whom he was named, the founder of the ranch now owned by an eastern conglomerate.

Then he finds himself having to grow up quickly, watching over thousands of sheep for three months, with no assistance except for the sheep dogs and his two horses.

Another satisfying read by Gary Paulsen. Recommended. ( )
  fuzzi | Oct 22, 2013 |
I found this book to be amazing after I got past the first few pages and chapters. I find it amazing that someone used to have to spend months on there own with a bunch of sheep. I was cheering for him the whole time and got upset whenever a huge disaster struck. Like the dog hurt its foot and the flood washed away his stuff. ( )
  ErFe1028 | Jan 31, 2011 |
(1992)

At only fourteen, John is needed to take care of the Barron-family charges – six thousand sheep that must be tended in the haymeadow high in the mountains. With two dogs and four horses as companions, John faces a host of challenges from snakebites and attacking bears to picking up the pieces after a flash flood washes his summer “home” away, making him wonder if he’s truly the “man” for the job.

A wonderful, action-packed coming of age story told in the first person. John tells of his admiration for his gun-toting great-grandfather, a man he never knew but from his father’s stories and the picture poster on his wall. John resigns himself to his task, overcoming his initial fears to ask ‘what would great-granddaddy Barron do?’ Through self-reliance, ingenuity, and a strong desire to please his father, John finds that he does have what it takes to survive a summer in the haymeadow.

Awards: ALA Best Books for Young Adults (1993)
1 vote MWFforJ757 | Apr 24, 2010 |
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To the Burks, Lynn, Tami, Alex, Justin, and Brian
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John Barron was fourteen years old. Just.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0440409233, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:01:00 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Fourteen-year-old John comes of age and gains self-reliance during the summer he spends up in the Wyoming mountains tending his father's herd of sheep.

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