76 pages 2 hours read

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


Fiction | Novella | Middle Grade | Published in 1991

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Chapters 1-3

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 1 Summary

After eating Sunday dinner with his parents and little sisters, eleven-year-old Marty goes exploring in the woods around his small West Virginia home. He takes his .22 rifle with him to plink at small targets—but he never shoots at anything living. Marty sees a thin brown and white beagle following him. The dog’s cowed behavior makes Marty think it was abused. Marty calls to the dog, but it does not come to him until Marty whistles. The dog approaches joyfully and follows Marty home. Marty is not allowed to have pets, and unhappily tells the dog to leave, but it waits under a nearby tree. Marty’s dad thinks the beagle belongs to Judd Travers. Marty knows that Judd is mistreating the dog. Later, Marty sees the dog is still outside, and names him Shiloh.

Chapter 2 Summary

Dad declares they must take Shiloh back to Judd’s house, though Marty secretly hoped they could keep the dog. Marty knows Judd does not take good care of Shiloh, because the beagle has ticks. Marty dislikes Judd because he has witnessed Judd lie and cheat. Marty holds Shiloh in the car and notices that the beagle starts shivering as they approach Judd’s house.