Shiloh Book Poster Image




In taut, unforgettable drama, nothing is simple.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive role models

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.

Not applicable

Rare mild religious profanity.

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Judd drinks and chews tobacco.

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.

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. 

Families can talk 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

Author:Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Simon & Schuster
Publication date:January 1, 1991
Number of pages:144
Award:Newbery Medal and Honors

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Teen, 15 years old Written byMisty waterfall January 4, 2011

Perfect for older kids

IT WAS A GREAT BOOK. There was some violence so dont let young kids read the book. I love dogs so dog books are good for me.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Great role models
Adult Written bycaitlin89 September 17, 2009

Really good!

I read this book and it broke my heart to see someone abuse an animal like that! I read it once and that was it! It was a great book, but I still can't get through it without crying!
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 obviously wasn't edited very well,and who wants to read about "a young boy going against a scary(HA) man to save an abused dog? wort book ever DON"T READ THIS BOOK OR TRILOGY!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking