76 pages 2 hours read

Phyllis Reynolds Naylor


Fiction | Novella | Middle Grade | Published in 1991

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Chapters 7-9Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 7 Summary

Marty visits his best friend David Howard in his large home, and David introduces Marty to his new pet, a hermit crab. Marty decides that the crab is not a bad first pet, but he prefers Shiloh. Marty does not tell David about Shiloh, and when David asks to come visit, Marty dissuades him, saying Ma has bad headaches. Marty stays for lunch and accepts extra food from Mrs. Howard, intending to save it for Shiloh. Later, Marty uses his fifty-three cents to buy stale food from Mr. Wallace at the corner store. Mr. Wallace believes Marty is buying food for his family. Marty does not care that his parents would be embarrassed by his acts, because he successfully gets food for Shiloh. He hides the food and lies to Dara Lynn to keep her away from Shiloh’s pen. Marty’s lies are adding up and he figures he is going to hell, but he would not want to be in heaven without Shiloh.

Chapter 8 Summary

Shiloh grows stronger on the food Marty brings him, but Marty worries because it is hard to keep Shiloh secret. Marty’s lies come back to haunt him.