What does Marty mean when he says "now that aint bad for eleven"?

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These are the very last words in the book. Marty speaks them as he's resting on the dewy grass beneath the purple sky as the darkness begins to close in. Shiloh, Marty's faithful canine companion, is lying against him crosswise, with his paws resting upon Marty's chest.

As he...

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These are the very last words in the book. Marty speaks them as he's resting on the dewy grass beneath the purple sky as the darkness begins to close in. Shiloh, Marty's faithful canine companion, is lying against him crosswise, with his paws resting upon Marty's chest.

As he lies there in the enveloping darkness Marty begins to reflect on how he's come to realize that nothing is as simple as you think it is, whether it's matters of right and wrong, Judd Travers, or even Marty and his dog Shiloh. There's a sense here that Marty has matured throughout the book, that he's come to understand the myriad complexities of life through his various experiences. He's shown considerable maturity and responsibility in rescuing and taking care of an animal, not to mention showing initiative in making his own decisions.

All in all, Marty's pretty pleased with the moral progress he's made, and justifiably so. And the best part for Marty is that he saved Shiloh, and in doing so, opened his eyes to the world around him. As he cheerfully reflects, this "ain't bad for eleven", meaning that this is quite an achievement for an eleven-year-old child. And so it is.

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