Shiloh Blog

Why did the German shepherd attack Shiloh?

Comment:

 

I am in 4th grade , and just finished Shiloh.

One of my favorite parts in Shiloh is when Marty and Shiloh were taking a walk. I felt calm when they were taking a walk. Another part I liked is when Shiloh felt better. It made me feel happy because I thought Shiloh would die.

I have some questions for you. Why did that german shepherd appear out of nowhere and then attack Shiloh? What is your favorite book you wrote?

 

Phyllis replied:

 

Many dogs, especially in rural areas, are free to roam wherever they like.  Dogs can smell when other dogs are around, and this one obviously smelled Shiloh.  Dogs that are mistreated, like people, often attack others–just to be the bully for a change, not the victim.  It was important for my story to show that everything we do has consequences, and sometimes, even when we think we’re doing the right thing, bad things happen.  If Shiloh had not been penned up in the little shack Marty made for him, perhaps he could have got away from the other dog.  And Marty had to live with that mistake.  But we learn from everything that happens to us in life, especially our mistakes.

 

Posted on: May 13, 2017

Hello and Questions from Nebraska

Comment:

 

Hello, we are a group of third graders currently reading Shiloh. Our teacher is sending these questions on our behalf. Here is what we would like to know. 1. Have you ever considered writing a 5th Shiloh book? We would love to see one with an added dog character that would be a lovable friend to Shiloh. 2. What inspired you to write Shiloh? 3. Out of all of your books you have written which is your favorite and why? Thanks so much for reading this and we hope to hear from you!

 

Phyllis replied:

 

I haven’t considered writing a 5th Shiloh book because there are SO many other books in my head waiting to be written.  I wrote the first Shiloh book because I actually found such a dog in the little community of Shiloh, West Virginia, when we were visiting friends in that area.  Our friends eventually adopted the dog and named her Clover.  All of my books are like children to me: I love them all for different reasons. But there are probably two that stand out–a book for adults called Unexpected Pleasures, about a bridge builder and a young girl, and Shiloh.

Posted on: May 10, 2017

mailing address for my student letters

Comment:

 

My students have written letters to you about Shiloh and they would love to mail them to you. May I have a mailing address?
Thank you,
 

Phyllis replied:

 

Your students may send their letters to me as long as they come in one envelope with the school’s address.  I wish I had time to answer each student individually, but I would probably never have time to write another book.  Please send their letters to me at 401 Russell Avenue, Apt. 713, Gaithersburg, MD  20877.

Posted on: May 10, 2017

Shiloh’s Halloween???

Comment:

can u plz plz make more shiloh books. Sholohs holloween? thx

 

Phyllis replied:

Shiloh’s Halloween?   Um….I don’t think so.  I’m afraid that would be followed by Shiloh’s Fourth of July, and then Shiloh Gets Married, and who knows where that would end?   I think I’ve probably written all I wanted to say about  Shiloh, but there’s always the possibility of a movie, and who knows what might happen then!

 

Posted on: April 28, 2017

Inspiration

Comment:

What inspired you to write Shiloh? Do you own any dogs like Shiloh? I love the Shiloh books! 😉

 

Phyllis replied:

I came across such a dog in the little community of Shiloh, West Virginia, back in 1988, and couldn’t get her out of my mind.  So I built a story around her, changing her to a male dog and naming her “Shiloh.”   You’ll find out more about her on this website, www.phyllisnaylor.com   I don’t own any dogs now, but I grew up with a Springer Spaniel named Pepper.  You’ll find a photo of her on this website as well.

Posted on: April 27, 2017

Inspiration

Comment:

What inspired you to write Shiloh? Do you own any dogs like Shiloh? I love the Shiloh books! 😉

 

Phyllis replied:

No, but I grew up with a Springer Spaniel dog named Pepper, whom I loved.   I got my inspiration for the 4 books of the Shiloh series when I found a frightened, filthy, abused dog in West Virginia, in the little community of Shiloh.  Friends of ours adopted her and took her in, but before I knew she had found a good home, I was so worried about her that I started writing the first book, Shiloh.  I went back to visit her several times before she died in 2000 at about eleven years of age.  Our friends named her “Clover,” and claim she was now the happiest dog in West Virginia.

Posted on: April 22, 2017

Shiloh and Peacebuilding

Comment:
I am reading the first Shiloh book to my twin sons, age 8.
As a professional peacebuilder, with a lot of experience throughout the world in peacebuilding for Mennonite Central Committee, the UN, and other organizations, I am quite moved by this story.
It’s wonderfully crafted!

My boys love it – they are more hungry to keep reading, than with any other books we’ve read, and that includes several of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books!

I’m especially touched by – and grateful for – the unfolding insight into Judd Travers. This is making for wonderful conversation – first of all about how mean he is, but then about the discovery that this abusive man was abused himself and quite lonely.

It’s the kind of insight that somehow seems to elude even many adults, and here it is woven into the fabric of this spellbinding tale!

My boys “get it” immediately. One of them, who kept saying he hates Judd Travers in the beginning, is now saying, “Well, maybe Judd Travers isn’t a bad guy. His dad was bad. But Judd Travers is stupid!”

Thank you for this gift to my boys, and to the world!
Phyllis replied:

I appreciated your email so much.  As you read the other three books–most especially the final one, A Shiloh Christmas,” I think you’ll find the peacekeeping theme even more pronounced.  My older son attends meetings in a Quaker congregation, and we’ve had many  interesting conversations about how to go about uniting different viewpoints.  I actually don’t start out with a theme or moral at all–only a story–in this case, how would an eleven year old boy convince a  mean and miserable man to give up one of his hunting dogs?  And, as I got more into the story, What’s right? as Marty eventually asks his dad.  Thank you for letting me know how much the book means to your family.

Posted on: April 15, 2017

Tell if Judd dies or not.

Comment:

Did Shiloh die?

 

Phyllis replied:

In my four Shiloh books, Judd has a serious accident, but he doesn’t die.  Neither does Shiloh.  In real life, however, the little dog I found in West Virginia that inspired the Shiloh books, was adopted by a loving couple, friends of ours in Shiloh, W. V., and lived a happy life until she (it was a female dog) died in 2000 and is buried there, with a tombstone over the grave, on their property.

Posted on: April 13, 2017

Shiloh Season

Comment:

Is Shiloh Season available in Spanish? If so, where can I get it? We have a Spanish speaking student, and her class is starting the book. Thank you.

Phyllis replied:

I truly wish it was available in Spanish, and perhaps somewhere down the line it will be.  The first book in the quartet, Shiloh, was published in Spanish.   Perhaps you could contact that publisher in Mexico: www.fondodeculturaeconomica.com

 

Posted on: April 11, 2017

Marty’s Lies

Comment:

Do you believe that there are occasions when lying to your parents is OK?

 

Phyllis replied:

This was the question I posed, among others.  This gray area between right and wrong.  Whichever way Marty chose, there were consequences.  He had already tried once to convince his parents that the dog was being abused, that he wanted to protect it, and his father insisted it be returned to its legal owner. Once again, dog was abused.  The second time it ran away and  came to Marty, he did what his heart felt was right.  But that too had consequences, and this time the dog was seriously injured.  It is not a question for me to answer.  It is for the reader to wrestle with.  What would you do?

Posted on: March 29, 2017

 

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