Bound To Stay Bound

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School Library Journal - 10/01/2015 Gr 4–7—After nearly 18 years, the beloved Shiloh trilogy becomes a quartet. Fans of the first books will find comfort and similarity in the continuing saga of 12-year-old Marty, his rambunctious beagle, and his family in their rural West Virginia community. The book is set mostly in midsummer during one of the worst droughts on record, and residents are quick to accuse Judd Travers of setting a fire that burns several homes, including his own. Marty's parents reach out to Judd, Shiloh's former abusive owner, offering him shelter while he rebuilds his life and searches for his missing dogs. Meanwhile, Marty and his family grapple with difficult decisions when they suspect the new pastor of abusing his daughters. This is not so much a Christmas story as it is a book about tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, and recognizing one's own moral compass. In response to Marty's many philosophical questions, his loving and supportive parents offer realistic guidance, advice, and discipline. As expected, Shiloh the dog plays a pivotal role in bringing about a happy resolution for Judd and Marty. VERDICT Though it stands well on its own, A Shiloh Christmas will most appeal to those already familiar with the previous titles.—Madeline J. Bryant, Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

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