Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
Shiloh Book Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
In taut, unforgettable drama, nothing is simple.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 16 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 27 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Marty lies to his parents and others, sneaks out, and acts deceitfully.


A German shepherd savages Shiloh; Judd beats his dogs. Every scene Judd is in is frightening; the German shepherd attacks Shiloh.


Rare mild religious profanity.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Judd drinks and chews tobacco.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids love this edge-of-the-seat story of a boy going up against a really scary mean man to protect an abused dog.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMrs.Teacher February 26, 2020

Great book.

I have read this book many different years with groups of fourth graders. I wanted to write a review after reading the others submitted so far. Judd is shown... Continue reading
Adult Written byJ T. March 9, 2018


The review from Common Sense Media doesn't mention that there is cussing in this children's book. Not okay.
Teen, 13 years old Written bysqwert90 October 7, 2014

worst book i've ever read!

this book was the worst book i've ever read. my whole class had to read it for an assignment. almost everone in the class complained about grammar. it obvi... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old May 18, 2020


this is a great book i like shiloh

What's the story?

When Marty hides a beagle from Judd Travers, the meanest man around, he thinks he's protecting the dog from abuse. But it means lying to his parents and sneaking around. Worse, Shiloh ends up in more danger than ever. Nothing is simple in this taut, unforgettable drama.


Is it any good?

This nerve-wracking and memorable story challenges readers to think for themselves -- and refuses to make things easy.

At first, the situation in SHILOH seems clear: Judd is mean, and Marty is heroically trying to protect a defenseless dog. But things soon become less clear-cut, and Marty's actions inadvertently cause Shiloh to suffer far more seriously than he did at Judd's hands. And keeping Shiloh away from Judd seems to drag Marty increasingly into behavior that he knows is wrong. He slides rapidly down the slope of the ends justifying the means, which are increasingly dishonest.

Finally, Marty's choices narrow to trying to decide on the lesser of evils, rather than choosing what is clearly right, and in the end the biggest lesson the book seems to teach is that nothing is as simple as it seems. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about right and wrong.

  • Do you ever feel mixed up about what's right and what's wrong?

  • Is Marty justified in keeping secrets from his family?

  • Do you think the deal between Marty and Judd is fair?

Book details

For kids who love animal friends

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