4.5 236
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

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There's nothing eleven-year-old Marty Preston enjoys more than spending time up in the hills behind his home near Friendly, West Virginia.

But this time is different. This time Marty sees a young beagle on the road past the old Shiloh school-house.

Marty feels sure the dog is being abused by his owner. When the dog runs away to Marty's house, his parents say he

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There's nothing eleven-year-old Marty Preston enjoys more than spending time up in the hills behind his home near Friendly, West Virginia.

But this time is different. This time Marty sees a young beagle on the road past the old Shiloh school-house.

Marty feels sure the dog is being abused by his owner. When the dog runs away to Marty's house, his parents say he must bring him back. But it hurts Marty to return the runaway dog to his cruel master.

That's when Marty secretly decides he'll do anything to save the dog he names Shiloh.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In the tradition of Sounder and Where the Red Fern Grows comes this boy-and-his-dog story set in rural West Virginia. When he finds a mistreated beagle pup, 11-year-old Marty knows that the animal should be returned to its rightful owner. But he also realizes that the dog will only be further abused. So he doesn't tell his parents about his discovery, sneaks food for the dog and gets himself into a moral dilemma in trying to do the right thing. Without breaking new ground, Marty's tale is well told, with a strong emphasis on family and religious values. This heartwarming novel should win new fans for the popular Naylor. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-6-- Marty Preston, 11, is a country boy who learns that things are often not what they seem, and that adults are not always ``fair'' in their dealings with other people. Marty finds a stray dog that seems to be abused and is determined to keep it at all costs. Because his family is very poor, without money to feed another mouth, his parents don't want any pets. Subsequently, there is a lot of conflict over the animal within the family and between Marty and Judd Travers, the dog's owner. Honesty and personal relations are both mixed into the story. Naylor has again written a warm, appealing book. However, readers may have difficulty understanding some of the first-person narration as it is written in rural West Virginian dialect. Marty's father is a postman--usually one of the better paying positions in rural areas--yet the family is extremely poor. There seems to be an inconsistency here. This title is not up to Naylor's usual high quality. --Kenneth E. Kowen, Atascocita Middle School Library, Humble, TX
From the Publisher
* “A moving and powerful look at the best and worst of human nature.”—Booklist, starred review

Product Details

Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
Shiloh Series, #1
Product dimensions:
5.07(w) x 7.64(h) x 0.38(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

My favorite place to walk is just across this rattly bridge where the road curves by the old Shiloh schoolhouse and follows the river. River to one side, trees the other-sometimes a house or two.

And this particular afternoon, I'm about half-way up the road along the river when I see something out of the corner of my eye. Something moves. I look, and about fifteen yards off, there's this shorthaired dog — white with brown and black spots — not making any kind of noise, just slinking along with his head down, watching me, tall between his legs like he's hardly got the right to breathe. A beagle, maybe a year or two old.

I stop and the dog stops. Looks like he's been caught doing something awful, when I can tell all he really wants is to follow along beside me.

"Here, boy," I say, slapping my thigh.

Dog goes down on his stomach, groveling about in the grass. I laugh and start over toward him. He's got an old worn-out collar on, probably older than he is. Bet it belonged to another dog before him. "C'mon, boy," I say, putting out my hand.

The dog gets up and backs off. He don't even whimper, like he's lost his bark.

Something really hurts inside you when you see a dog cringe like that. You know somebody's been kicking at him. Beating on him, maybe.

"It's okay, boy," I say, coming a little closer, but still he backs off.

So I just take my gun and follow the river. Every so often I look over my shoulder and there he is, the beagle. I stop; he stops. I can see his ribs — not real bad — but he isn't plumped out or anything.

There's a broken branch hanging from a limb out over the water, and I'm wondering if I can bring it down with one shot. I raise my gun, and then I think how the sound might scare the dog off. I decide I don't want to shoot my gun much that day.

It's a slow river. You walk beside it, you figure it's not even moving. lf you stop, though, you can see leaves and things going along. Now and then a fish jumps — big fish. Bass, I think. Dog's still trailing me, tail tucked in. Funny how he don't make a sound.

Finally I sit on a log, put my gun at my feet, and wait. Back down yhe road, the dog sits, too. Sits right in the middle of it, head on his paws.

"Here, boy!" I say again, an pat my knee.

He wiggles just a little, but he don't come.

Maybe it's a she-dog.

"Here, girl!" I say. Dog still don't come.

I decide to wait the dog out, but after three or four minutes on the log, it gets boring and I start off again. So does the beagle.

Don't know where you'd end up if you followed the river all the way. Heard somebody say it curves about, comes back on itself, but if it didn't and I got home after dark, I'd get a good whopping. So I always go as far as the ford, where the river spills across the path, and then I head back.

When I turn around and the dog sees me coming, he goes off into the woods. I figure that's the last I'll see of the beagle, and I get halfway down the road again before I look back. There he is. I stop. He stops. I go. He goes.

And then, hardly thinking on it, I whistle.

It's like pressing a magic button. The beagle comes barreling toward me, legs going lickety-split, long ears flopping, tall sticking up like a flagpole. This time, when I put out my hand, he Iicks all my fingers and jumps up against my leg, making little yelps in his throat. He can't get enough of me, like I'd been saying no all along and now I'd said yes, he could come. It's a he-dog, like I'd thought.

"Hey, boy! You're really somethin' now, ain't you?" I'm laughing as the beagle makes circles around me. I squat down and the dog licks my face, my neck. Where'd he learn to come if you whistled, to hang back if you didn't?

I'm so busy watching the dog I don't even notice it's started to rain. Don't bother me. Don't bother the dog, neither. I'm looking for the place I first saw him. Does he live here? I wonder. Or the house on up the road? Each place we pass I figure he'll stop — somebody come out and whistle, maybe. But nobody comes out and the dog don't stop. Keeps coming even after we get to the old Shiloh schoolhouse. Even starts across the bridge, tall going like a propeller. He licks my hand every so often to make sure I'm still there — mouth open like he's smiling. He is smiling.

Once he follows me across the bridge, through, and on past the gristmill, I start to worry. Looks like he's fixing to follow me all the way to our house. I'm in trouble enough coming home with my clothes wet. My ma's mama died of pneumonia, and we don't ever get the chance to forget it. And now I got a dog with me, and we were never allowed to have pets.

If you can't afford to feed 'em and take 'em to the vet when they're sick, you've no right taking 'em in, Ma says, which is true enough.

I don't say a word to the beagle the rest of' the way home, hoping he'll turn at some point and go back. The dog keeps coming.

I get to the front stoop and say, "Go home, boy." And then I feel my heart squeeze up the way he stops smiling, sticks his tail between his legs again, and slinks off. He goes as far as the sycamore tree, lies down in the wet grass, head on his paws.

"Whose dog is that?" Ma asks when I come in.

I shrug. "Just followed me, is all."

"Where'd it pick up with you?" Dad asks.

"Up in Shiloh, across the bridge," I say.

"On the road by the river? Bet that's Judd Travers's beagle," says Dad. "He got himself another hunting dog a few weeks back."

"Judd got him a hunting dog, how come he don't treat him right?" I ask.

"How you know he don't?"

"Way the dog acts. Scared to pee, almost," I say.

Ma gives me a look.

"Don't seem to me he's got any marks on him," Dad says, studying him from our window.

Don't have to mark a dog to hurt him, I'm thinking.

"Just don't pay him any attention and he'll go away," Dad says.

"And get out of those wet clothes," Ma tells me. "You want to follow your grandma Slater to the grave?"

I change clothes, then sit down and turn on the TV, which only has two channels. On Sunday afternoons, it's preaching and baseball. I watch baseball for an hour. Then I get up and sneak to the window. Ma knows what I'm about.

"That Shiloh dog still out there?" she asks.

I nod. He's looking at me. He sees me there at the window and his tall starts to thump. I name him Shiloh.

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From the Publisher
* “A moving and powerful look at the best and worst of human nature.”—Booklist, starred review

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Shiloh 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 236 reviews.
5thgradestudents More than 1 year ago
I adore the book,Shiloh,because Shiloh(the dog)comes into Marty's life when he takes a walk. When Marty sees Shiloh he wants to keep him. The problem of this book is Judd Travers,the owner of Shiloh,wants him back. This book will get you emotionally hooked to the end. We really like how many details the author put in because it really makes me imagine the story and helped me understand how they felt.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have you ever loved something so much that you would do any thing for it? Well Marty Preston did. The book Shiloh was written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor and it was the 1992 Newbery Medal Winner. This book is great for people that like realistic fiction books. You should read Shiloh because of the amazing story plot and the amazing characters. This is incredible story about a friendship like no other. This book has an amazing story plot. I loved the idea of Marty keeping Shiloh a secret from the rest of the rest family. I liked it because it keeps you on the edge of you seat, wondering what will happen next to Marty and Shiloh. Another thing I liked about the plot are the things that Marty did to keep Shiloh a secret from everyone else he knew. One thing Marty did was Marty did is that he was always up on the hill behind his family's house where Shiloh was. Another thing he did is that Marty put squash and other foods away for Shiloh to eat later, but his mom knew that Marty did not like squash. The last thing is that Marty would lie to people to keep Shiloh secret. One person he lied to is his friend, David Howers. He said that David was not allowed to come over to his house because his mom's head was hurting her and that she did not won't anyone to come over. I thought that this was a very good book about a boy and a dog. The next thing I liked about the book was the characters. One of the characters that I liked was Judd Traverse. I liked Judd even though he was the bad guy in the book. One thing that Judd did that I did not like, but made the story better was that he was mean to his dogs. One thing Judd did is that he starved his dogs to make them hunt better. Another thing he did is that he kicked his dogs to tell them to go away. I liked him because he added to the book. I think this because if he was not in the it would have not have been as good. That is why I think Judd is a good character. In my opinion Shiloh was an amazing story. I liked it for its unique story plot and for its strong characters. If you like fun and powerful books then this is a book for you. Written by the question mark?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was good I read it 2 times! It was sad. But it was touching. People should read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book so much that i could read it all night and this book is amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can a boy keep a secret about a mistreated dog that he is keeping hidden from his cruel owner? In the Newberry Honors book Shiloh. Marty Preston struggles to keep an abused beagle from its master who mistreats it everyday. This book is a great family story and is excellent for young readers. You will love this book, when you read it will astonish you and leave you breathless. You should read this book. I am very curious about the sad child hood of Judd Travers. Although Judd Travers is an unfriendly person he seems to have a soft spot for people caring about his childhood, like when he was driving Marty to his friend's house Judd told Marty about his sad childhood and how he was wacked with a belt if he did something bad. Marty said that he felt bad for Judd; once Judd heard this he got emotional and said that no one had ever said something like that to him. While most people think of Judd as a grumpy mean old man Marty knows he has a soft spot and is kind inside of him. I extremely enjoy the friendship of Marty and Shiloh. I like this part because Marty treats Shiloh very well, almost like a human. For example when Marty and his dad went to Judd Travers house to return Shiloh Judd gave Shiloh a kick on the behind for running away. When Marty and his dad were driving away Marty was crying because Judd mistreated Shiloh. While most people do not like dogs it's different for Marty Preston, His best friend is a dog! Overall this is a great book. It has plenty of details and is very heartwarming. I love the friendship of Marty and Shiloh and I'm still a little curious about Judd's feelings. This book is a superb masterpiece of writing. Once you read this book it will leave you smiling about how a boy and a dog become best friends. slipknotfan96
sizzlesoda More than 1 year ago
Introduction This wonderful story is about Marty Preston, a boy who finds a young beagle who acts like he has been highly mistreated and needs someone to save him. Marty calls the dog Shiloh. Description and summary of main points Marty realizes that Shiloh is not his dog but he doesn’t want to return the dog to the cruel Judd Travers because he knows that Judd beats his dogs. Marty is torn between the right things to do for Shiloh but still not lie and to obey the law. Marty knows that keeping Shiloh is not right but it is better than sending him to Judd who will beat him and might shoot him. Shiloh is very important to Marty so he will do everything in his power to save the dog. Evaluation This book surprised me. I thought it was going to be a boring story about a dog but it is more than that it is about a friendship that is as strong as steel. I am glad I chose to read this story. Conclusion Marty works hard for Judd to earn money for Shiloh but Judd may try to use Marty for his own benefit and not give him the dog. Marty works for days to get Shiloh. Marty thinks he earned Shiloh but will Judd go back on his promise? Your final review “Shiloh” is a wonderful book and I recommend it to anyone that has a soft spot in their heart for a dog or any animal. I very much enjoyed this book.
savannahv More than 1 year ago
This intense yet heart- warming novel Shiloh sends you on an emotional twisting and turning roller coaster ride. You will be sitting on the edge of your seat anxiously reading and awaiting. Stuck between a rock and a hard place Marty breaks his back to save the life of a dog named Shiloh, whether it comes to getting himself in a pot of boiling water or lying to everyone he knows. The hopeless beagle escapes from the horrific owner to Marks rescue. Fighting with the world to save Shiloh's life can't spare much more time, the clock is running out! Marty, carrying a 22 rifle shooting anything standing in his path home, was strolling down the dirt road just past the Ratty Bridge by the old School house that was his favorite place to walk, a dog comes out in the middle of no where, and follows Marty home, with the beagle very skittish, signaling abuse. Marty couldn't leave that homeless stray all alone and afraid, knowing what his parents would say if they found out He would be taking a ride to the pound before nightfall. Marty deceitfully hides Shiloh on the hillside behind their house for seem like an eternity. What's next? Well the worst is yet to come when Marty successfully keeps Shiloh in the back for months without ever spraying a word even to his best friend Danny not making one little mistake until now. One night Marty Forgets to cover the cage to protect Shiloh from death seeking creatures that lurk the land throughout the night. Will Marty continue to keep Shiloh a secret or is there even a Shiloh let to save. Filled with jaw dropping details Phyllis Reynolds wrote this novel due to an experience she witnessed when she took a sudden trip to West Virginia where she seen a dog similar to the condition Shiloh was in when Marty spotted him. The sight of the poor stray dog kept haunting her until she wrote her thoughts down on paper; in result the novel Shiloh was created. Phyllis Reynolds also explains the harsh reality that happens every day with abusive pet owners. However, some are not so lucky to find new owners, what is the world coming to these days. Would you go through what Marty went through to save a stray?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can two humans really fight over a small beagle? Then Shiloh might be the perfect book for you. It's a spectacular, realistic fiction book written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. It's about an eleven year old boy named Marty, a greedy horrible man named Judd Travers, and Judd's dog (Marty named him Shiloh after the classic Shiloh schoolhouse). Marty Preston is up in the creek, and finds a small beagle, and followed Marty to his house. Shiloh might be the perfect book for you. The author was very interesting with the characters Marty Preston, and Judd Travers in Shiloh. If Judd and Marty trusted each other, Judd Travers wouldn't be greedy, and it would make the story less interesting. There has to be at least one bad guy. Judd confessed to Marty that he was abused by his own father, but Judd doesn't want Marty to feel sorry for him. Also, Marty saw Judd shoot a doe out of season, and he did not approve it. The author wrote lots of good characters and a few bad characters. I thank the author for using the talents of an eleven year old boy, and a man who fight over a tiny beagle. I think the story should stay the way it is, because the events are just fantastic. Judd was abused by his own father when he was four. But then, when Judd grew into a man, he abused his own dog that has a brilliant imagination. So what are you waiting for? Turn off that television, and go to a book store or library and find the book Shiloh today. Genus boy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry about that first one,but Naylor please write another awsome Shiloh book,I know I'm on Shiloh Season but please,write another awsome Shiloh book,please.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could imagine everything happening in the book. I haven't finished the book, but its kind of sad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book for all ages! YOU MUST READ IT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My whole school is reading this book
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm thirteen years old and have been reading a lot of great dog books. This book in particular is probably my favorite. I don't want to spoil anything, so all I am going to say is it tells a story about a young boy who is determined to keep Shiloh. I couldn't put the book down once I started to read. I would probably suggest this book to anyone who loves dogs. And I especially reccomend it to people who have yet to find a dog book with a pleasing ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shiloh was a read aloud in my 4 th grade class and in the whole entire 4 th grade. Everyone started crying at the end.I loved it.I could NOT STOP talking about it
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everyone needs to read this book. It's good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book nearly made me cry it was jampacked with awesomeness but there wre barley any jokes.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
B B Jn.l K
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is so sad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would save a dog like marty did.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book i also fell in love with Shiloh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shiloh is a wonderful book and it has a lot of meaning in it, if you really truly love something, prove you will do anything to make sure its safe, happy, and yours! This book is very very heart touching story BTW my name is JASMINE TSANG
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If i didn't have Shiloh on the Earth, i woul be ever devistated. Shiloh is about a little lost dog taken in and hiden from his mistreating master. Will he be kept a secret?