Monday, December 26, 2011

Bibliophile's Corner

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Flap Copy description:
Eleven-year-old Marty Preston loves to spend time up in the hills behind his home near Friendly, West Virginia. Sometimes he takes his .22 rifle to see what he can shoot, like some cans lined up on a rail fence. Other times he goes up early in the morning just to sit and watch the fox and deer.

But one summer Sunday, Marty comes across something different on the road just past the old Shiloh schoolhouse - a young beagle - and the trouble begins.

What do you do when a dog you suspect is being mistreated runs away and comes to you? When it's someone else's dog? When the man who owns him has a gun? This is Marty's problem, and he finds it is one he has to face alone. When his situation gets too big for him to handle, things become more frightening still. Marty puts his courage on the line, and discovers in the process that it is not always easy to separate right from wrong. Sometimes, however, you do almost anything to save a dog.

My thoughts:
Shiloh is a middle grade novel set in the back woods of West Virginia. The heart-felt tale deals with the complexities of making difficult choices as an adolescent in an adult world. The plot and character development were somewhat weak and the pace a bit slow for me. However, the insight to the main character's heart was wonderful! Ms. Naylor won the Newbery Medal Award for Shiloh in 1992. I would recommend this book to the young reader who loves animals.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard of this book, but I haven't ever read it. I admittedly don't read as many contemporary/realistic novels, though. Thanks for the review! I wonder if a lot of animal stories ARE written slower paced. Hmm!