A new school year brings new friends, new blessings, and new tragedies for the beagle Shiloh and his family.
A devastating drought has everyone’s nerves on edge, so when a new pastor arrives, pointing to unrepentant sinners as the cause of the drought, local residents begin seeking whom to blame for their misfortunes. Judd, Shiloh’s former abusive owner, is one of the easiest targets. So, when a fire destroys several homes, Marty and his family jump in to help all the victims, including Judd, rebuild their lives and their reputations. But a more difficult problem arises when Marty and his friend discover Rachel, one of the pastor’s daughters, locked up in the family’s toolshed. Marty’s parents must decide where the line between punishment and abuse lies. In the end, lessons from Judd’s painful past point the way for both parents and children alike. This artfully wrought story of restoration manages to be both hopeful as well as authentic. Shiloh’s move from abused pup to well-loved pet is an ideal metaphor for the plot’s various redemption stories, which culminate on Christmas day.
Perfect for longtime fans of the series and newcomers alike, this Christmas story can be enjoyed year-round. (Fiction. 8-12)