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Shiloh Book Summary

by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


Shiloh is a heartwarming and suspenseful story about a young boy named Marty who finds and befriends an abused beagle. Marty must make difficult choices and stand up for what he believes is right in order to protect Shiloh and give him a loving home.

Table of contents

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Author & Writing Background

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is a prolific author of children’s and young adult books, known for her realistic and relatable characters. Her works often explore themes of family, friendship, and overcoming challenges. Shiloh is one of her most well-known and beloved novels, having won the Newbery Medal in 1992.

Key Takeaways

Marty’s Discovery

Eleven-year-old Marty Preston finds a beagle hiding in the hills near his home and immediately feels a connection with him. He names the dog Shiloh and learns that he belongs to Judd Travers, a harsh and neglectful hunter.

Ethical Dilemma

Marty witnesses Judd’s mistreatment of Shiloh and is torn between returning the dog to his rightful owner and protecting him from further abuse.

Secret Keeping

Marty hides Shiloh in a pen near his home, keeping him a secret from his family and especially from Judd Travers.

Responsibility and Care

Marty takes full responsibility for Shiloh’s well-being, providing him with food, shelter, and love.

Facing Fears

Marty confronts his fears and stands up to Judd, refusing to let Shiloh be harmed any further.

Empathy and Compassion

The story explores themes of empathy and compassion for animals, highlighting the importance of treating them with kindness and respect.

Consequences of Choices

Marty learns that his actions have consequences and must deal with the repercussions of keeping Shiloh a secret.

The Power of Determination

Marty’s determination and unwavering love for Shiloh ultimately lead to a positive outcome for both of them.

FAQ about Shiloh

What age group is Shiloh appropriate for?

Shiloh is generally recommended for children between the ages of 8 and 12, although it can be enjoyed by readers of all ages who appreciate heartwarming stories about animals and the bond between humans and pets.

Is Shiloh based on a true story?

While the specific story of Shiloh is fictional, the author, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, drew inspiration from real-life experiences and observations of animal neglect and the importance of animal welfare.

Are there sequels to Shiloh?

Yes, Shiloh is the first book in a series that follows Marty and Shiloh’s adventures. The sequels include Shiloh Season, Saving Shiloh, and A Shiloh Christmas.

Shiloh Quotes

  • ”He was mine, and I knew it the minute I saw him. I just knew it."
  • "A lie don’t seem a lie anymore when it’s meant to save a dog."
  • "Sometimes a fella has to do things that hurt, for things that matter more.”