• First, we’re having a GREAT time with the One School-One Book program…. Getting “thank you” notes from parents already about how it’s “forcing” some family reading time that they seemed to have lost over the years.
    — Paul Marinko - Principal at St. Paul's Lutheran School - Fort Wayne, IN
  • Since last spring, our entire school has excitedly embraced the One School, One Book Program. We will soon begin our spring selection: A Cricket in Times Square -- the third book we've adopted since the spring of 2010!

    We are so thrilled with the positive impact this program has had on our students, families, and staff
    — Laurie LaRue - First Grade Teacher at Edgewood School - Bristol, CT
  • I think the OSOB program is brilliant. My seven year-old attends Orleans Elementary in Massachusetts and they (we) are reading Masterpiece. Since the grades levels range from one to five at this school, finding a book to suit all is difficult. My daughter can follow the big picture somewhat but we have to reinforce what we’ve read because it’s a lot to take in for her.
    — Glenn Krzeminski - Parent of student at Orleans Elementary - Orleans, MA
  • The One District, One Book program promoted by Read To Them...is a powerful way to systemically address and promote a culture of literacy throughout the entire school system.

    My school actually adopted a hamster and even used it as “pet therapy” for many of the behaviorally challenged children in our school.
    — Kenny Moles of West Virginia


by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor (1991)

You can never go wrong with a dog story, which is doubly true when it wins the Newbery Award. Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Shiloh became an instant classic when it was published in 1991. It tells the story of a boy, Marty, and his dog, a beagle named Shiloh — except in this case the beagle belongs to somebody else. Marty lives in a backwoods town in rural West Virginia and wants a dog so badly he feels he deserves to keep Shiloh because he takes better care of him than his “rightful” owner.

The charm of Shiloh comes from Marty’s voice. He speaks colloquially and candidly, but with a sharp perception and broad perspective beyond his 11 years. Naylor’s prose attends well to details like what Marty’s family eats — picking worms from peaches — without inundating you with the fact of their poverty. And Marty’s parents both provide calm, empathetic wisdom that challenges and extends the moral dilemmas Marty faces in caring for Shiloh and negotiating his sense of honor.

Children always respond to a dog story because they can identify at two levels. They empathize with Marty and his first-person narration and chapter to chapter challenges. And they feel for Shiloh, the dog who doesn’t want to hunt and just wants a home where he can be loved. And families relish the opportunity to fall under Shiloh’s spell, and discuss Marty’s difficult decisions and brave solutions.

(Shiloh’s success also spawned two sequels, Shiloh Season (1998) and Saving Shiloh (1999), allowing students and families to extend their interest in Shiloh and his saga.)

The following program elements are available for Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s Shiloh:

  • a letter home to parents
  • a reading schedule
  • trivia questions
  • suggested activities
  • assembly ideas
  • a sample audio file

As a participating member of One School, One Book you may have access to all of these documents. Here are some samples:

The sample documents are incomplete. They are designed to give you a quick peek at the documents for each title. For the complete and full versions of all documents, you must be a participating Read to Them school. Contact bruce.coffey@readtothem.org for more information.

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