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.
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.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's tale, Shiloh , starts with an eleven year old boy named Marty, who has to make a heart wrenching decision about a beagle dog and whether it is right for him to keep the dog. Marty names the beagle dog Shiloh. Marty wants to keep Shiloh because the dog's owner, Judd Travers is abusing him. Marty struggles with the moral dilemma of his parents being poor and can't afford another mouth to feed, and the knowledge that the owner is abusing the dog. What Marty feels is right, is not necessarily what his parents feel is the right thing to do. This heart warming tale will make you want to kiss and hug your family pet. This is a great story for students to voice their opinions about the negative effects of animal abuse.
I chose this book because I saw the movie and loved it. I wanted to see the differences in the book and the movie. I love dogs so after seeing the cover and reading the summary I knew I would enjoy this book. One day, Marty was walking home and saw that a dog was following him, he soon found out that it was Judd Travers dog and he knew he was going to keep it no matter what it took. My favorite character was Marty because of his bravery and determination shown in the book. My favorite part of the book was when Judd gave in to Marty and let him keep Shiloh, but he still made Marty work really hard to earn him. I recommend this book to anyone who loves dogs and had a southern accent.
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.
This book isn't a lot of fun, but it is very interesting and has some good things to teach anyone who reads it. Marty's descion about Shiloh will agree or disagree with many readers and spark some good debates. The style of writing, the way it is totally in the present tense and the way Marty talks in his southern way is very original and beautiful. It's a good book for what it is but I wouldn't reccomend it to everyone.
Shiloh is the first book in Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's trilogy about Marty and Shioh, a beagle that he rescues from Judd Travers, a man who abuses his hunting dogs. The story is set in Friendly, WV and is told by Marty who finds Shiloh and is determined that Judd Travers does not deserve such a wonderful dog. His father makes him return the dog to Judd Travers the first time he finds him, but the second time Shiloh runs away, Marty hides him for a week before he is caught. This is a great series that offers many important subjects that can be discussed with your child.
Elvis Florentino 4/11/2004 There's nothing eleven year old Marty preston enjoys more than spending time up in the hills behind his home near friendly, West virginia. But this time is different. This time Marty sees a young beagle on the road past the old shiloh schoolhouse. Marty feels sure the dog is being abused by his owner. When the dog turns up at Marty's house, Marty's parents say he must take him back. But it hurt's marty secretly decides he'll do anything to save the dog he names shiloh. !This book is sad! I rate this book a four because is a very beautiful story and it explains the sadness the kid had for the dog.