Reviews for Shiloh

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Gr. 4^-8. The bullying of an animal links Wringer with this Newbery-winner in which 11-year-old Marty tries to hide and protect a beagle whom he suspects is being mistreated by its owner.


Publishers Weekly
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In the tradition of Sounder and Where the Red Fern Grows comes this boy-and-his-dog story set in rural West Virginia. When he finds a mistreated beagle pup, 11-year-old Marty knows that the animal should be returned to its rightful owner. But he also realizes that the dog will only be further abused. So he doesn't tell his parents about his discovery, sneaks food for the dog and gets himself into a moral dilemma in trying to do the right thing. Without breaking new ground, Marty's tale is well told, with a strong emphasis on family and religious values. This heartwarming novel should win new fans for the popular Naylor. Ages 8-12. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

Gr. 4-8. In the West Virginia hill country, folks mind each other's privacy and personal rights, a principle that is respected in 11-year-old Marty Preston's family and reinforced by a strict code of honor--no lying, cheating, or taking what isn't yours. When a beagle he names Shiloh follows him home, Marty painfully learns that right and wrong are not always black and white. Marty's dad realizes that the beagle is Judd Travers' new hunting dog and insists they return Shiloh to his rightful owner, even though they both know that Judd keeps his dogs chained and hungry to make them more eager hunters. Sure enough, Judd claims the dog and greets him with a hard kick to his scrawny sides. Marty worries about Shiloh being abused and makes plans to buy the dog . . . if Judd will sell him. Then Shiloh runs away again, and Marty secretly shelters the dog, beginning a chain of lies as he takes food and covers his tracks. Though troubled about deceiving his family, Marty reasons, "a lie don't seem a lie anymore when it's meant to save a dog." The West Virginia dialect richly seasons the true-to-life dialogue. Even when the Prestons care for Shiloh after he is nearly killed by another dog, Mr. Preston insists Shiloh be returned to Judd if he recovers; however, Marty makes a deal with the malicious Judd to earn Shiloh for his own. Not until the final paragraph can readers relax--every turn of the plot confronts them with questions. Like Marty, readers gain understanding, though not acceptance, of Judd's tarnished character. Fueled by the love and trust of Shiloh, Marty displays a wisdom and strength beyond his years. Naylor offers a moving and powerful look at the best and the worst of human nature as well as the shades of gray that color most of life's dilemmas. ~--Ellen Mandel


Horn Book
(c) Copyright The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Fiction: I A young boy saves a mistreated dog by facing down a bullying adult and standing on principles he knows are right - in the face of laws that may be wrong. Narrated in a believable rural southern voice, the reminiscence engages the reader's sympathy. Credible plot and characters, a well-drawn setting, and nicely paced narration. Horn Rating: Superior, well above average. Reviewed by: esw (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

This 1992 Newbery Medal winner revolves around an 1 1 -year-old boy who finds an abused dog near his West Virginia hills home; PW noted that this heartwarming novel should win new fans for the popular Naylor. Ages 812. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Gr 4-6-- Marty Preston, 11, is a country boy who learns that things are often not what they seem, and that adults are not always ``fair'' in their dealings with other people. Marty finds a stray dog that seems to be abused and is determined to keep it at all costs. Because his family is very poor, without money to feed another mouth, his parents don't want any pets. Subsequently, there is a lot of conflict over the animal within the family and between Marty and Judd Travers, the dog's owner. Honesty and personal relations are both mixed into the story. Naylor has again written a warm, appealing book. However, readers may have difficulty understanding some of the first-person narration as it is written in rural West Virginian dialect. Marty's father is a postman--usually one of the better paying positions in rural areas--yet the family is extremely poor. There seems to be an inconsistency here. This title is not up to Naylor's usual high quality. --Kenneth E. Kowen, Atascocita Middle School Library, Humble, TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

A gripping account of a mountain boy's love for a dog he's hiding from its owner. Marty, 11, tells how Shiloh, the runaway, first caught his heart; still, his bone-poor West Virginia family has a strong sense of honor, and the dog is returned to its owner. After it runs back to Marty, he hides it in the woods. As Marty's structure of lies to his parents compounds, the villainous owner circles closer. By the time Judd finds Shiloh, the whole family is compromised and the dog has been injured. Marty does get the dog, partly by another lie of omission: he blackmails Judd when he finds him poaching and makes a deal to work for Judd to pay for the dog, but tells his parents another version. Fine lines are explored here: How necessary is it to adhere to the strict truth? ``What kind of law is it...that lets a man mistreat his dog?'' Has the dog been ``saved'' if this leads to its injury? Marty concludes that ``nothing is as simple as you guess--not right or wrong, not Judd Travers, not even me or this dog.'' Meanwhile, young readers will rejoice that Shiloh and Marty end up together. (Fiction. 8-12)

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