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The Haymeadow Paperback – February 1, 1994

4.5 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers 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.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Grade 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
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling (February 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9780440409236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440409236
  • ASIN: 0440409233
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #179,495 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
The book I read is called The Haymeadow. John is The main character, he is a fourteen year old who wants some change in his life. He lives with his father and two permanent hired men named Cawley and Tink. John's mother died when he was four years old. He barely remembers her. During the years he was told few stories about his mother and his memories are confused with stories. John's father and Tink go to town and were suppose to return in the afternoon. His father only returns. John finds out that Tink had to stay in town with the doctors because they discovered he had cancer. Just like John's grandfathers will be asked to go to the haymeadow. But since Tink can't watch over it John will have to go a little earlier than his grandfathers had. Doubts of not accomplishing the task are all over his mind. Spending a whole month with six thousand sheep, two horses, and four dogs will be lots of work. Going to the haymeadow was a long journey as it is. During the first days at the haymeadow, John already approaches many problems. A snake attacks one of the lambs causing it to have a deep cut. Usually they would shoot a lamb so that it won't suffer but John decided to heal the wound. Also, a bear attacks! These are just some of the many obstacles he approaches in the haymeadow. He continues overcoming the obstacles and before John knew it, it was the end of the month. The figure on the horizon was his father coming to see him. His father brings good news. Tink was not going to die because of the cancer. All of the stories of his mother are told to him by his father. When it's time for his father to head back John doesn't want him to go. He tells him that and his father stays and tells him more stories in the haymeadow.
I like the book because The way the author describes the setting.
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A Kid's Review on February 28, 2005
Format: Paperback
My book review

The Haymeadow

By Gary Paulsen

Imagine you had to spend the whole summer alone, well maybe not exactly; you have to take care of 6,000 sheep, 2 horses, and 4 dogs. This is what John Barron has to do when his father has to take his best friend, Tink, to the hospital when he gets a cancer in his brain. John's father would usually take care of the sheep and the dogs in the Haymeadow, but with Tink in the hospital and all. John had to do it, with only one tip from his father's friend Cawley, "Keep a horse at hand" John encounters many obstacles during that summer. You'll just have to read the book to find out!

I have read a lot of Gary Paulsen's books and The Haymeadow was on of the best, it was pretty interesting I would recommend this book to anyone who likes adventure books; I strongly recommend any one of Gary Paulsen's books, especially the Brian books (Hatchet, Brian's winter, The river, Brian's return and Brian's hunt. They're also very interesting.

By Mark
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like Gary Paulson's books. I like his characters. I like his storylines. I've read so many of these coming of age stories with my nieces and nephews but always enjoy them. The Haymeadow is predictable, teen boy to mountains alone with father's sheep, disaster strikes, teen figures out what to do. Despite that it's a good Paulson story and I'm really glad I read it.
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A Kid's Review on May 24, 2004
Format: Paperback
The Haymeadow.
This book is one of the many great adventure books that Gary Paulsen has written in his
many years. He has one of the most interesting lives I've ever heard of. This boy's life
lies on a farm. His family are sheep herders, every year they drive them out to a pasture
to spend the summer. This summer the usual guy gets sick and the boy must drive the
sheep. He packs up his wagon and gets ready to leave. Find out what happens next by
reading the Haymeadow by Gary Paulsen. This is a great book 4.5 stars. I recommend
this book to 5th to 8th grade kids
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
As an older reader I loved this book. It made me long for the simple side of life. However, I don't think any of my kids will enjoy it. It is slow, and it should be. It has little action, and so it should be.
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Format: Paperback
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.
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By A Customer on May 24, 2001
Format: Paperback
The Haymeadow By: Gary Paulson John Barron, a fourteen year old boy, lives with his father on a ranch in Wyoming. His father goes to town to help a sick employee that works on the ranch. This employee usually and herds six-thousand sheep up into the haymeadow, but since he is sick it is up to John to help out his father's business. The sheep can not survive outside of the cool mountainous environment of the haymeadow during the summer. This meadow is a two-day trip by horse from the Barron's camp. John is forced to stay there for three months tending to the sheep. While John is there the river floods and his supplies are scattered everywhere. John is faced with possible starvation. Also he loses his rifle and has no way to defend himself or the sheep from the ravenous coyotes. In the haymeadow John has to be very resourceful and brave as he faces many dangerous and difficult situations while he is alone in the valley. The story reveals that Gary Paulson wrote The Haymeadow well. In the novel Paulson describes everything thoroughly and keeps one on the edge of one's seat. Paulson's theme in this novel is different than most. He wishes to convey that everything in nature is beautiful in some way no matter how what an organism's purpose is. To back this up Paulson writes soon after the herd is attacked by coyotes, "By the end of three weeks things had reserved and he decided one afternoon to try and find what wasn't beautiful. He was sitting on the side of the stream and had his pants rolled up and his bare feet in the water and he looked around and thought of the last three weeks and tried to think of something that wasn't beautiful. And he couldn't." This book is filled with action and is interesting. I enjoyed it a lot and would recommend it to many.
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