The Haymeadow

ISBN: 0440409233
ISBN 13: 9780440409236
By: Gary Paulsen Ruth Wright Paulsen

Check Price Now


Children's Books Childrens Books Currently Reading Favorites Fiction Gary Paulsen Kids To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

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 happen 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.

Reader's Thoughts


I listened to this little book with the kids. This is a quick 3.5 hour reading, but we listened while I was working on another project.I think many boys will love this story of a 14 year old boy called by his father to care for 6,000 sheep high up in the mountains with four dogs and two horses.It's an exciting adventure with a mountain lion, coyotes,a black bear, flash floods and crazy sheep.Lastly, it's a story about a father and son growing closer..finally.My kids say they love all the adventures of young John.


Gary Paulsen is the champion of survival coming-of -age novels. This time 14 year old motherless John, is charged by his father with herding a flock of 6000 sheep far up the Wyoming mountains, because the farmhand who usually summers with the sheep has cancer. For three months John battles snakes, coyotes, flash floods and even a black bear. He finds himself hesitating to kill severely wounded sheep with his gun. He also needs to come to terms with his family history, which is not quite like he has always believed.The beginning of the book was very slow, which might cause teens to loose interest before the meat of the story is reached. Once John arrives at the Haymeadow everything happens so fast, that he hardly has time to recover from one catastrophe or the next one happens. Suddenly things calm down, coyotes, bears, snakes and the like disappear into the mountains and John has a lovely month or so with the sheep, the dogs and the mountains. Somehow this quiet ending is not very convincing.

Jesus Granillo

The book the haymeadow was a intresting book to read i really liked it.


The kids and I loved reading this book. In fact, we took a day off from schoolwork and read the book cover to cover. 14 year old John learns not only about keeping his sheep, dogs, and horses safe, but also what he is capable of. The descriptions were wonderful.

JP Perryman

One of my favorites. Just a good ol' coming of age story.

Sheriden Haase

This book is very good book. In the book The Haymeadow, the guys go up to the mountains to let the sheep graze in the basin. The terrain is rough and hard on the sheep and horses. There is a camper up in the basin, one old man lives in there with the herding dogs. They pull the camper up with the tractor. The guys have a family farm and work hard for a living. They go into town once a month for supplies and to have a good time.


Nice, clean coming of age adventure that would be a good read for a boy or girl interested in the outdoors.

Karla Burke

This book took me back to my childhood and the thousand head of ewes my uncle owned. He didn't employ a sheepherder, but I knew up some. I don't doubt for a second that a 14-yr-old boy who was ranch-raised could successfully take responsibility for a large herd over the summer months. This is a great read for boys and anyone with a ranching background.

Rodney Haydon

I enjoyed this coming of age story about a 14 year old who, due to unforeseen difficulties, has to take responsibility and care for the sheep in the haymeadow.


I don't care that it is juvenile fiction... this is one of my favorite books of all time. Very good story. I have read it over and over again.


i thought that the book was very interesting.gary pausen is my favorite author. all of my book reports have been on gary pausen's books. thanks gary pausen for having your books nationaly put into schools for students like me to read!


so far this book is really good I am only about 75% through it and is has been a classic gary paulsen book.

Randy Daugherty

John Barron is 14 and is given the job of tending the 6000 flock of sheep in the mountain hay meadow. John is worried how will he ever manage it, no one has told him what to do, he will be all alone and isolated but for the dogs, horses and of course all those sheep. Shortly after being on his own, one dog cuts his foot bad, his wagon is caught in a flash flood, the sheep are attacked by coyotes and then a bear and their is also a run in with a skunk and snake. Through it all John learns to handle each situation and as time progress's starts to relax and enjoy the mountains, the work and the solitude. This was a ya book and a short enjoyable read.The story of a young boy on his way to becoming a responsible young man.


Another good read from Gary Paulsen. Even though I read it with my son, I really enjoyed it.


city kids who like being city kids might not "get it" but it is still good.

Share your thoughts

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *