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Shiloh (The Shiloh Quartet) Paperback – September 1, 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 627 customer reviews
Book 1 of 4 in the Shiloh Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

When 11-year-old Marty Preston chances upon a mistreated beagle pup in his hometown of Friendly, West Virginia, he is not prepared for the ethical questions he has to face. Should he return the dog to its owner, only to have the animal abused again? Should he tell his parents? Should he steal food to help the poor creature? Marty's efforts to cope with these questions provides the moral backbone for this story, which is presented in a language and manner that will be understood by third- and fourth-grade readers. The heart and beauty of this 1992 Newbery Medal winner lies in lessons children will take away with them. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

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.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 890 (What's this?)
  • Series: The Shiloh Quartet
  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers; FIRST ALADDIN PAPERBACK EDITION edition (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0689835825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0689835827
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.5 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (627 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,313 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mike Powers TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful book! I read it after my 11-year old son suggested it as a change from my usual reading fare of history and biography. It turned out to be much more than just a summertime reading diversion...it became for me a deeply moving reading experience in its own right. I was quickly captivated by Marty and his family, Shiloh, the beagle, and yes, even the despicable Judd Travers.

The story is straightforward: Marty Preston is an eleven-year old boy living with his parents and two younger sisters in rural West Virginia. It is a close-knit, loving family with traditional values and a clearly defined set of rules to live by. His father is a mail carrier and his mother a homemaker.

One Sunday afternoon, as Marty is walking along a backwoods road, he spies a young beagle hiding under a bush. He calls to it, but the dog doesn't respond. When Marty walks away, the dog follows him. Marty tries to get the dog to come to him several times, but the animal, which has obviously been abused, cowers miserably. Finally, the dog happily comes to Marty when the boy whistles at him. Marty immediately falls in love with the dog, whom he names Shiloh. The little beagle responds with trust and affection. The boy quickly figures out that Shiloh belongs to Judd Travers, a local ne'er-do-well, and a man with an unsavory reputation for dishonesty, a hot temper, and animal abuse. Marty wants to keep Shiloh, to protect him from Judd. However, his parents insist he return the dog to its rightful owner, which Marty begrudgingly does.

Shiloh runs away from Judd a second time and finds his way back to Marty's house. This time, Marty vows to keep him.
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Format: Paperback
Shiloh is a wonderful example of realistic fiction for children. The story revolves around Marty, a small town boy in the hills of West Virginia. There isn't much money, and putting food on the table is difficult and all consuming for the adults of his community.
Marty spends his free time roaming the hills with his rifle, until he discovers Shiloh, a dog, whom he learns lives with constant abuse by his owner. Marty determines to rescue Shiloh and care for the dog he immediately becomes attached to. He finds, however, that simply wanting something, is not a determinant of taking possession: he is stunned that the abusive owner has rights, which is confusing and heartbreaking for him.
Throughout the story, Marty is confronted by moral issues which he must wrestle with as he focuses his attention on loving Shiloh and finding a way to make life better for the dog. In doing so, his values are questioned and his morality is strengthened. He must learn to solve moral dilemmas by analyzing the choices he has. He realizes that adults don't always do the right thing, nor do they always have the answers to questions. Most, important, he learns to recognize that he has the ability, within himself, to realize the resolve it takes to do the right thing in the face of adversity.
Young readers will experience these dilemmas with Marty, and the story provides youngsters with the opportunity to develop their own moral skills along with him.
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Format: Paperback
To keep Shiloh, a white beagle with brown and black spots, Marty Preston has to do more than keep a water dish filled and train his dog not to go the bathroom indoors. He has to build a special pen, buy food with his own allowance, and even do some odd jobs for extra money. Also, as Shiloh is really someone else's dog, Marty has to lie and keep secrets from his parents and friends. He excuses his actions with the fact that Shiloh is better off with him than with the abusive original owner--which is, I know, justification enough for most readers. The novel is not that simplistic, though: Marty eventually realizes that he will have to come clean, even if it will mean losing his dog.
The characters in "Shiloh" are well-drawn and realistic. It was nice to read about complex people who love animals, grow up with guns and occasionally hunt for their own food. Their West Virginian dialect is a pleasure to read. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor's observations, through Marty's eyes, really seem like an eleven-year-old boy's, not a grown woman writer's. Moreover, her pace, like her integrity as a storyteller, never lags.
This is a great book for teaching children not just about dogs and other pets, but about right and wrong. Nothing is purely white or purely black in this novel, not even the "villian," Judd Travers. There is a powerful scene near the climax when Marty starts asking himself questions about what is ethical and what is not--about whether or not the ends justify the means. All the scenes that follow show how a young boy, through his love for his dog, learns life lessons about maturity, responsibility and respect.
Despite all this complexity, the lessons of "Shiloh", like its theme, are very simple. They are the universal values that all children pick up for themselves whenever they truly experience life.
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By Oddsfish on February 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
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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