Item description for Shiloh Movie Tie-in by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor...
Outline ReviewWhen 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.
When Marty Preston comes across a young beagle in the hills behind his home, it's love at first sight -- and also big trouble. It turns out the dog, which Marty names Shiloh, belongs to Judd Travers, who drinks too much and has a gun -- and abuses his dogs. So when Shiloh runs away from Judd to Marty, Marty just has to hide him and protect him from Judd. But Marty's secret becomes too big for him to keep to himself, and it exposes his entire family to Judd's anger. How far will Marty have to go to make Shiloh his?
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This is a fantastic book for all ages. Shiloh deals with important ethical issues that anyone can relate to. I especially recommend this book for middle school students, as I think they will find its message especially compelling.
In 1990, Shiloh won the coveted Newbery Award. It is a quick fiction read, with only 156 pages. According to Scholastic, the book is at a Grade Level equivalent of 4-6, a Lexile Framework of 890, or a 5.6 Reading Level.
Shiloh tells the story of Marty, an eleven-year old boy living in rural West Virginia. His family has close relationship and strong values. Living in the country, there is an established set of social norms that all families live by. When Marty stumbles across a young beagle hiding behind a bush, he is forced to grapple with these strict social norms in his quest to define right from wrong.
After spotting the Beagle, Marty notices that the dog won't stop following him. The dog is skinny and desperately in need of a meal and some love. After coxing the dog into his arms, Marty quickly falls in love with his new found friend. He names him Shiloh, and because of his owners apparent neglect and abuse, Marty vows to take care of him.
Marty quickly discovers that the dog belongs to ornery man by the name of Judd Travers. After taking care of Shiloh for some time, his parents discover the dog and demand that Marty return him to his owner. In spite of his better instincts, Marty returns Shiloh to Judd Travers.
Adding to the plot, Shiloh manages to escape again and find his way back to Marty. This time Marty is faced with a difficult ethical dilemma: should he return the dog to his abusive owner, or should he defy his parents to keep and protect Shiloh?
After an accident in the woods, Marty's parents once again discover his secret. Despite their growing affection for the dog, his parents demand that he return the dog again to its rightful owner. At this point , Marty is so desperate to keep the dog, he offers to do almost any thing for Judd, so long as he can have Shiloh back.
The book is riveting and keeps the reader engaged all the way to the last page. The characters are well developed; the reader truly feels Marty's pain as he grapples with his difficult situation. This book is a must read for all animal lovers or anyone learning to make difficult decisions.
As a caveat, children without a rural background may have trouble understanding or relating to Shiloh. The book uses beautiful imagery to describe the scenery of rural West Virginia; however, this may not appeal to someone who grew up in an urban setting.
A doglover's book Feb 26, 2008
This is a wonderful book that well describes the meaning "dog is man's best friend." Shiloh is about a boy named Marty and a dog named Shiloh. Shiloh is an abused dog so Marty tries to save him. This is a very adventurous and exiting book that I would recommend to anyone of any age.
a poorly written book! Dec 12, 2007
This book is a poorly written adventure. From the start you know that he is going to get the dog in the end. It is not an enjoyable reader its just a book torchering you to stop all the way through it. Its insigneficant charecters have no meaning they all seem to go against marty, and are all cruel. This is a book of pain, dont read it. It will waste your money and your time.
Another Stupid Book Aug 29, 2007
Every single book I've had to read in school has stunk and this one is no exception. It was boring and so dumb I could barely finish it. I just wish we could read good books like Harry Potter or any book by Nancy Farmer
A well loved classic that deserves your time and affection... Jun 15, 2007
`Shiloh' was one of my favorite novels as a young boy. I can still remember reading it in school and being fascinated with the concept, with the storyline and underlining morals that forced me to think about things in a way I never had before. The overall plot may seem to be simple enough. A young boy named Marty finds a beagle he names Shiloh (after the place he found him). The dog, as it so happens, is being abused by his master Judd and Marty vows to rescue the dog whatever way he can. The great thing about `Shiloh' is that it's not that simple.
Phyllis Reynolds Naylor beautifully creates a moral battle within this young boy and everyone around him. Ethically taking this dog would be stealing, and stealing is wrong. But on the other hand of ethics there is the fact that bringing this dog back to his owner would mean subjecting a helpless creature to pain and fear. When his parents are telling him the right thing is to return the animal that is not rightly his, but his heart is telling him that returning him is not an option Marty has to decide for himself the right path to take.
Children's novels have a history of presenting moral issues subtly, but here the conflict of morality is presented bluntly and left for the reader to learn along with Marty. When Marty becomes determined to keep Shiloh any way that he can he comes up with an idea that may appease both side of the issue. I'll leave that for you to read on your own.
Be aware that `Shiloh' is classic children's literature and will remain in your hearts forever after your first reading. It's the definition of satisfying reading no matter what your age is, boy or girl, man or woman I promise that this is not an experience you'll regret. It's a relatable story because it exposes a principle that all humans, children and adults alike with be tested on in there day to day and despite what you may initially think, there's a lot to be learned from this boy and his dog.