Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Naylor, P. (1991). Shiloh. New York: Dell Publishing.

This book is a  1992 Newbery Medal Winner.

Exposition:  Marty is an 11 year old boy who lives with his parents and two sisters in West Virginia.  They are struggling financially but he has a stable home life.
Conflict:  Marty desperately wants a dog but his parents have said that they just don't have the money.
Rising Action:  A puppy shows up at Marty's house, but they realize it belongs to Judd Travers.  Judd Travers is not a nice man and Marty thinks is abuses his dogs. Marty's dad tells him he must give the dog back, which Marty has already named Shiloh.
Climax:  Shiloh comes back to Marty after Marty has already given him back to Judd.  Judd said he would beat the dog for running away, so Marty doesn't tell anyone he has the dog.  He makes a home for the dog away from the house and takes him leftover food.  Marty is so happy to have a dog even if no one knows he has it.
Falling Action: One night Shiloh is attacked by another dog and his family finds out he has been hiding the dog.  His dad is very upset with him and tells him he has to pay for the medical care as well as tell Judd Travers he has had his dog.  Marty is heartbroken about having to give Shiloh back and decides he will run away instead of giving him back.  Then he decides to buy Shiloh from Judd Travers.  He really doesn't have much money but offers to work for Judd to pay for Shiloh.
Resolution:  Judd Travers realizes that the hurt dog will probably be no good for hunting, so he takes Marty up on his offer.  He tries to back out of the deal, but Marty keeps doing what he knows is the right thing and Judd finally comes through and gives Marty Shiloh, free and clear.

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor does a wonderful job of using dialogue and regional dialect to create a story that is believable and enjoyable to read.  Her words paint a picture so that you are able to visualize what she is writing about.  There is a music to the language, with Marty narrating the story in a West Virginia accent, that also makes this a great read aloud.

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