Phyllis Reynolds Naylor has written more than 135 books, including the Newbery Award-winning Shiloh and its sequels, the Alice series, Roxie and the Hooligans, and Roxie and the Hooligans at Buzzard's Roost. She lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland. To hear from Phyllis and find out more about Alice, visit AliceMcKinley.com.
Mike Wimmer has illustrated many books for children, including Home Run: The Story of Babe Ruth by Robert Burleigh, which was named an ALA Notable Children's Book and was called a "grand slam" in a starred review in Publishers Weekly. He also illustrated Flight: The Journey of Charles Lindbergh by Robert Burleigh, which received the Orbis Pictus Award for nonfiction. He lives in Oklahoma with his family.
Gr 3-5-Picking up where Shiloh (Atheneum, 1991) left off, this is a less powerful, but still satisfying sequel. Judd Travers is just as nasty as ever; someone has been playing pranks on him, and he is convinced it is Marty Preston. Worse yet, the man still considers Shiloh his dog. Knowing that he acquired his beloved beagle by blackmailing Judd, Marty worries that he will get the dog back. When the boy asks Doc Murphy if he did the right thing, the Doc wisely replies, "...what's right in one situation, may be wrong in another. You have to decide-that's the hard part." In a love-your-enemy style conclusion, Marty realizes that the only way to resolve the situation is for him to try to understand and forgive Judd.. The moral predicaments are not as complex as in the previous book, but the tension never lags and Marty and his supportive family are likable. Martyr's ambitions for education within the context of his working-class family are nicely handled, and Naylor skillfully develops the character of evil Judd and then makes his final affectionate gesture both understated and believable. This is sure to be popular with both able and reluctant readers.-Caroline Ward, Nassau Library System, Uniondale, NY
It should startle no one that the prolific Naylor (the Alice books) should continue the boy-and-his-dog story begun in her Newbery Medal winner Shiloh‘nor will fans be startled that Naylor maintains the previous work's lump-in-the-throat vibrato. As the novel begins, Marty Preston relishes the companionship of his beagle, Shiloh, at last protected from the abuses of his former owner, Judd Travers. But Marty's happiness is shadowed by doubts about the way he acquired the dog‘through a combination of honest work and outright blackmail. When Judd takes to drinking and then to hunting on the Prestons' property, Marty worries that Judd will target Shiloh as his prey. Marty's conflicts are a bit more labored here than in the previous book, but Naylor so perceptively conveys the strength of his affections and the scope of his fears that she amply compensates for narrative shortcomings. She broadens the West Virginia setting to show Marty at school; in an especially graceful moment, Marty's teacher takes him aside and gently explains the different roles of "family talk" (i.e., Marty's vernacular) and grammatical speech. The author's sympathy for her characters, both the good guys and those who menace them, communicates itself almost invisibly to the reader, who may well come away hoping for a full-fledged Shiloh series. Ages 8-12. (Sept.)
* Taut with suspense, touched by a fine sense of humanity, and
narrated in an authentic West Virginia dialect, this cmopelling
page-turner will be in justifiable demand.--Booklist,
* "The author's sympathy for her characters, both the good guys and those who menace them, communicates itself almost invisibly to the reader, who may well come away hoping for a full-fledged Shiloh series."--Publishers Weekly, starred review