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Shiloh (The Shiloh Quartet) Paperback – September 1, 2000
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Eleven-year-old Marty Preston loves to spend time up in the hills behind his home near Friendly, West Virginia. Sometimes he takes his .22 rifle to see what he can shoot, like some cans lined up on a rail fence. Other times he goes up early in the morning just to sit and watch the fox and deer. But one summer Sunday, Marty comes across something different on the road just past the old Shiloh schoolhouses -- a young beagle -- and the trouble begins.
What do you do when a dog you suspect is being mistreated runs away and comes to you? When it is someone else's dog? When the man who owns him has a gun? This is Marty's problem, and he finds it is one he has to face alone. When his solution gets too big for him to handle, things become more frightening still. Marty puts his courage on the line, and discovers in the process that it is not always easy to separate right from wrong. Sometimes, however, you do almost anything to save a dog.
- Format: Hardcover
- Publication Date: 9/30/1991
- Pages: 144
- Reading Level: Age 8 and Up
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This is the story of an eleven year old boy living in rural West Virginia, a small beagle, a not so nice man who has abuse the dog and a cast of very believable characters. The boy rescues the dog and the entire story is about the young mans quest to same and keep this likable pup.
The story plot though is only the tip of the iceberg in this case though. The true charm and strength of this tale is the author's writing ability. The entire story is told in first person, via the little boy and we see the world through his eyes and share his thoughts and his logic. I am not sure how an adult could nail the personality of a kid so well, but she certainly has. The relationship between the small boy and the small dog is a wonder and makes the read worth the small effort it takes.
Ms Naylor has also been able to capture the vernacular speech of this area perfectly. Having traveled through that area and spent considerable time there, it was like music to my ears. Our local accent and language use here in the Missouri Ozarks is quite similar so I always feel right at home and when I talk to people, I don't stand out like a sore thumb. Her description of life in that area is perfect from local customs and attitudes to her physical description of the area.
Quite a number of ethical problems are presented in this book; some quite simple, some quite complex. This is an excellent work to read with your child; not to your child, but with him or her. There is much to discuss here.
The author is also a master at character development and obviously knows people. There was not one character in this book that I have not met face to face, some almost on a daily bases. As I read, I felt like I actually knew the people and was instantly able to put a face to each of them. Even the "evil guy" in the story was portrayed perfectly. I personally know of at least six men right this day that could step into his shoes and fit perfectly.
This is a fast read and you really owe it to yourself to pick up a copy and enjoy a reading treat. While the movie was sort of nice, it simply was no where near the quality of the actual book. Very much recommend this one. There certainly are worse ways to spend a couple of hours! For the life of me I cannot think of a negative thing to say about this work.
Marty tells you secrets like keeping Shiloh forever. Marty also tells personal experiences like taking a piece of his sister's chocolate Easter bunny. Marty was like me because if I saw a dog that was being abused I would take the dog and care for it. I didn't like the cuss words. It was such a good book, I couldn't put it down. Everything went so smoothly. The characters went so well with the story. That is why I would recommend Shiloh for you to read.
By: Chris Henry
The book was unbelievable! It had details that were off the chart! Plus, that kid Marty is such a card. He was back-talking Judd Travers like nobody's business! Also, Marty was so loving to animals.
I just couldn't stay on my seat! Shiloh was so exciting, but could the book be a little more dramatic! I mean I'm not saying it was bad but the book was a little predictable.
Another thing was that I could kind of relate to Marty because when I get mad I kind of get a little angry. But the enthusiasm in that kid...wow!
An amazing thing was that the dog knew exactly what you're saying. When Marty said,"shh!" that dog was all for it! All in all, this book was 5 stars!
So next time you need a good book to read this is a book for you! Pass this around to your mom, dad, sister, brother, grandma, grandpa, aunts, uncles, cousins, your cousin's brothers, and your whole entire family! They will absolutely and positively love this book!
By: Ayianna Moser
Shiloh is an awesome book. There are parts where you just wish weren't there, but there are parts keeping you on the edge of your seat. It's about a dog that is being kicked, unfed, and abused by a person who doesn't treat his dogs correctly. There are parts that will surprise you and you'll be like whoa that really just happened. There are parts that are sad. Marty (the main character) becomes attached to a dog that he finds hunting.
Shiloh follows Marty and doesn't leave him, but Marty can't keep him because it's too much work. I really do recommend this book for dog lovers. There is one part that is sad but you'll be happy to see what the result is. I think the book was surprising, happy, and sad. I say that it could use a little more of a detailed setting. I like the main character because he back talks and I do too. Plus, I also love dogs. I hope you'll enjoy Shiloh. I think you will love it!
By: Brock Allison
Judd mistreats his dog. Our hero Marty rescues the dog and hides it from Judd, and hides what he did from his parents. For most of the book we follow Marty's internal monologues as he justifies to himself what he has done in terms of deceiving and lying in the service of what he sees as a greater good. This is complicated by the fact that the story is set in a time and place where mistreatment of dogs is an accepted practice. It is further complicated by Marty's father's inconsistent guidance. It is also complicated by occasional explicit references to Biblical teachings.
Luckily, the author introduces a happy coincidence and some character transformations that lead us to a happy ending. But on the way there is much to consider and weigh here. So sure, this is a kid's book and it wraps up with a feel good conclusion. And, Marty is mostly aware of the fact that he had to follow a tricky and sometimes dubious path to get to that happy ending.
How much of this is sensed by the third and fourth grade readers to whom the book is directed? I don't know. What does seem clear, though, is that this is the kind of book that should be not only assigned but also carefully discussed. Ends and means are tricky, and I admire a writer who's willing to wade into the middle of those sorts of concepts in the context of a kid's book.
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