is a Newbery Medal
-winning children's novel
by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
published in 1991
. The 65th book by Naylor, it is the first in a trilogy about a young boy and the title character
, an abused dog. Naylor decided to write Shiloh
after an emotionally taxing experience in West Virgina when she encountered an abused dog.
Narrator and protagonist Marty Preston lives in the hills of Friendly, West Virginia
. After finding an abused beagle
owned by his brutal neighbor Judd Travers, Marty defies his society's standards of not meddling with each others' business. Marty resolves to steal and hide the dog, naming him Shiloh and fabricating a web of lies to keep his secret. After his theft is discovered, Marty discovers Judd shooting a deer out of season and blackmails him into selling Shiloh to him. Because he lacks the money to buy Shiloh, Marty resolutely works for Judd doing numerous chores.
Primarily a Bildungsroman
and adventure novel
, the novel depicts the emotional tribulations and maturing of an 11-year-old boy. According to scholars, the novel's main themes are ethics
, religion and morality, and animal–human relationships. Marty learns that morality is confounding and must choose between two unpalatable choices: rescuing the abused Shiloh through stealing and lying and allowing Judd to keep abusing Shiloh.
Reviewers generally gave positive reviews of the book and were impressed by the novel's suspense and the vernacular language. In addition to the... Read More