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Shiloh #1


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When Marty Preston comes across a young beagle in the hills behind his home, it's love at first sight—and also big trouble. It turns out the dog, which Marty names Shiloh, belongs to Judd Travers who drinks too much and has a gun—and abuses his dogs. So when Shiloh runs away from Judd to Marty, Marty just has to hide him and protect him from Judd. But Marty's secret becomes too big for him to keep to himself, and it exposes his entire family to Judd's anger. How far will Marty have to go to make Shiloh his?

145 pages, Paperback

First published September 30, 1991

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About the author

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

244 books977 followers
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor was born in Anderson, Indiana, US on January 4, 1933.

Her family were strongly religious with conservative, midwestern values and most of her childhood was spent moving a lot due to her father's occupation as a salesman.

Though she grew up during the Depression and her family did not have a lot of money, Naylor stated that she never felt poor because her family owned good books. Her parents enjoyed reading stories to the children--her father would imitate the characters in Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer--and her mother read to them every evening, "almost until we were old enough to go out on dates, though we never would have admitted this to anyone."

By the time Phyllis reached fifth grade, writing books was her favorite hobby and she would rush home from school each day to write down whatever plot had been forming in her head - at sixteen her first story was published in a local church magazine.

Phyllis has written over 80 books for children and young people. One of these books, "Shiloh," was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1992, was named a Notable Children's Book by the American Library Association and was also Young Adult Choice by the International Reading Association.

Naylor gets her ideas from things that happen to her or from things she has read. "Shiloh" was inspired by a little abused dog she and her husband found. The little dog haunted her so much that she had to write a story about him to get it out of her mind.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 2,782 reviews
81 reviews11 followers
July 12, 2008
As a fourth grade teacher, I make it my business to read many of the books that sit on my classroom's shelves. Although I am sometimes embarassed to whip out an obvious childish book when I'm sitting on the subway, I must admit I am rarely disappointed with the level of the literature I discover. I have read so much adult literature that is just plain awfully written or simply just plain, but most literature written for children has grace and a unique voice. Of course, since Shiloh won the Newberry Award for Literature, it seems that it would be more likely to have been well written than other children's books. You need to understand that I avoided the book, because even though I loved the two dogs I grew up with and I liked a few more that I met along the way in my life, I am not a true animal lover. I simply cannot relate totally to the mushy attitude people extend to a puppy. So, it was with a bit of skepticism that I began to read Shiloh. I was immediately taken in by the language of the book, by the lack of a wasted word, by the ability to create such a complete voice and character in such a small book. I admire the book for facing such a deep problem in human nature, by raising the questions we all need to face, in a simple story. One of the hardest parts of growing up is the loss of innocence, coming in contact with people who don't love us as much as our family does, or in the case of the evil farmer Judd, who doesn't love anybody. It confronts the question of the righteous of truth. When and why and where is it not the best decision to tell the truth? How dark is the heart of darkness? The fact that such deep questions can be raised in a tale of a boy who wants a dog is a tribute to Ms. Naylor's storytelling ability. I loved it for the philosophical questions it raised. Some will love it for the sentimental dog tale. Others, will love it for both reasons.
Profile Image for Sheri.
1,152 reviews57 followers
March 23, 2021
Sometimes it’s only in the doing that we learn good morals and values. As Marty does his best to save Shiloh from compassionless Judd Travers, he learns many good lessons about right and wrong, truth and lies, kindness and sympathy, and love and loss.
Profile Image for Julie G.
896 reviews2,928 followers
April 5, 2020
I read this aloud to my 9 and 12-year-old daughters this week and the story seemed to satisfy both girls, at their different interest levels.

I'll be honest; we were wary starting this read. This middle grades fiction is set in West Virginia, and we were worried what might happen to that somber looking boy and his beagle. Last week's read-aloud of Bridge to Terabithia, combined with a pandemic, just about did us in, as readers.

Without revealing plot spoilers, I want to contribute to young readers and parents that this is a story of triumph, rather than tragedy. The protagonist is a young cheerleader for animal rights and a brave young man, and I literally said, "Oh, thank God" after I finished the ending.

So many things going wrong, it's hard to remember anything going right.
Profile Image for Calista.
4,069 reviews31.3k followers
September 5, 2017
Shiloh is a dog who has been abused and runs away from his owner Judd Travers. Marty finds the dog and loves Shiloh and gives him a safe place to live. Now what does he do? He is lying to everyone and Judd wants his dog back. It's set in poor West Virginia hill country. Marty is trying to come up with anyway to save Shiloh.

This is a nuanced story about who you think people are and how life is really full of grey in this world. It's not always black and white. I did end up enjoying this book. It took me a while to get into. It's just not really my kind of story. The ending is satisfying. This is actually a very deep book that says a whole lot while minding it's own business. So it was good and I gave it 4 stars. I'm still glad I read the book.
Profile Image for Jonathan Peto.
254 reviews47 followers
January 20, 2014
Perhaps you worry about Princess Di’s sons, how they’re doing, if they’re okay.

Perhaps you enjoyed the Beatles for a long time and still do once and awhile but tired of them long ago. Lots of other bands out there, lots of other decades. But if you’re not tired of the Beatles and like to debate which one to prefer, maybe you preferred John Lennon. I understand, though maybe you’ve come around to the idea that there really is nothing wrong with silly love songs and Paul McCartney’s alright too.

Never mind the Beatles, you may be rebelling against Green Day for all I know.

No matter, you’ll probably love Shiloh despite that cover, despite that dog so prominent in the foreground. Ordinarily that dog cover might chase you away, just like jazzy renditions of Beatle tunes do, or maybe not. Either way, whoever you are, I think you’ll love this story.

I grew up with dogs, but I’m not into dog stories, horse stories, any of it, but if you’re only going to read one chapter book for children about dogs, make it this one.

It’s not what you think. Or maybe it is.

Because yes, it has a dog and the dog is central. And it’s heart-warming.

Come on, I used to be a cynic. Back in the day, one of my high school English teachers wanted to transfer me out of her class, my sarcasm was so unbearable. Trust me. If you’re only going to read one chapter book for children about dogs, read this one.

Marty’s an eleven year old kid who lives in West Virginia. Apparently Shiloh was the author’s 65th book, and it shows. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is in control.

Marty’s family lives up in the hills. He’s got a lot of fields and woods to roam. No dog though. This family doesn’t have the money to spare.

Then one of Judd’s hunting dogs sneaks off and follows Marty home. Judd doesn’t treat his dogs the way Marty would and eventually Marty decides he’s got to do something about it, at least for the dog that followed him home.

It’s a heart-warming tale, not a shoot ‘em up - realistic fiction, they call it. So Marty’s got feelings. Even Judd does, believe it or not. There’s a lot of interesting conflict between Marty and Judd and even Marty and his father because telling a man how to treat his dogs is just not done, Marty. Great conversations. Issues galore.

I don’t even think I believe in animal rights, not so much, but the writing was powerful and not preachy. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor makes her point through the characters and setting and gives her reader room to think and decide. How she managed to capture a dog’s personality through its movements, I don’t really know. Amazing. And I’m not even sure I believe dogs have personalities. She also captures Marty’s family life and circumstances well. They don’t have a lot of money, but they’re happy for the most part and it is not sappy.

Marty grabs a peach off the tree out back sometimes and picks the worms out of it before eating it. He doesn’t complain. That’s how good a writer Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is because that even seemed realistic!
Profile Image for Ross Blocher.
432 reviews1,387 followers
April 4, 2021
I remember seeing copies of this book everywhere when I was a kid, but only ever knowing that it had something to do with the dog on the cover. Shiloh is indeed the eponymous dog, but it's really the story of an eleven-year-old boy named Marty who lives in a small town in West Virginia - in a time when kids could just wander around the woods for hours, unsupervised. On such an unsupervised jaunt, Marty meets and names Shiloh, who follows him home. Soon it becomes clear, however, that Shiloh belongs to Judd Travers, an abusive owner who bought what he thought would be a good hunting dog but is now proving to be a disappointment. As everyone around Marty tries to teach him the rules of ownership and respect of property, Marty simply can't let this awful situation and this poor dog go. It's a nuanced story and a great exploration of life's complications from a child's perspective.
Profile Image for Heather.
525 reviews24 followers
March 21, 2018
I happened to be subbing for a 5th grade class that was reading this book, and I decided to see what it was about. I'm not a huge fan of boy-and-his-dog stories, but I can appreciate them for the way they do speak to young boys. However, Shiloh would not be one I would recommend.

I know . . . It's a Newberry Winner! It's got talk of Jesus in it! It's about wrestling with moral issues! It's about doggie love!

First, Newberry awards are sometimes more of a warning signal than a badge of honor, sadly. While the winners may be well-written, they also often are subtle (or not-so-subtle) vehicles for popular agendas. They are rarely timeless classics, although that shiny gold seal automatically launches them into that category.

I can only imagine that those looking for Christian-friendly children's books have embraced this one, but in truth its the religious aspects are terribly shallow. A moralistic episode between the main character and his mother (along the lines of "I can't make you confess, but remember that Jesus knows if you lied and it makes Him sad.") sharpens his conscience to the immorality of lying, but other evidence of Christianity in the family life is scant. They don't appear to pray together, read the Bible, even go to church. Other references to Jesus include the boy, Marty, using "Jesus strike me blind" to strengthen a promise and narrating to us that, though his mother doesn't like that kind of talk, his grandmother always used it.

Moreover, the ethical wrestling in Shiloh is carefully planned so that there is really no contest at all. Obviously, the central question is whether it is okay to lie in order to protect someone helpless (the dog, in this case). This tension comes up again and again in Marty's narrative. He thinks it to himself and asks his parents about it and sees some of the consequences of his lying, and yet . . . And yet there is never any real question. The deck is stacked in such a way that we have to agree that of course he must lie under these circumstances. Any possible third options are effectively squashed: He can't earn the money fast enough to buy the dog. He can't trust the authorities to protect the dog. He can't reason with the abusive owner of the dog. And so on and on.

Meanwhile, rather than making Marty actually struggle and decide to suffer the consequences for his actions, the story resolves itself through two deus ex machina (or rather canis ex machina and cervus ex machina) events. His lies bring a little temporary discomfort, but no real, difficult consequences, and he ends up getting everything his way anyway. Thus, for all its seeming high regard for morality, this story becomes merely a crafty lesson in situational ethics.

And in great part, it is effective in teaching this lesson because of the perfect puppy at its center. Shiloh has no flaws. He is obedient, restrained, affectionate, long-suffering. Who could help loving such a dog? Not only Marty but also his more sensible parents cannot help themselves and will break their own principles for the sake of the little beagle at the heart of it all. For the slightly discerning reader, it is an almost insufferable appeal to pathos. For the elementary school child reading such a book, its emotional appeal will almost certainly work its magic to override any compunctions.

In the end, Shiloh, for all its surface morality, has almost nothing to contribute to building a child's character. There are better boy-and-his-dog stories to offer children. Give them something like Where the Red Fern Grows if you want them to think about themes of integrity, hard work, and the joy and pain that come along with love.
Profile Image for Minh Nhân Nguyễn.
174 reviews283 followers
June 12, 2022
5 sao

Một gia đình không lấy làm khá giả, việc ăn uống hằng ngày cũng phải gói ghém tiết kiệm. Bố hiền lành, làm nghề đưa thư trong vùng ai cũng quý mến. Mẹ thì nội trợ ở nhà, nấu ăn rất ngon và rất hiểu thằng con mình, chẳng gì qua mắt được mẹ. 2 đứa em gái bé nhỏ rất quý mến và tin lời anh. Và nhân vật tớ, một cậu bé 11 tuổi, cực kỳ ngoan, hiểu lý lẽ và có cái nhìn vô cùng nhân ái đến những sự vật và con người xung quanh mình. Đọc về gia đình này mà mình cảm thấy được sự ấm áp và hạnh phúc tràn ngập trong lòng.

Cái cảm giác về tình cảm gia đình trong trẻo, mộc mạc này lâu rồi mình mới cảm nhận lại được sau những cuốn Người bạn bí ẩn hay Cây cầu đến xứ sở thần tiên. Mà tất thảy đều là sách đạt giải thưởng Newbery cả, bởi vậy thấy sách đạt giải này là mình cho vô list ngay, ít ra cũng được 8/10 cuốn hay :).

Câu chuyện khá đơn giản, hầu như mình tưởng đã nắm hết nội dung trước khi đọc rồi, nhưng tác giả đã làm mình bất ngờ trước sự tài tình trong xây dựng nhân vật, xây dựng và xử lý tình huống. Từ vấn đề mà chú nhóc Marty gặp phải, tác giả đã mô tả những diễn biến suy nghĩ, hành động của cậu rất tinh tế, và đáng yêu. Bằng cách kể chuyện ở ngôi thứ nhất, cho nhân vật Marty xưng là "tớ" đã tha hồ bộc lộ ra tâm hồn hết sức trong sáng, nhân ái, có trách nhiệm, biết phân biệt rạch ròi giữa đúng - sai của em. Mình nghĩ cuốn này cho trẻ em đọc sẽ giúp bồi dưỡng suy nghĩ của tụi nó theo hướng tốt như thế, có lẽ đó cũng là lý do quyển này đạt được giải Newbery medal chăng :).

Bên cạnh đó, cốt truyện cũng được tác giả đầu tư chất xám vào, không như một số sách thiếu nhi khác có tư duy "lười biếng" trong việc xây dựng tình huống, và xử lý nó thì hết sức đơn giản, đọc phần đầu tới phần cuối cứ trôi thẳng đuột ấy. Còn ở quyển này, các vấn đề mà câu chuyện đưa ra rất thực tế, mà cũng khó tìm ra cách giải quyết. Theo diễn tiến câu chuyện, ta vừa vui mừng những khoảnh khắc Marty ở cùng Shiloh nhưng vẫn không quên những khúc mắc được đặt ra, chính người đọc còn không biết tháo gỡ thế nào huống gì một cậu nhóc như Marty.

Tuy vậy, đây vẫn là một quyển sách viết cho thiếu nhi, lại mỏng đến thế, nên cuối cùng tác giả cũng phải đưa ra một cách giải quyết hơi bị nhanh so với diễn tiến chậm rãi lúc đầu. Nhưng cũng không cần phải lo lắng rằng kết thúc quá vội vã hay có nhiều lỗ hổng, vì câu chuyện còn được tiếp tục và giải quyết ở 2 tập sau nữa, và mình đang nóng lòng đọc tập tiếp theo đây :).

Một cuốn sách mỏng ơi là mỏng mà khiến mình trong lúc đọc phải ngừng mấy lần để thả hồn vào thế giới tươi đẹp đó, để hết ohh lại aww với suy nghĩ của cậu bé Marty. Chưa kể còn sẽ phải dành thời gian để xem hết 3 tập phim chuyển thể nữa chứ, ôi đọc sách là một cách tiêu thời gian vô cùng hiệu quả :)
Profile Image for JohnnyBear.
172 reviews12 followers
February 10, 2022
Strong 5 out of 10

Shiloh is a book about a boy who figures out that his neighbor is abusing his dogs. This horrifies him. Then one day he witnesses one of the dogs escaping, so he builds a pen for it, and names it Shiloh. The boy sneaks in table scraps every once in a while and attempts to hide the dog from his family. Then one day something terrible happens to Shiloh, and the boy is forced to reveal to his family about the dog.

Book Cover

This book was alright. I wasn't too impressed by it. It was pretty inspirational, but there are some flaws, such as the character writing. Also, this book does talk about topics such as animal abuse. These things need to be talked about more often, but in the end, you are made to sympathize with the abuser somewhat. Overall, I enjoyed this book, but there are a lot of things I didn't enjoy about this book as well. It's an okay book in my opinion, but not my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Lynae.
23 reviews
February 17, 2012
this was the best book ever you guys should read it! i swear that it is a good book also you could watch the movie the first movie is called Shiloh and the secont one is called Saving Shiloh just to let you know you can get the movie at Hastings and you can get the book at any libary the author is Phyllis Reynolds Nalor! i hope you read it or watch it !
Profile Image for Kiera.
353 reviews117 followers
October 7, 2018
I loved this book it was a battle of the books book at our school two years ago and I loved this book.
Profile Image for Melanie  Brinkman.
619 reviews77 followers
April 29, 2020
How trouble begins when you work to slip the collars of truths and lies.

The hills behind Marty Preston's family home are his happy place. But when he chances upon a very thin and skittish beagle, that's when the trouble begins.

When Marty whistles, the dog comes right to him. Just like that Shiloh has squeezed himself into Marty's heart. But then he begins to suspect that Shiloh is being mistreated by his owner, it becomes Marty's mission to keep Shiloh. But what is the right thing to do when a dog is being abused - and belongs to someone else? And what to do if that someone else owns a gun?

What will Marty do when the right thing is all sorts of wrong?

A story of lies, licks, and love. A of tale truth, trust, and trouble.

Trigger warnings for animal abuse, animal abandonment, animal death, injury to an animal, disordered eating habits, mention of death, and a mention of child abuse.

Sensitive, kind-hearted Marty found himself with a fuzzy dilemma. Even as it left him morally conflicted, his adorable secret became one of the biggest challenges and greatest joys of his life. The soft soul gained a maturity that only comes from walking through the grey areas of life. His thoughtful care of Shiloh and internal struggles had me smiling through my tears.

From a young boy with a big heart, to his wise, hard-working family, to a soul that got away with a lot more then he ever should, Shiloh changed every life he came in contact with. Even though you spend such a short time with these fully dimensional characters, they become entirely life like. Everything you learned about them added to their nuance. My heart melted for Marty and Shiloh.

A lot of my classmates used the time for whispering secrets, but I fondly remember a feeling of peace finally falling over me for a little bit each day as the teacher read to us. This tale of hearts, howls, and hard decisions was/is one of my favorites we were read. Marty's clear, unique voice made it hard not to see, hear, and feel everything he goes through in the hills of West Virginia. As his eyes were opened to true good and evil, Shiloh became more than a story of a boy and his dog. Leaving room for you to come up with your own answers, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's prose asks if it's ever okay to omit part of the truth, right and wrong, what to do when the right thing to do is also the wrong thing to do, and more. At least 12 years later, and the ending of the first book in The Shiloh Quartet still remains one of the most magically down to earth things I have ever read.

Shiloh deserves to be howled about from the rooftops.
Profile Image for Chris Thompson.
794 reviews14 followers
June 1, 2012
Shiloh is a simple story about a boy who falls in love with an abused dog, and a dog who returns his affection. Anybody who has ever gotten a puppy as a child will be able to relate to the adoration Marty shows the dog he names Shiloh. While this is a story for young children, its themes and ethical dilemmas are much more sophisticated than some books written for adults. Naylor asks some very interesting questions for parents to discuss with their kids, and even one another, questions that don't necessarily have a right or wrong answer.

Marty comes across a distressed young dog one day, and it follows him home. His parents recognize it as Judd's new hunting dog. Judd has a reputation for mistreating his animals, and for this reason Marty wants to keep the dog, who he names Shiloh, but his parents tell him he can't. It belongs to Judd and it's not anybody's business what Judd does with his property. This kind of logic does not persuade Marty.

Shiloh flees his master yet again, and this time Marty keeps him a secret from his family. He builds a makeshift pen in their expansive yard, hidden from view, and keeps Shiloh there. He sneaks food every night, eating less of his own dinner so Shiloh can have something to eat. It takes a toll on Marty to continue lying to his parents, but he decides it's in Shiloh's best interest to keep quiet. Even his two sisters are becoming curious about where he sneaks off to. Judd stops by one night asking about his new hunting dog and he seems to suspect that Marty's hiding something. A showdown between Judd and Marty is inevitable.

Shiloh won the Newbery Award, spawned two sequels, and was made into a movie, a testament to its quality and its popularity. This is a great book for younger readers. They will love it because of the friendship between Marty and Shiloh, and parents will love it because it has good values and poses some excellent questions for kids, and adults, to ponder. In considering his own moral code, Marty realizes that it is wrong to lie and to steal, but he feels a stronger obligation to keep a dog from returning to its abusive owner. What makes this conflict so interesting is that adults would likely consider it much differently than children. Adults, whose moral values are more logical and place a stronger foundation on property, would say Marty should mind his own business. If there was proof of extreme abuse or neglect, the law could step in, but a dog fearful of its owner is not proof. At least not to an adult. To a child like Marty, the proof is in the animal's eyes. He couldn't forgive himself for returning an innocent animal to someone who will not treat it with love.

Surprisingly, Judd, is very well-developed for being the villain of a young adult novel. Many novels or movies aimed at kids have one-dimensional or very silly villains, but Judd is much more human. I believe many of us have known someone like Judd. How Naylor resolves the conflict between Judd and Marty makes sense, and it sends a positive message. In making her villain human, she shows that though there are bad people in the world, things aren't simply black and white. You don't have to fight fire with fire. In fact, it is more effective to stand by your principles and stand up to people like Judd. Shiloh isn't just a novel about a boy who falls in love with a dog; it is about a boy who learns to be brave.
Profile Image for Liza Fireman.
839 reviews148 followers
January 1, 2018
There is something wonderful in children's books. My daughter and I took as a project to go through Newberry Award winners, and many of them are really great, this one included.

Marty Preston saves his dog from an abusive owner. Shiloh actually belongs to Judd Travers who drinks too much and has a gun. Marty loves the dog deeply and gets in trouble trying to care for him.

Marty secrets are becoming larger: A lie. That's a flat-out lie. Funny how one lie leads to another and before you know it, your whole life can be a lie.

His love to the dog is heartwarming, and the fear of Judd (who Marty encounters a lot) does not prevent from Marty to still put the dog as top priority. He says: If Jesus ever comes back to earth again, I'm thinking, he'll come as a dog, because there isn't anything as humble or patient or loving or loyal as the dog I have in my arms right now. That is not a small thing when Jesus appears in the book quite a lot: "may Jesus make you blind." That's the kind of talk my folks can't stand, but I got it from Grandma Preston herself. Ma says Jesus don't go around making anyone blind, but Grandma Preston always used it as a warning and she went to church Sunday morning and evening both.

Shiloh won the Newberry Award for Literature, and rightfully so. Almost 4.5 stars.
I recommend also to read Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls, another great book for children about dogs.
Profile Image for Jackie.
4,149 reviews46 followers
June 15, 2017
Newbery Medal: 1992

Much more than a story about a boy and his dog...Shiloh is a story of compassion, determination and struggling with stretching the truth to accomplish a goal that is character worthy. Is omitting information the same as lying, especially if it prevents abuse? Marty Preston, 11, finds a beagle in the woods behind his house one day. When he realizes it belongs to Judd Travers, his heart drops because he knows Judd is mean and abusive to his animals. When the dog comes back the second time, Marty secretly hides him. The outcome isn't all he expected when the dog, he has now named Shiloh, is injured by a bigger dog...his secret is revealed to all. Marty and his family slowly grow to love the gentle, friendly dog and Marty is prepared to do just about anything to keep him, to buy him, and to care for him. A bargain is struck between Marty and Judd. Marty hopes he hasn't made a pact with the devil, but only time will tell. In Shiloh, he has found a constant, loyal companion...one companion he won't turn his back on.
Profile Image for Sophia Baumann.
2 reviews1 follower
March 16, 2016
My partner and I really liked the book and I really got sad when the dog Shiloh got injured by the stupid German Shepperd it for me was very sad and did not think the dog would make it
Profile Image for Rachel Aranda.
888 reviews2,266 followers
April 25, 2019
This book was a nice quick read for me. The themes mentioned and questions asked to the readers were very thought provoking and made me learn about myself. Some examples are "When is it okay to break a promise?" and "Is it okay to stand up for animal rights when the social norm is to mind your own business?" This was one of the few books that showed me that there were indeed gray areas in life that aren't easy to answer or deal with but they must be faced. I felt I actually grew up reading this story trying to figure how I would deal with the situation Marty, his parents, and Judd Travers are in. I've never seen the movie but it felt like one was playing in my mind as I turned the pages of this book. This is a book everyone regardless of age could enjoy but I could see middle schoolers enjoying it the most. This book is a good book that I feel is a 3.5 but I'm rounding to 4 because it's a thought provoking read that taught me a lesson.
Profile Image for Ripken.
60 reviews
May 11, 2015
This book was about a boy who finds a hurt beagle and tries to hide him so he can keep him.

I loved when Marty was always sneaking food out of the house to feed Shiloh. I also loved how Marty kept on lying to save the dog. I learned if you kill a deer out of season it is a crime.

This book turned out happy because Marty ended up keeping Shiloh.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Brittany.
29 reviews
December 9, 2016
This was a really sad book and hated reading it. If you like depressing books then you'll like this one.
Profile Image for Abby.
22 reviews8 followers
December 2, 2017
A very good book with a boy that loves his dog.
Profile Image for Ava.
18 reviews2 followers
November 1, 2013
Animal abuse is just not right. And people sould treat them as if it were them. This booktakes place in Friendly, West Virginia. It's is told in the first-person point of view. Marty, the protagonist, finds Shiloh, a dog who was abused by his owner, Judd Travers. So, Shiloh runs away to Marty, and he tries to go out of his way to protect Shiloh. But even though marty tries his hardest, it's just to hard for him to keep the secret.
This book is a rael tear dropper.There are very emotional parts in the book. I liked how the author wrote the story from the first-person point of view so that I know what the protagonist was thinking during a dramtic part of the book. I would definetly reccomend this book to middle schoolers or anyone that likes a real tear dropper
Profile Image for John  Funk.
91 reviews161 followers
November 14, 2020
This book is absolutely phenomenal. A boy becomes attached to a loveable dog - but there's a catch. It isn't his. It belongs to the antagonist , a man named Judd.

This book is a real tear jerker. I get a sense that it was easy for the author to write. It just flows. All the points in the plot weave together flawlessly.

A brilliant piece of literature with many life lessons worked in that are appropriate for both children and adults. 100 % deserving of the Newberry Medal !!
Profile Image for Lana Hoffman.
39 reviews1 follower
November 23, 2008
"When he finds a lost beagle in the hills behind his West Virginia home, Marty tries to hide it from his family and the dog's real owner, a mean-spirited man known to shoot deer out of season and mistreat dogs."
Overall, this was an unbelievable book! You could really feel Marty's conflict. This book shows that sometimes rules need to be broken or changed in order to do the right thing. Marty's love for Shiloh came through touchingly throughout the book. As a reader, you are rooting for Marty and praying that he can save Shiloh. This is a book that you become emotionally connected to. All of the characters were described with so much detail, that as a reader I could see them in front of me. I think that children will care about Marty and Shiloh and want to read their story.
Specifically, I loved the way Phyllis Reynolds Naylor describes each character and what is happening in the story. I felt like I was there with Marty when he found Shiloh, hid him and took care of him. When he was in the truck with the man who abused Shiloh I felt nervous for Marty and found myself hoping that he would not be found out. When he made the deal to keep Shiloh I felt proud of Marty. All of these characters mattered to me, because Naylor was able to bring them to life.
As a teacher, I would have my students (third and up) work in Literature Circles and discuss this book. I would give them the opportunity to share their thoughts, make predictions and also provide them with a list of open ended comprehension questions. One of the questions I would ask would be, "If you were Marty what would you have done and why?" I would also ask, "Is it ever ok to break the rules like Marty did and if so, when is it ok?" This book provides a great opportunity to talk about right and wrong and all of the shades of gray in between. That is why I believe Shiloh is a great book to use in Literature Circles.
24 reviews1 follower
November 20, 2012
Main Characters: Shioh, Matt
Setting:West Virginia, Friendly
POV: Marty
Grade Level:3-5
Reading Level:5.7
Genre: realistic fiction
Award: Newberry Medal

Marty is an eleven year old boy who finds a dog (beagle). Marty decides to name the dog Shiloh. Shiloh apparently belongs to Judd Travers that uses Shiloh as his hunting dog. Marty knows that Judd abuses his dogs and refuses to give him back. He asks his family to keep him but his family asks Marty to give Shiloh back to Judd. Shiloh then escapes from Judd and goes with Marty. Marty knows that he can’t keep him so he goes and hides Shiloh in the hills. Marty realizes that it is not safe for Shiloh to be alone in the hills so he decides to buy Shiloh from Judd. Marty does not have enough money to pay for Shiloh so Judd agrees to Marty that he can do chores for him in order to pay him. Finally Marty is able to keep Shiloh.

I would use this book with my upper elementary students. There are various themes that appear in the book such as courage, fairness, justice and trustworthy. I would have students discuss the importance of being transparent and being honest. We could also discuss how to help others while still keeping honesty to themselves.

Profile Image for Kate Schwarz.
878 reviews13 followers
March 24, 2013
I loved this book, so worthy of a Newbery.

A boy runs smack-dab into the cold, difficult reality that the world is not divided into right and wrong. Most decisions and choices and situations are in the murky, middle, where Right and Wrong are not clear. He agonizes over which is better: to protect Shiloh from abuse and steal him or return him to his rightful owner as the law prescribes.

And what of Judd? The boy (and the reader) wants to demonize him and put him into the clear Bad category, but...then we get to know a few more facts about him towards the end and the boy sees that while Judd clearly is a bad guy, knowing where h comes from--and nobly giving him the opportunity for Judd to show that he is possible of Good...Judd is in the grey area as well. Where we all are.

Such a good lesson, for little and big readers.
Profile Image for Shaun.
Author 4 books178 followers
May 16, 2013
"Nobody else loves you as much as a dog. Except your ma, maybe."

Oh, how true. This is a sweet tale about a boy and the dog he loves, who finds out right and wrong aren't always cut and dry.

Appropriate for ages 8-11, it's still a favorite for many kids. I'm giving three stars partly because I'm not sure the that technology/information savvy children of today relate to the naive main character the way kids did when it was originally published. For instance, the protagonist, which is eleven years old in the story, seems more consistent with my seven and eight year old and not so much my ten year old, who is a voracious reader, yet put it down after reading the first few pages.
Profile Image for Davis Smith.
671 reviews44 followers
September 26, 2014
Yay! I'm finally back on the Newbery train! I found this very compelling until the ending, which was majorly abrupt and disappointing. I guess it was realistic, but I would have liked to see some sort of revenge worked out upon the antagonist, who was sort of a mystery character. The main character was likable and easy to relate to, but I found the story mostly mundane. Sorry, Newbery. Maybe next time. Or maybe I'm just running out of all the good titles considering I'm just over halfway through the challenge. I am curious about the sequel, though, if it continues from the ending or if it's a completely different story. Might have to check it out. Oh yes, and the dog on the cover makes me want to have the ability to telepathically hug photos.
Profile Image for Courtney.
1,217 reviews26 followers
January 13, 2016
So . . . I may have read this in my youth? Or not? I had it in my head this was a sad book along the lines of Dear Mr. Henshaw and was sad to see it on the OBOB list for 3-5 grade this year . . . and then I read it. It's not sad! It's a good boy and his dog tale about growing up, loving those who need us (human and animal alike), and getting what you want by sticking with it and working for it. Yay!
Profile Image for Dana.
418 reviews
November 11, 2016
This was such a great little book! Looking forward to reading this with my class soon!
Profile Image for Brenna.
119 reviews
March 11, 2017
So happy!
Made my heart smile.
Chapters 9 & 10 are the sadest. Get ready to hold back some tears!
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