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Shiloh Book Report

The book “Shiloh” by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor is an animal story about a dog named Shiloh. If you are writing a book report on this book, you don’t have to read the whole book to know what to write about. Check out the plot, themes, motifs, and reviews of the book to know what you can write about to come up with a well-developed book report.


When young Marty hides a beagle from his extremely mean and violent neighbor Judd Travers, he is trying to do the right thing and protect the dog from abuse, but this means he has to lie to his parents about the dog. He is forced to sneak around to take care of the pup, and then Shiloh ends up in even more trouble. This may be a book about a cute dog and the pet's human friend, but it is full of drama and plot twists.

Points of discussion

At first the plot seems pretty cut and dry. Judd is a mean man and Marty is a heroic young boy. As Shiloh begins to suffer more than he did with Judd, though, because of Marty's actions, the story starts to change. Marty is now being “bad” and engaging in things he knows is wrong just so he can keep Shiloh secreted from Judd. It raises the question of “is it ok to be bad if it's for a good cause?” The end of this book teaches that nothing is as simple as it seems, even when trying to do the right thing.


Obviously you should discuss the difference between right and wrong and how doing bad things to make good things happen isn't always as easy and simple as it seems. If you're writing a book report on this theme you should reference other stories where the good guy did bad things for what he thought were the right reasons only to have it backfire.

Another theme is to talk about how morality and right and wrong are subjective and what one person considers right may not be right for another.

Finally, you can discuss the theme of judgment and how readers are at first led to despise Judd, but as the book develops the reader wonders if they jumped to conclusions.

Even a book as simple as an animal story about a cute dog can have some deep meanings if written the right way. Shiloh is such a book and it has many themes you can choose from on which to write a book report. Explore some of the themes listed above, or chose one of your own. If you don't plan on reading the book, though, choosing one of these themes may be the easiest thing for you to do.