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Saving Shiloh (Shiloh Quartet Series #3)

Saving Shiloh (Shiloh Quartet Series #3)

4.8 27
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, Kerr

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Marty's parents think so — even Judd Travers, whose history of drinking and violence keeps Marty from completely trusting that his beloved dog, Shiloh, will always be safe from Judd.
"Some people just seem to attract trouble," Marty's Ma says, and Judd attracts the sort of trouble that makes it hard to


Marty's parents think so — even Judd Travers, whose history of drinking and violence keeps Marty from completely trusting that his beloved dog, Shiloh, will always be safe from Judd.
"Some people just seem to attract trouble," Marty's Ma says, and Judd attracts the sort of trouble that makes it hard to believe he's really changed. First, the police find the body of a man who'd fought with Judd. Then, a vicious attack forces Judd to kill one of his dogs. But just when it seems Judd will never be able to escape the shadow of his past, a dangerous accident gives him the chance to prove himself. Can Judd Travers actually become a hero?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Reads like a nail-biting mystery...Gripping and ultimately satisfying. [A] masterfully written conclusion to a sterling trilogy."

Booklist, starred review

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The finale to Naylor's Shiloh trilogy "retains the same flavorful style" of its predecessors, said PW, and favors a "high-action plot, involving dead bodies, runaway prisoners and life-and-death rescues." Ages 8-12. (Feb.)
Children's Literature - Melinda Medley Sprinkle
Despite the title, Marty's treasured beagle is not the primary focus of this third and final Shiloh story. This concluding book centers on Judd Travers, the angry and hostile man from the first two books in the series. He has begun to change his wicked ways; therefore, he becomes less violent and even neighborly toward others. Marty is willing to give Judd a second change, but the small, West Virginia community is not so open-minded. They charge him with community robberies and even murder. In the climax, Judd risks his own life to save Shiloh, an act that brings true forgiveness and reconciliation between him and Marty. Only readers familiar with the first two books will be able to understand and appreciate how far Judd has come and why Marty begins to question his own judgement. This final volume in the trilogy is full of unexpected twists causing moral values and beliefs to come into sharp focus. Beginning with the Newbery Medal winner, Shiloh and its sequel, Shiloh Season, this final book completes the wonderful story. 1999 (orig.
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7The final volume in what is certain to become a classic trilogy, Saving Shiloh completes the story of Marty Preston; his beagle, Shiloh; and his neighbor, Judd Travers, begun in Shiloh (1991) and continued in Shiloh Season (1996, both Atheneum). Marty and his family try to help Judd change his mean ways, treating him with respect and trusting him, even while rumors persist in the community that he has murdered a man and is responsible for a series of robberies. Marty struggles to understand whether someone can change, and whether everyone deserves a second chance. In the story's climax, a flooded river that sweeps away Marty's sister and Shiloh provides the setting for the boy's questions to be answered and Judd to become an unlikely hero. The redemptive power of trust and caring is clear; Marty learns that people, like dogs, can change if they are treated well. He also realizes that Judd's own childhood abuse contributed to his behavior. The West Virginia setting is wonderfully rendered, the dialect is authentic, the characters are memorable, and the narration is nicely paced. Marty's voice, so sincere and endearing, contributes greatly to the book's success. This powerful story of redemption leaves readers feeling good. While it can stand alone, readers won't want to miss the experience of reading the whole trilogy.Connie Tyrrell Burns, Mahoney Middle School, South Portland, ME
Kirkus Reviews
In this story of a boy and his dog, and the brutal, angry man who finds the road to redemption at last, Naylor rounds off a trilogy that began with Shiloh (1991).

The good news is that the dog doesn't die, although Marty, the narrator, gives readers that impression on the first page. Judd Travers has stopped drinking and become less hostile; nonetheless, years of bad feelings have left their mark, and his is the name that comes up most often in conjunction with a murder and some local robberies. Marty is half-willing to give Judd the benefit of the doubt—and so defends the man to schoolmates on the bus, and even pays him an occasional visit. Judd shows signs of authentic human feeling, actually laughing and joking (readers of the first two books will be shocked), and grieving when he must kill one of his hunting dogs. Judd proves innocent of the crimes, too, and in the climax risks his life to save Shiloh from drowning. That earns a hug from Marty, and only readers familiar with the first books will be able to appreciate how far Judd has come when he hugs back. Subplots and extraneous incidents loosen the story's weave, but Naylor's use of present tense adds immediacy to events, and Marty's path to reconciliation with Judd, and to a parallel truce with his pesky little sister Dara Lynn, will go straight to readers' hearts.

Product Details

Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
Shiloh Quartet Series , #3
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.12(w) x 7.62(h) x 0.60(d)
1020L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

There's one last thing to say about Shiloh before the story's over. I guess a dog's story ain't — isn't — ever over, even after he dies, 'cause if you lose a pet, you still go on loving him. But I couldn't bring myself to tell this part until now; of all the stuff that's happened, this was the scariest, and just thinking on it starts my hands to sweat.

When I first tried to get Shiloh from Judd Travers, who was treating that dog meaner than mud, at least there was a chance that if I couldn't have him for my own, Judd would let him live.

And even after Judd turns his beagle over to me, then starts drinkin' and talkin' ugly, there's hope he never meant it. But sometimes hope seems out of human hands entirely, and when the third thing happened . . . well, here's all that's left to tell.

Next to Christmas, I guess, Halloween is big in West Virginia — out where we live, anyway, which is the little community of Shiloh, up the winding road from Friendly there on the Ohio River. It's because I first saw the little dog here in Shiloh that I named him what I did.

To get to our house, you go through this place called Little — you'll know it by the church — and you keep going along Middle Island Creek, wide as a river, till you see this old falling-down gristmill. It's right by this rusty bridge, and just over the bridge, you'll see the old Shiloh schoolhouse. SHILOH SCHOOL — 1920-1957, reads a sign above the door, like a gravestone or something. I seen plenty of buildings got the date on them when they were built, but I never seen a building got the date when it died.

We live on the side of the creek near the mill, up the lane in a two-bedroom house. You sit out on the steps of an evening, don't move even your little finger, and pretty soon a buck will step out of the trees, a doe or two behind him, and parade across your field just as grand as you please. Now you tell me how many sixth-grade boys in the United States of America got somethin' like that to look on!

"What you going to be for Halloween next year, Marty?" asks Dara Lynn at supper. Halloween is over and gone, see, and already my skinny seven-year-old sister is thinkin' about the next. With her there's never no question. She dresses up like a witch every single year just so Ma can paint her fingernails black.

"I don't know," I tell her. "A ghoul, maybe."

"What's a ghoul?" asks Becky, who's three.

"Halfway between a ghost and a zombie," I say.

"Like a vampire?" asks Dara Lynn. Dara Lynn's big on vampires.

"New. Its skin is green, and it don't suck blood," I say.

"Marty!" Ma scolds, nodding toward my littlest sister.

We're having biscuits with sausage gravy for dinner, and there's nothing in the world I love more than sausage gravy. Except Shiloh, of course. And Shiloh loves that gravy, too, 'cause all through supper he's sittin' beside my chair with his muzzle on my leg, just waiting for me to finish up and pass that plate down to him so's he can lick up every last bit.

"I'm going to be a bunny," says Becky.

"Bunnies don't scare no one!" says Dara Lynn. "Why don't you be a pirate or something?"

"I don't want to scare no one," says Becky.

I guess there are two things I love more than sausage gravy: Shiloh and Becky.

Dad's washing up at the sink. We wait for him if we can, but sometimes his mail route takes longer than he thinks, and Becky gets hungry, so we eat.

"Passed by Sweeneys' house on the way home, and two of those straw men they rigged up on their porch have fallen over and been dragged out in the yard by their dogs," Dad says, sitting down at the table. "Look like a couple of drunks keeled over on the grass."

"Those straw men in overalls don't scare nobody," says Dara Lynn. "I want a dead man on our porch next Halloween with a face as white as flour."

"What's Shiloh going to be?" chirps Becky.

"He ain't going to be anything but his own self," I tell her. "Nobody messing with my dog."

"All this talk of Halloween, when Thanksgiving's right around the corner!" says Ma.

I guess there isn't that much to holler about where we live, so when a special day comes along, you want to hang on to it — keep Halloween stuff around till Christmas, and Christmas lights goin' till Easter. I'm thinking how Ma wouldn't let us go trick-or-treating this year, though — not by ourselves.

"Houses too far apart for you kids to be walking out on the road," she'd said.

Well, the houses weren't any farther apart this year than last, and Dara Lynn and me went out then. But this time Dad drove us to the Halloween parade in Sistersville, and we had to do all our trick-ortreating there. I knew Ma was thinking of Judd Travers and the accident he'd had a month ago out on the road, drunk as he was. Knew she didn't want some other drunk to run his car into one of us.

Dara Lynn must have guessed what I'm thinking, 'cause she jokes, "We could always stuff Judd Travers and put him up on our porch. He'd scare off anybody."

"Hush," scolds Ma.

"There's enough talk going around about Judd Travers without you adding your two cents' worth," says Dad.

My ears prick up right quick. "What kind of talk?"

"None that makes one bit of sense," Dad tells me. "The man paid his fine for drunk driving, he busted up his leg and his truck besides, and as far as I can tell, he's trying to turn himself around. You'd think folks would want to help."

"I thought they were," I say. "Whelan's Garage fixed his truck up for him; people were takin' him groceries...."

"That was when he was flat on his back, when he was really down. Now that he's on his feet again, there's the feeling around here that he got off way too easy. Heard Ed Sholt say as much down at the hardware store last week. Said we ought to keep Judd on the hot seat, let him know his kind wasn't wanted around here, and maybe he'd move somewhere else."

That sure would solve a lot of problems, I'm thinking. Ma wouldn't be so afraid for us kids out on the road, Dad wouldn't have to worry about Judd hunting up in our woods where a stray bullet could find its way down to our place, and I could rest easy that Judd wouldn't look for excuses to take Shiloh back; that he wouldn't hurt my dog out of spite, he ever got the chance. I think maybe I like the idea just fine.

"But what if he doesn't move?" says Ma. "What if everybody starts treatin' him worse'n dirt, and he stays right where he is?"

And suddenly I see a meaner Judd Travers than we ever saw before. Madder, too. I think how he used to kick Shiloh — even took a shot at the log where Shiloh and me were sitting once. A meaner Judd than that?

"Way I look at it," Dad goes on, "is that Judd's doing fine so far, and we ought to wait and see what happens."

Dara Lynn's got a mouth on her, though. "Ha! He's still got his leg in a cast," she says. "Get that cast off, and he'll be just as bad as before."

"Well, I believe in giving a man a second chance," Dad tells her.

"Beginning now," says Ma, fixing her eyes on us. "Your dad and I have talked about it, and we're inviting Judd here for Thanksgiving dinner."

Dara Lynn rolls her eyes and falls back in her chair. "Good-bye turkey!" she says, meaning she won't have no appetite come the fourth Thursday in November. As for me, I lose my appetite that very minute and set my plate on the floor.

Copyright© 1997 by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
"Reads like a nail-biting mystery...Gripping and ultimately satisfying. [A] masterfully written conclusion to a sterling trilogy."

Booklist starred review

Meet the Author

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has written more than 135 books, including the Newbery Award–winning Shiloh and the Alice series. She lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland. To hear from Phyllis and find out more about Alice, visit AliceMcKinley.com.

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Saving Shiloh 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dog abuse, alcoholism, and a loving new owner all describe the story of "Saving Shiloh" by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. A novel suitable for ages 9-13, this realistic fiction novel also has a little bit of mystery in it. Possibly one of her best pieces of work, Ms. Naylor does an excellent job developing the theme which deals with the importance of treating others like you want to be treated and at the same time, keeping her reader's attention. The story is set in West Virginia and opens up with Marty getting a dog. As the novel unfolds, it is revealed that the dog has been mistreated by his former owner, a man named Judd Travers. Judd is trying to overcome his past, but his reputation won't let him. His problem with alcohol, combined with the public's view of him, make him the suspect in the death of a fellow named Ben. It takes the friendship of one young boy, Marty, to help unravel the mess. While this is an outstanding novel, I believe the best part is when Marty helps Judd realize what his trouble is and also helps him to overcome his problems. In conclusion, I would recommend this novel to anyone who needs inspiration.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved Shiloh and Shiloh Season. I read them both in one day! That Vicky person is not a good reader if she couldn't see the greatness in this book. Trust me read Shiloh and Shiloh Season then read this book. I love animals and this was the perfect book for me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this series, it's got awesome written all over it, it's inspiring, and it encouraged me to get a dog.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book and i think its good for kids but it didnt come with the pics it said it would. I give it a 5 star for the book and 4 stars cuz theres no pics. But i love this book and would read it to a child. It has sad parts. Parts with some bad words but maybe 4 or 5 in the whole series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just read this book today. It made me cry ;.)..
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book read it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book!{lovev Im in 3rd grade and we are reading the shiloh: And we are reading saving shiloh ALL OF MY CLASS MATS SCAREM WEN MY TEACHER {MIS CARMELLO} PUTS THE BOOK MARK BACK i love this book the best
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shiloh is so smart and this book is good and awesome so far! Saving Shiloh is good for ages 8-13! If you have any more questions that you want me to answer! Just put in your review "this is for "long hair girl" and I will reply to you! Bye the way this book is highly requested!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I realy like the2nd one the best especialy the movie . This was a realy good book for ages(8-14)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Marty you can do it save shiloh
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Marty Preston has saved Shiloh, that had been mistreated by Judd Travers, so he works hard to get Shiloh from him and now he feels like he should save all the other dogs Judd has. Will he end up letting the other dogs just suffer? Find out in Saving Shiloh.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought The Trilogy of Shiloh was wonderful, the grammer is that of like the 60's and 70's but it is still really good i read 1 and 2 in one day!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Saving Shiloh is a book written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, and I gave it four stars. This mystery is the third book of the shiloh series. One of my favorite things is the winter setting and how the author describes fantastically. Judd Travers, Shiloh's original owner is having many bad things happening. I love controversy in a novel. That's what happens to Judd and his community. They are accusing him of stealing just because of his past. Even better for him he accidentally killed one of his dogs while an attack. I like everybody loves a great drama. What makes drama great is a conflict, then a resolution.The conflict in this book is Judd and his neighbors accusing him wrongly. That is mainly why I love this book. Marty, Shiloh's current owner is basically the only person who believes Judd. He even goes to his house to help him. One great thing about this book is the mystery. Marty and his best friend are actually trying to figure out the person who's been stealing valuables. That is why this book is so interesting to me. The wind up at the old Shiloh school house and find the stolen stuff. That really made me fell like I was a part of the book, investigating. Those are the books I really enjoy. When they informed the sheriff, they found two orange jumpsuits, from jail. The sheriff said it must have been two escapees, which cleard Judd's name. I was surprised, and I couldn't put the book down. Hopefully you too will enjoy this book as much as I did.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so good! Once uou read it you will know that this book deserves 5 stars. Not 1 like this Vicky person rated it! She says that she is a good reader! How can she be a good reader if she read this book in 3 months because she couldn't understand the gammer? Huh? When I read this book in 1 (as in one!) day? The grammer should't puzzle you at all! Trust me! This book is EXCELLENT!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book tells the story of a boy Marty and his family. Shiloh his dog was given to him from a man named Judd in the book Shiloh. judd is a man who is very mean to his dogs. In this book Judd learns a lesson and treats his dogs good. Marty has a sister Dara Lyn and Beacky
Guest More than 1 year ago
SHIILOH SEASON is the best of the three Shiloh books. THrough the whole book, I wondered if Judd would do something to Shiloh. A great book for dog lovers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Best book ever. I want a dog now . Never give up
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago