Thursday, December 3, 2015

A Shiloh Christmas by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor BOOK REVIEW

Book received at no charge to facilitate review.

Marty can't imagine his life without his beloved beagle, Shiloh. Rescuing Shiloh from the cruelty he endured while living with Judd Travers was the best thing he ever did. Now it's just a matter of time before he gets the debt to the veterinarian he incurred to rescue his dog paid off. In the meantime,  Judd works to improve his reputation.

While Marty watches Judd struggle to become a better person, he meets Rachel, the new girl at school and the preacher's daughter. As he slowly gets to know her and her family, he can't help but wonder why she seems fearful of her father. When someone sets fire to the woods, Marty can't help but notice the stark difference between those who blame Judd in parallel to the fire and brimstone teachings of the preacher and the those who band together to help each other. Will the search for Judd's dogs and the rebuilding of lost homes unite the family and community?

While A Shiloh Christmas is less about the dog and more about the love of family and a person's ability to change, the bond that Marty shares with his dog keeps him grounded when he can't control what goes on around him. Though the story delves into the serious subject of abuse, themes of love, acceptance and the willingness to change will tug at the heartstrings of the mature middle grade reader.

Rating ★★★★★

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