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Reviewed by Hilary Hawkes for Readers' Favorite
Angela Castillo’s The Amazing Adventures of Toby the Trilby is a lovely tale for children about young Toby, part cat and part human boy, who has been created by his Grambles (guardians) because they wanted a grandchild. They all live in caverns below ground because above ground The Great Calamity occurred. No one is quite sure exactly what happened, but below ground it is safe and the machines and replicators provide them with everything they need. Except Toby feels he is missing something. He hears a voice telling him to “Find them” and this makes him think he must set off and explore the world above and find his soul and his Soul Creator. On his journey, he rescues Mia from ending up as a human sacrifice. They become friends. Toby discovers good people and not so good people, and all kinds of danger, and the truth of what has happened in the world. He also finds his Creator or God and begins to learn what his purpose in life is to be.
The Amazing Adventures of Toby the Trilby is a tender and thoughtful story. It is part of a series about the same character. Castillo has created an appealing story for children that is also a story about the apocalypse. The Christian message is woven carefully and naturally into Toby’s adventure and discoveries. I love the idea of Toby who feels he may have been created out of a hotch potch of things and hasn’t quite turned out right – but then discovers that his Creator carefully designed him like this for a reason all along. The message is that God loves him just the way he is. The story line and language is just right for young readers perhaps around nine plus or could be a book for an adult to share with a child. They will love Toby, a warm and courageous character, both a friend and an adventurer who discovers that he can trust the Creator who made him. Just loved it.