Shiloh | Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Awards: Newbery Medal
Shiloh is the heartwarming story of eleven-year-old Marty Preston and his love for a mistreated hunting dog he names “Shiloh.” Marty finds a stray dog only to discover the beagle is the rightful property of Judd Travers, who never treats his dogs right. Told in a charming West Virginia voice, follow Marty as he discovers that doing the right thing isn’t always easy to figure out. And sometimes the right thing means giving up everything.
Rating : PG
Several instances of mild swearing. Deals with the topic of verbal and physical abuse of dogs as well as the hunting and killing of animals for food and for pleasure. One brief reference to physical discipline of a child. A few occurrences of beer consumption.
I loved the book Shiloh. Miss Naylor writes well, perfectly capturing the thoughts and struggles of a young boy taking on the responsibility of standing up for what he believes to be right. While trying to save the dog Shiloh, Marty find himself lying and stealing for an animal he has grown to love and wrestling with the consequences of his dishonesty. The lines between what is right and what is wrong are put to the test, and Marty finds that doing the right thing is almost never a comfortable thing. The sequels * Shiloh Season* and Saving Shiloh are equally charming and I would recommend you read through all of them. The strong sense of family and community shines through this book. I would highly recommend you and your family meet Shiloh. He’ll make a dog lover out of you. You might even find a soft spot for mean Judd Travers. I know I did.
ps. Already read Shiloh? Try out Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, or A Dog Called Kitty.