Old Yeller, the Newbery Honor book by Fred Gipson, is the story of a boy, and the dog he adopts and learns to love. Travis Coates is left with his mother and brother, Arliss, when his father rides off on a cattle drive. A yellow mongrel shows up at the ranch, and Travis tries to discourage the dog off their land, to no avail. However, Old Yeller, as he is now called, saves the family more than once, and Travis eventually becomes firmly attached to the dog. However, in due time, Old Yeller’s rightful owner returns to claim him, but upon seeing the reverent attachment between the boy and his dog, the owner is willing to trade Old Yeller for a good home-cooked meal. Sadly, the noble animal contracts rabies from a wolf bite, and Travis is forced to put him down, an event that sets him on the path to adulthood. The boy is consoled by one of Old Yeller’s pups, and the pup merits a story of his own in the sequel, Savage Sam. Gipson's novel is a touching tale for young readers in fourth grade and up.