Thursday, February 7, 2008

Book Review: Shiloh

Newbery Award-winning Shiloh represents everything that readers love about a story that is at once a boy-meets-dog love story and a coming-of-age tale. The empathetic 11-year-old meets with all the classic predicaments (father / son confrontations, right vs. wrong, the spirit vs. the letter of the law, animal and human rights) and he prevails on every level. Sophisticated readers may find the book a bit clich├ęd, however, and the beliefs, mannerisms and attitudes of the characters, at times, make it feel like this book is set in the 1950s instead of the 1990s. The book is written in easy language (for children as young as 8 years old) and is narrated from the boy’s perspective which will allow older children (up to 12) to identify with both his simple day-to-day life and complex moral quandaries.

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