Old Yeller
July 18, 2016
The Cricket in Times Square
July 18, 2016


Quick Glance



This is the total number of incidents in this 320 page book.

*As personal standards vary, please see the breakdown to determine what matters to you.

Author: Julie Andrews Edwards
Key Words: Fiction, Children

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Book Description:

Mandy, a ten-year-old orphan, dreams of a place to call her own. Escaping over the orphanage wall to explore the outside world, Mandy discovers a tiny deserted cottage in the woods. All through the spring, summer, and fall, Mandy works to make it truly hers. Sometimes she "borrows" things she needs from the orphanage. Sometimes, to guard her secret, she even lies. Then, one stormy night at the cottage, Mandy gets sick, and no one knows how to find her—except a special friend she didn't know she had.


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Children's Bad Words

Mild Obscenities & Substitutions - 9 Incidents

golly, dash it, shut up, dammit

Religious Profanity - 16 Incidents

heavens, gosh, God, Lord

Religious & Supernatural - 1 Incident

"He knew just about all there was to know about nature. It was his religion and he spent most of his life outdoors, rain or shine."

Violence - None

Romance Related - 1 Incident

A friend, Ellie, blushes because a boy is coming over. The paragraphs that follow mention the boyfriend.

Conversation Topics - 2 Incidents

Alcohol: "His lunchtime drink was always two bottles of beer..." Adults drink mulled wine.

Parent Takeaway

Mandy is an orphan that longs for a home of her own so when she finds an abandoned cottage, she begins sneaking off to her secret little hide-away. Because she does not want to tell the girl she shares a room with about her cottage, their friendship suffers: they don't play as often together, and Mandy gets angry at Sue a few times. Mandy repeatedly lies and takes items from the orphanage to create her special retreat, but each time she does, she feels guilty and her conscience weighs more and more heavily on her. She gets questioned and in trouble a few times. In the end, the head of the orphanage realizes that Mandy is behaving this way because she is trying to belong somewhere and create a home for herself.

Takeway: The bad behavior is not portrayed in a positive light and actually shows that when you do bad things, you have a heavy conscience. However, she never experiences any consequences for her actions.

Attitudes/Disobedience - 13 Incidents

Pretense: "She made a great pretense of stacking the plates neatly."

"Mandy sat in the church pew feeling nervous and uncomfortable. She wished that the service would be over quickly so that she could get away [to her cottage]." She thinks that the priest is droning on, then begins to feel convicted by what is being preached.

Justification "...I didn't actually steal the knife,' Mandy told herself. 'I really only borrowed it for a while." - delayed repentance

Sneaking: "Every evening at the dinner table she hid away a spoon, or a fork, and even managed a cup and a plate one night." - delayed repentance

Justification for lying: "But better to lie than to be forbidden to go to her beloved cottage again."

A character is feeling down. It is described as "the sulks."

Justification of disobedience: "'You're not supposed to be over there.' 'I know,' said Mandy. 'But you do things you're not supposed to do sometimes. I'll come back over though.'"

Mandy is angry with Sue. - they make up by the end of the chapter

Stealing: "Funds were short of course... and one day she stole a large box of soap flakes from the store..." - feels guilty

Mandy feels guilty: "She couldn't live with her conscience much longer. She had been lying about her activities for so long that each day the strain seemed harder to bear." - feels guilty

Pretense: "She pretended she wasn't hungry."

"Get out of there," Mandy said with such vehemence (to a girl that she didn't want in her cottage). *Later apologizes.

Annoyed with authority: "Many felt that she had enough people telling her how to conduct her life. 'Mandy, do this. Mandy, do that.'"

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