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Shiloh (The Shiloh Quartet) Paperback – September 1, 2000
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
more for an older child i would think but i did enjoy reading itPublished 3 days ago by linda miranda
Love reading this book to my 5th graders. They love it as well. It is always a hit very year!Published 24 days ago by Kerry Rice
Was bought as a book for a friend's kids and was told that they loved it and that they would recommend this for other little kids :)Published 29 days ago by Jennifer Dennis
This book was the best best best best book ever ever ever ever ever ever ever! Thanks for such a good book!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I am a 4th grade teacher and would highly recommend this story for this age/grade. This book is a wonderful story of empathy, love, and kindness toward animals. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Angela MacLean
This is one of the greatest books ever created. With Protagonist attempting to get the dog, it really shows how much he loves him. Read morePublished 1 month ago