Toby's Tale - Book Review

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Book Review of :  Toby's Tale


Toby's Tale, by  Jennifer Freedman, is a middle school reader's chapter book that will appeal to both boys and girls. Toby, an adventurous young Schnauzer, takes readers on a journey told through his own words. He recounts his uplifting journey in an entertaining narrative. A story like no other told from his own perspective.  Toby is proud of his Schnauzer ancestry and digresses into a bit of doggy history.

Readers from dysfunctional families will be able to relate to the dog family's dilemma of losing their home. Finally, the family arrives at the home of a relative. Here the pups are introduced to a different culture and to different breeds of dogs. Toby learns that Mama must make a life-changing decision, or they all face being sent to a "shelter." Toby takes charge of his own life and sets out to explore the world. Little does he realize that running away will set off a change of events that nearly destroys him.
Toby's life becomes one of starvation, fear, and unpredictable adventures. He meets up with a vicious man but also people and dogs who are kind to him. Readers will be fascinated by the thoughts of the caged dogs in a shelter. Toby discovers the sadness that prevails in an animal shelter and that there can be cruel workers in them. He befriends an older dog that is threatened with euthanasia. He begins to plan an escape from the shelter. By careful preparation and unforeseen luck, Toby is able to free himself. However, he is then trapped in other different frightening situations.

Toby's goal is to be free and to find a family who will love and care for him. His quest is long, tedious, and frightening, but he doesn't give up. Starvation on the city streets and meeting up with homeless people help him become more self-sufficient. New humans in his life give him new names. Name changes helped him to assume new stronger identities. Readers will learn through Toby's perseverance not to give up. 

Toby's story is a powerful reminder that no matter what darkness we face, there will always be the potential for joy and hope. Through courage, the help of others, and a little luck, Toby finds redemption as he frees himself from his painful past and crosses the threshold into a brighter future full of hope.


Reviewed by: carole

About Jennifer Freedman


Starting her journalistic career in Southern California at the tender age of 17, Jennifer has spent most of her life overseas writing for print media in Europe, the United States, and the Middle East. She still works as a journalist but has shifted to creative writing with her first book, Toby's Tale, an award-winning children's novel. She's now working on the sequel and looking forward to the 2023 publication of her rhyming picture book, Ashley's Rescue: A Miracle Breakdown. She is passionate about writing stories that not only entertain and educate but also tug at the heartstrings and have readers rooting for the (under)dog.

Visit for more information on Jennifer Freedman


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