Old Yeller is a 1956 children's novel by Fred Gipson, which received a retroactive Newbery Honor in 1969. It was illustrated by Carl Burger. The title is taken from the name of the big yellow cur dog who is the center of the book's story. In 1957 Walt Disney released a film adaptation starring Tommy Kirk, Fess Parker, Dorothy McGuire, Kevin Corcoran, Jeff York, and Beverly Washburn.
Young Travis Coates has left to take care of the family ranch with his mother and younger brother Arliss while his father goes off on a cattle drive in the 1860s. When a yellow mongrel comes for an uninvited stay with the family, Travis reluctantly adopts the dog. Though Travis initially loathes the "rascal" and at first tries to get rid of it, the dog eventually proves his worth, saving the family on several occasions. Travis grows to love this dog named Old Yeller. And they become great friends. The rightful owner of Yeller shows up looking for his dog and recognizes that the family has become attached to Yeller, and trades the dog to Arliss for a home-cooked meal prepared by Travis's mother, who is an exceptional cook. Old Yeller becomes exposed to rabies while defending the family from a rabid wolf. Travis is forced to shoot Yeller after the fight with the wolf because he cannot risk Yeller becoming sick and turning on the family. Old Yeller had puppies with one of Travis's friend's dogs, and one of the puppies helps Travis get over Old Yeller's death.
Other books in the series
- "Old Yeller (1957 Film) Summary". Retrieved 2007-11-08.