SAVING SHILOH by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

SAVING SHILOH

Age Range: 10 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

In this story of a boy and his dog, and the brutal, angry man who finds the road to redemption at last, Naylor rounds off a trilogy that began with Shiloh (1991). The good news is that the dog doesn't die, although Marty, the narrator, gives readers that impression on the first page. Judd Travers has stopped drinking and become less hostile; nonetheless, years of bad feelings have left their mark, and his is the name that comes up most often in conjunction with a murder and some local robberies. Marty is half-willing to give Judd the benefit of the doubt--and so defends the man to schoolmates on the bus, and even pays him an occasional visit. Judd shows signs of authentic human feeling, actually laughing and joking (readers of the first two books will be shocked), and grieving when he must kill one of his hunting dogs. Judd proves innocent of the crimes, too, and in the climax risks his life to save Shiloh from drowning. That earns a hug from Marty, and only readers familiar with the first books will be able to appreciate how far Judd has come when he hugs back. Subplots and extraneous incidents loosen the story's weave, but Naylor's use of present tense adds immediacy to events, and Marty's path to reconciliation with Judd, and to a parallel truce with his pesky little sister Dara Lynn, will go straight to readers' hearts. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1997
ISBN: 0-689-81460-7
Page count: 137pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 1997




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