Old Yeller, by Fred Gipson
Description: Ever since Bell died, Travis hasn't wanted another dog... but tough luck. The scruffy, wily, stray dog dubbed "Yeller" has picked Travis's family cabin to call home. Over one short summer, Travis and Old Yeller grow past their distrust and forge a deep bond of friendship as they fight together through a series of hair-raising (and sometimes deadly) dangers that come with living in frontier Texas; vicious killer hogs, drought, wolves, bears, and the dreaded plague of hydrophobia.
Concerns: Frontier life is rough; expect some blood. Also, little Arliss tends to get away with a lot (including throwing rocks at and bashing his older brother with a stick).
Summary: Old Yeller is both an adventure and a poignant coming-of-age story. Life on the frontier is a struggle for survival, and although Travis has his share of wild and happy romps through the cornfields, he also experiences the harsh land's real-life heartaches. But even though the rough country takes its toll on those who dare to call it home, hard work and fierce determination are rewarded by the promise of a good life. This little book (reportedly based on tales of real frontier dogs) should take its place as one of the best frontier novels of all time.
Monday, January 20, 2014
Monday, January 6, 2014
Captive Treasure, by Milly Howard
Description: Young Carrie Talbot is traveling with her parents to minister to an Indian mission out west. When the deadly cholera casts a shadow over the group, Carrie and other children trail the wagon train driving a separate wagon for quarantine reasons. But pandemonium breaks out when the small unguarded wagon proves an easy target for Cheyenne and Sioux warriors. Carrie alone is taken captive and she is made to journey back to the Cheyenne camp. She struggles with loneliness for her family, but she appreciates the fact that the Indians are surprisingly kind to her and she find herself growing close to them. If Carrie’s dream of rescue comes true, will she be able to leave her new family?
Concerns: The Indians think that Carrie’s Bible has special powers and there is a brief description of some Indian rituals.
Summary: Having read this book numerous times, I can say with complete candidness that it is well worth the time! Readers will be intrigued by Carrie’s unfailing courage in the face of danger, her steadfast trust in God that changes the lives of many in the Cheyenne tribe, and her gradually dawning love for her captors. This story blends with impressive success its elements of action/adventure with a strong development of the main characters; accomplishing a feat many books today lack. In short, Captive Treasure is, well, a treasure!