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4.5 out of 5 stars
Shiloh
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on January 1, 2004
Reading this book, I had not heard of the author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor before. So I looked her up, thinking she'd probably written a book here and there before "Shiloh" her masterpiece. To my surprise, she is nothing less than prolific. There were already thirty one children's books to her name by the time "Shiloh" was written, and undoubtedly many more to come afterwards (the "Shiloh" sequels alone give one pause). The book itself is good. Not as surprisingly good as I've found her contemporary Katherine Paterson's books to be (yay Gilly Hopkins!) but fine reading just the same. Like many of my kind, I am not a dog book lover. If I hear that there's a book out there somewhere about a boy and his dog, I am probably going to do whatever it takes to avoid reading said book. In this particular case, Naylor has cleverly chosen a breed that is not only sympathetic but adorable. Shiloh is an abused beagle. I suspect that it is not difficult to get kids to identify with a dog that shares its pedigree with Snoopy. What makes the book "Shiloh" itself stand out, however, is not its cutesy factor. Many lesser books have done similar things and few have garnered Newberrys. No, this book introduces a character that I feel is perhaps one of the most well-developed "villains" I've read. Judd, the beagle kicker, is basically a transposed Jud from "Oklahoma" with a little more humanity built into his system. Here we have a man who was undoubtedly abused himself as a child and who now takes this abuse out on the animals he keeps. In time, Judd develops a grudging respect for the boy who wants to own Shiloh so very much. The boy, Marty, is an interesting little devil himself. Here's our protagonist; a kid willing to lie and blackmail in order to get his dog. He lies and blackmails all in the name of that which is good and righteous, of course, but it's interesting to see such dealings from the mouth and head of an eleven-year-old boy. Just the same, this is a worthwhile book to read. Now admittedly, as a woman of 25 years, I'm not about to ever read this book again. No sir. But a book's readability and re-readability do not always have much to do with one another. Read this book for the well drawn characters. Stay for the cute beagle.
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on December 3, 2003
Author Phyllis Reynolds Naylor captures the heart of kindness in her book, Shiloh. The book centers around Marty Preston, an 11-year-old boy with a warm spot in his heart for Shiloh, a shy, skinny, abused beagle who follows Marty home one day.
Shiloh is owned by Judd Travers, a dog abuser and mean, illegal hunter who drinks too much alcohol.
Ma, Marty's mother, is the first person to find out that Marty was hiding Shiloh. Dad, Marty's father, believes in legal ownership and thinks that Marty should give Shiloh back. Betty, Marty's youngest sibling, annoys Marty throughout the book. Dara Lynn, Marty's middle sister, comforts Marty when he is forced to give back Shiloh.
The story takes place in Friendly, a small, rural community in West Virginia.
Marty comes upon a dog when he is walking by a creek. The dog is in horrible condition. When Marty finds out it is Judd Travers' dog, he knows he must save him. His dad forces Marty to take the dog back to Judd. The second time the dog comes to Marty, Marty names him Shiloh and secretly keeps the dog in a homemade pen.
Shiloh was a secret until Marty's mom found out about him. She tells Marty that if he doesn't run away with the dog, she'll wait to the following day to tell his dad. That night, a German Sheppard jumps over the fence of the pen and attacks Shiloh. Judd finds out that Marty had his lost dog from Doc Murphy who saves Shiloh's life. Judd demands the dog back when he recovers. When Marty is going to Judd's trailor to tell him he can't have Shiloh back, he watches in horror as Judd shoots a female deer out of season. He tells Judd he'll tell the game warden if he doesn't make a deal to sell Shiloh to Marty. Judd tells Marty that if he worked 20 hours for him he would give him Shiloh.
In the end, Marty teaches Judd to be nicer to animals and gets Shiloh for himself.
The theme of the story is to be nicer to creatures big and small, work hard for what you believe in and remember that acts of kindness can make people good.
I highly recommend this book to people of all ages.
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on May 28, 2003
Shiloh
The book Shiloh, a realistic fiction book, is a great book. Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is about this boy, Marty, who found a dog. The dog, which is eventually named Shiloh, is really hurt. Marty knows that his parents will not let him keep the dog, because his family is really poor. So Marty tries to get away from Shiloh but Shiloh follows him home. It really is interesting to see what Marty does with Shiloh.
Marty hides Shiloh in his back yard. Which is all hilly, so nobody can find him, or Shiloh. They are always at Marty's house. The only places that they really ever go to are his house and Judd Travers house. He figures if he hid him where Judd can't go and where his family hardly ever goes then Shiloh would be safe. But it turns out he was wrong.
Naylor made the characters in her book as real as she could. With Marty, the main character, you can hear what he is thinking. You can't literally hear him think, but the book says what he is thinking. If you have read Jade Green, also by Naylor, you probably know what I am saying.
This book is all about animals. It talks about animal abuse and how to try and help animals that were abused. All through the book Marty knows Judd Travers is abusing Shiloh, the meanest guy in town. He tries to tell his parents but they will not believe him. So they give Shiloh back to get more abused.
Shiloh is a very touching book. I suggest that you read it. Any body would really like it. It would be especially be good if you love animals.
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on June 30, 2001
The story of an earnest and lovely little eleven year old boy who comes from a VERY REAL po' white trash West Virginia family and who befriends and protects an abused beagle. It's a surprisingly powerful and universal story, as the little beagle really represents not only the boy's wounded inner self who he wished his shut-down parents would protect...but the wounded, neglected and abused inner selves within each of us. The boy's love and protection of the beagle represents the parents we always wished we had had, and perhaps even thought (or still think) we had.
Book's weak point: The author sacrificed potential emotional depth for the smiles and hugs of a happy ending. I think a much more realistic ending would have been the father disregarding the feelings of his sensitive son and sending the dog back to the abusive owner, the mother not lifting a finger to protect her son's feelings, and the owner killing the dog as he promised all along. Basically, I think the author didn't have the guts to do it, and thus be able to transmit a real message to the audience about how the world is - essentially how cruel and uncaring parents really can be. The boy becoming aware of such things would have hurt (him and us), but would at least have been REAL and given us the base of potential from which to GROW and not just keep our heads in the sand, leading us further down the path of denial...and ultimately toward perpetuating the same patterns those parents did. Only emotional honesty (as opposed to the fantasy ending of this book) will break such cycles.
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on January 11, 2001
Have you ever wanted a dog so bad that you stole someone else dog but you didn't know it? In the book Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Marty does just that. One day Marty went to go shoot some cans up near the bridge. When he got there he started setting up the cans when he saw a dog in the corner of my eye. He started calling it, but the dog would not come.He started walking back home when he saw a dog following him. He turned around and the dog stopped. When he started walking again the dog followed him. When he finaly got home him and his family saw how cute he was but he knew he couldn't keep him. Finally Marty came over to Shiloh and Started to stroke him on the back. He found that the dog had a collar on. His dad came thumping in the driveway when he asked where he got the dog from. Marty grinned and said " up by the shiloh bridge ". Marty went on. Marty named the dog after the old shiloh bridge where he found him. Marty's dad knew that Judd just got a new hunting dog and wondered if that was his. Ladies and Gentlemen I invite and encourage you to read Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds NAylor.
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on September 15, 2000
A young West Virginian boy, Marty Preston sees a dog on his walkl home from school. The dog is so timid, Marty knows, the dog must have been abused. Marty takes the dog without his parents knowing, and builds him a pen on the hill overlooking the house. Marty names the dog Shiloh, and keeps him alive on table scraps and water. One night, a large German Shepard gets in the pen and tears Shiloh apart. Marty finally tells his parents about Shiloh and they take him to the vet. The vet tells everyone about the dog. Judd, the meanest man in town realizes that Shiloh is his dog that ran away. Judd makes Marty give the dog back, and Marty is wondering how to get the dog back. He catches Judd shooting a doe out of season, and pressures him into letting him work for Shiloh. Marty is working, and Judd says he deosn't have to give Shiloh to Marty because they're agreement doesn't have a witness. Will Marty get Shiloh or will Judd trick him out of it? Read "Shiloh" by Phyliss Reynolds Nayler, to find out. Throughout the story Marty realizes doing whats right is not always easy, but it always turns out good. This is a quality book with quality writing.
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on December 30, 1999
I really like this book so I'm giving it 4 out of 5 stars. Below I'm going to explain what I like and didn't like about the book.
At the beginning of the book I really liked how Shiloh always followed Marty around and tried to become friends. Shiloh would follow Marty across the bridge and to his house when he went outside. When Marty got to know Shiloh really well he would feed and take care of Shiloh. Marty did this because he knew that Judd didn't take care of his hunting dogs very well.
In the middle of the book I liked how Marty comes up with many ways to earn money so he can buy Shiloh from Judd. Marty thinks about collecting alumnium cans, recycling glass bottles, baby sitting or delivering catalogs. But finally he decides to work for Judd. At Judd's house Marty has to do all the chores to earn enough money to buy Shiloh.
By the time I got to the end of the story there were somethings I didn't like. For example, when Judd threatened to shoot Shiloh because he wasn't a very good hunting dog. There were also some parts of the book that were confusing. Finally, I didn't like it when Shiloh was caught in the hunting trap.
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on October 14, 1999
"Shiloh" focuses on an eleven-year old boy namedMarty Preston, and his devoted love and loyalty to a dog namedShiloh. Shiloh is a young beagle pup, who is owned by a mean man named Judd Travers. Marty feels for the way the dog is treated, and agrees to work for Judd to obtain ownership of Shiloh. However, many challenges face Marty when he is refused the dog for payment. Also after receiving Shiloh as payment, Judd will not leave Marty or Shiloh alone.
There were two main key points in the book of Shiloh that Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is trying to stress. One is the devoted love of an eleven-year-old boy to a young beagle pup. This is where Phyllis dwells most on the story, is building the friendship and hidden bond between the boy and the dog. The other main point that the author is trying to stress is the willingness of love and loyalty. For instance, dwelling on Marty working for Judd, to pay him off in exchange for Shiloh. This helps better demonstrate the boy's determination of owning the dog. It also clearly demonstrates the love and caring that Marty has for the dog. It shows the effect of working to pay for a dog, in whom he dearly loves. Overall "Shiloh" is a book anyone should read to better understand the saying of "dog is man's best friend".
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on February 19, 2001
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is a very good children's novel. "Boy and their dog stories" have been kind of a staple in children's literature since Ouida's A Dog of Flanders, and this is one of the better examples. This book is narrated by Marty, and eleven-year-old from a very poor West Virginia family. He happens upon a dog one day who has noticably been abused. Marty falls for the dog, but he doesn't want to return it to its owner. Ethical questions are raised as to whether he should return the dog or keep it (steal) and lie to his parents. This novel presents a good and well-written story. It also raises some thought provoking questions and teaches some marvelous lessons. My favorite aspect of the novel was the way in which the family was written about. The setting and speech are captured exactly. The situation of a dirt-poor family that loves each other and is working to better itself is presented brilliantly. Children should read Shiloh.
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on May 28, 2003
Shiloh
The book Shiloh, a realistic fiction book, is a great book. Shiloh, by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is about this boy, Marty, who found a dog. [...]Naylor made the characters in her book as real as she could. With Marty, the main character, you can hear what he is thinking. You can't literally hear him think, but the book says what he is thinking. If you have read Jade Green, also by Naylor, you probably know what I am saying.
This book is all about animals. It talks about animal abuse and how to try and help animals that were abused. All through the book Marty knows Judd Travers is abusing Shiloh, the meanest guy in town. He tries to tell his parents but they will not believe him. So they give Shiloh back to get more abused.
Shiloh is a very touching book. I suggest that you read it. Any body would really like it. It would be especially be good if you love animals.
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