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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.