Toby's Tale

Children - Preteen
286 Pages
Reviewed on 09/09/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I feel like I’ve always had a story to tell. I decided around age 12 that I was going to be a journalist. I also wrote poetry as a child, so I guess writing was in my blood. But having children kick-started my decision to become an author. I began Toby’s Tale when I was on maternity leave – no outline or plot, I just went where the story took me. It turned into a much bigger project than I expected – 69,000 words! I really enjoyed creative writing after years of being a “just the facts, ma’am” journalist!

I started Toby’s Tale, intending to write a short story, after a friend’s mother found a little white puppy. And then it just sort of blossomed into something else. That short story ended up being the subject of my picture book, and Toby’s Tale became a novel. My inspiration, or motivation, was being a mother. I wanted to write a book that I could read to my children, that taught lessons and values while still being fun and exciting – the kind of book I would have loved reading (or having read to me) as a child.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

In Toby's Tale by Jennifer Freedman, we learn that Toby is a sweet, kind, and caring Schnauzer puppy. He’s also cute. When he learns his family might be adopted if it’s only his mother and sister, he selflessly takes it upon himself to leave. What he discovers in the big world is full of challenges, adventures, sadness, and, yes, love and kindness. It’s a difficult life, one full of difficult choices, but he perseveres and survives until one day, his perseverance pays off and he finds the love he truly craves, coupled with loyalty, kindness, and a fur-ever home.

Jennifer Freedman’s novel, Toby’s Tale, is the compassionate story of a sweet dog on his own journey of discovery. Told in the first person, the plot develops from Toby’s early memories as a puppy, through his difficult decision to leave his family so that they have the chance at a better life, to the struggles he faced and endured in the big world beyond his safety net until he finds what every dog ultimately wants. The story is endearing and captivating. Narrating from Toby’s point of view allows the reader to feel all the emotions and challenges this young dog faces. Descriptive narrative is used effectively, as is the real-to-life dialogue that develops the characters. Toby’s story is heart-wrenching at times, but also full of endearment and all that is good in life. Like Sewell’s Black Beauty, Saunders’ Beautiful Joe, Burnford’s The Incredible Journey and so many other classic animal stories, Toby will touch your heart.