A Place to Call Home: Toby’s Tale
G. A. Whitmore
Outskirts Press (2014)
Reviewed by Ben Weldon (age 16) for Reader Views Kids (07/14)
“A Place to Call Home: Toby’s Tale” by G. A. Whitmore is the story of Toby, a German shepherd and his adventures in the cruel outside world. After being raised on a comfortable farm for all of his young life, it came as a great surprise to Toby when he and his sister were taken away from his mother and, through the inhumanity of the farmer, abandoned by the side of the road. Luckily adopted by a passing couple, the two seemed to be well on their way to a good home. Passed off by their rescuers, the two pups were festooned with love and attention by their young owners. Yet after a tragic accident with a vicious neighboring dog in which Toby’s sister was injured, life no longer seems so good for the poor puppy. Will Toby and his sister survive the encounter or will life crush them yet again?
After witnessing the horrifying attack of his sister at the jaws of a vicious dog, Toby was completely traumatized. He had totally lost his will to live until he met Drake, the only other animal that could help him through his misery and abuse at the hands of his master’s drunken father. After the man stumbled home one night, Toby became the object of his rage. Can Toby survive the blind anger of his abuser and eventually find a true home?
While this book may give an accurate portrayal of a rescue dog’s life, it felt shallow at times. Between inept veterinarians (Toby’s sister was examined by one of these and the appointment resulted in her demise), and the dog-wolf love story that took up the beginning of the book, reading it became trying at times. Nonetheless, the book did a good job of describing the tragic life and times of Toby, the dog without a home.
I would recommend “A Place to Call Home: Toby’s Tale” by G.A Whitmore to dog lovers. While sad at times, the book conveyed an intelligent story about a rescued dog. This is the first book in a series called The Rescue Dog Tales. The book was a quick read and a lot of fun.