A Place to Call Home: Toby's Tale

A Place to Call Home: Toby's Tale

by G. a. Whitmore


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Every rescue dog has a tale to tell, a story uniquely their own. A Place to Call Home is Toby's tale.

Born on a small farm in northern California, Toby narrowly escapes the death sentence imposed on him by his breeder. Through a series of events driven by good intentions, he finds himself in a Connecticut suburb where life with his new family soon collapses on him, and his newfound happiness is brutally destroyed.

On his quest to find a place to call home, Toby encounters and endures the best and worst of humanity as he comes face to face with sorrow and joy, fear and courage, and ultimately, with the power of love.

Author G.A. Whitmore has poured her passion for writing and her love of dogs into her juvenile fiction series, The Rescue Dog Tales. A Place to Call Home, inspired by an abused dog she adopted from the Connecticut Humane Society, is the first book in the series. Told from the perspectives of both the human characters and the animals depicted in the story, A Place to Call Home is a compelling and touching story for young adult readers and dog lovers of all ages.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781478700739
Publisher: Outskirts Press, Inc.
Publication date: 02/19/2014
Pages: 302
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Ms. Whitmore's passion for writing and her love of dogs come together in her series The Rescue Dog Tales. The first book in the series, A Place to Call Home, was inspired by Toby, an abused dog she adopted from the Connecticut Humane Society. Ms. Whitmore currently lives in Connecticut with her two rescue dogs, Kadee and Zeus.

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A Place To Call Home: Toby's Tale 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Alliesopinions More than 1 year ago
Whitmore has written one of my favorite kinds of narratives with “A Place To Call Home”. Reading from the perspective of an animal (especially mixed with human narratives) has always been something that fascinates me. I think part of what makes this book so great is that Whitmore pours her love of animals into every page. I think these are some of the most developed animal characters I’ve met that weren’t in a fantasy novel. Toby’s tale is a tough one to follow but very realistic. Humanity, for the most part, looks at animals as stupid. Which really is a shame since there is scientific evidence to prove their intelligence. For people who deeply love their animal companions, the idea of them being intelligent has always been a no brainer. Toby’s tale is an emotional and thought provoking journey to find a forever home. However, it is so much more than just a story. It bring to light various issues that dogs face at the hands of human beings. This story spotlights the trials that humanity puts on anything or anyone that is deemed inferior. As a dog mom, there was a lot of things that happened in this book that made me angry. I hope that this story elicits a similar response in society. Angry people make changes. Dogs and other animals have very positive effects on human lives. I hope that in the future humanity has more of a positive effect on them than we have had in the past. To see my full review of this title and many others, check out my blog AlliesOpinions on Wordpress!
MomsChoiceAwards More than 1 year ago
A recipient of the Mom's Choice Awards! The Mom's Choice Awards® (MCA) evaluates products and services created for parents and educators and is globally recognized for establishing the benchmark of excellence in family-friendly media, products and services. Using a rigorous evaluation process, entries are scored on a number of elements including production quality, design, educational value, entertainment value, originality, appeal and cost. Around the world, parents, educators, retailers and members of the media trust the MCA Honoring Excellence seal when selecting quality products and services for families and children.
Storywraps More than 1 year ago
I truly loved this book. I could not stop reading it and several times it brought tears to my eyes. "A Place to Call Home" is the moving story of a rescue dog and his search for a family that truly loves him unconditionally. Toby, a German shepherd puppy, starts out in an obscure little farm in California with his mother and siblings. His life is happy until one day he and his sister Tara are taken away because their fur is pure white and the owner thinks they are of no value and cannot be homed. The man does not want to keep them, so rather than being stuck with the two he decides it best that they be discarded. The two wee puppies are put into a box and taken off to be eliminated or so the breeder thinks. Kudos to his kind wife and an understanding, tender-hearted farmhand who devise a safe escape plan for them. Through a series of events Toby finds himself a home which he thinks will be his forever home. The family who adopts him turns out to be less than loving and Toby finds himself being abused by the drunken adult male who lives there. Frightened for his life he's on the move once again not knowing where he will end up. He is full of fear, sorrow, and misgivings and unable to heal or rescue himself. Toby's struggles to come to terms with his life: his deep-seated grief at the loss of his sister (unfortunately she died), his inability to trust humans because he may be hurt or abuse by them again, his fear of never finding a family or home where he feels protected and cherished and even if he can trust the animals that he encounters along his journey. Love is a powerful motivator and healer. Luckily Toby is encouraged to open up his heart and to love once again and in so doing his life is changed for ever. This heartwarming and inspiring story will have you engaged from the very first paragraph. It is based on a true story. The author herself rescued an abused dog from the Connecticut Humane Society and brought the dog home to be cared for and loved. This compelling story is perfect for young adult readers and especially for dog lovers no matter what their age. I highly, highly recommend this book and so look forward to the next one in the series.
AnnieMarch26 More than 1 year ago
This book was difficult for me to get through because unlike most books that will hook me and keep me reading until I can no longer keep my eyes open, this one had me stopping many times and even walk away for a few days. That was because of the emotions that the story evoked in me. I am a very sensitive person so stories dealing with abuse to an animal leave me feeling both heartbroken for the animal and furious with the abusers and those who make excuses for them. That being said, this story is well written. Reading the story from the animals’ point of view was a nice touch. Although this wasn’t an easy book to get through, I am glad that I took the time to read it because it is definitely a story that needed to be told. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.
JulieW1 More than 1 year ago
If only our rescued pets could tell us about their journeys to get to us. This story explores Toby's journey to his forever home from his point of view. Along the way, he encounters a person who only values animals as commodities, loving children and adults, a stressed alcoholic who is cruel when drunk, as well as generous and sympathetic people who are stations on the way to his final destination. The author humanizes Toby, treating him as intelligent as well as having feelings and able to learn from his experiences, both good and bad. I believe that dogs are intelligent and have feelings, so I enjoyed the book, and it held my attention from beginning to end. I did feel that it was more of a teen/young adult story - the writing was somewhat simplistic. I was left wondering how things ended with Justin's family - as this story developed, it appeared that they needed rescuing too. However, Toby could not have known this, and it is his story. I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Diana-the-Librarian More than 1 year ago
I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for and honest review...and my honest review is, this was a very enjoyable book.  I was concerned at the length of the book since the age range is middle-grade to young adult.  The way the book is laid out though the chapters flew by and the story moved right along.  I found a few words that might challenge readers yet, they could still understand the content of the story even if the word used was unfamiliar to their age.  Hey, and why not challenge young minds to expand their vocabulary.  I totally enjoyed the story and think animal lovers and those who love animal stories will too. Even those of us outside the target range of the book.  This is a very believable story, even from the point of view of the animals.  It sure made me look at my dog differently.
Ziggie More than 1 year ago
What a wonderful story. A great read.
Tzelibooks More than 1 year ago
A Place to Call Home: Toby's Tale is a heartstrings-pulling odyssey that gives homage to one dog's resilience and the blessings he found at the end of his journey. This is the first in G.A. Whitmore's series of YA books called The Rescue Dog Tales, and Toby's bittersweet story bodes well for the rest of the series. Pet lovers, animal lovers, and readers who love a heartwarming story will enjoy Toby's Tale. Toby and Tara are the only two white German Shepherd pups in the litter, and are their mother Missy's favorites. Having already lost children when her owner sold off all the puppies from her first brood, Missy found great comfort in caring for her new litter and doting especially on Tara and Toby. To them Missy tells the story of their grandmother Sadie, whose wanderings around another farm helped her meet their grandfather Strider, a white wolf. Toby and Tara stayed a long time in the farm with Missy even when their other siblings were sold. Their idyllic life is about to change however: Mr. Bailey, the farmer and German Shepherd breeder who owns Missy, takes great pride in the quality of German Shepherds he breeds, and he sees white German Shepherds as a stain on his reputation. Soon Tara and Toby find themselves in a cardboard box, riding with the farmhand Walt, who had instructions from Mr. Bailey to kill the two pups! Luckily Walt also got instructions from Mrs. Bailey, who was fond of Missy, to take the two pups to a friend of hers who will help find better homes for them. Things go awry however when Walt has to temporarily hide the box with the pups near a dumpster because Mr. Bailey turns up unexpectedly. When Walt finally gets back to the dumpster, the box and the pups are gone! Thus began Tara and Toby's journey: filled with well-meaning people who want to love and care for them, yet fraught with danger from humans who would callously harm young defenseless puppies. Tara and Toby have already lost their siblings and their mom: would they lose each other too? This is a hard life in the eyes of an innocent puppy who could barely make sense of the impact human whims have on his well-being. The changes in perspective from animal to human explain to readers like me the complexity of the human lives the puppies encounter, as well as emphasize how irrelevant the puppies become when human passions and priorities become ascendant. Coming of age milestones for Toby arrive without warning and are so impersonal to the point of being brutal, that it breaks my heart to think of a defenseless innocent bearing up against it. Toby's point of view is what helps draw in the YA audience: despite my understanding of how dangerous or unfair his predicament is, the innocence of his point of view helps diffuse the sting of just how rough things are going for him. It also prompts me to keep turning pages because my commitment to Toby's character compels me to find out if he has a fighting chance at a good life, and I quickly keep reading because I fervently hope to see him rewarded for soldiering on. A Place to Call Home: Toby's Tale had me rooting so hard for Toby! I believe the young minds who meet him will also be drawn in, hoping to rejoice with Toby soon. I have mentioned this is the first of The Rescue Dog Tales series, and am hoping to meet more characters like Toby and hear more heartwarming tales.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You'll root for Toby from the beginning. Every dog deserves a loving home, and Whitmore has given Toby a loving story. A quick, easy read... great to take along on vacation!
ReadersFavorite3 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Bil Howard for Readers' Favorite Imagine the stories that dogs could tell us if they could talk. What history is behind them and what sorts of things have they experienced? A Place to Call Home: Toby’s Tale by G.A. Whitmore allows us a look inside the mind of a rescue dog named Toby. The book takes us from the story of the white wolf Strider in Toby's ancestry to the day that he and his sister are rejected by their breeder and sentenced to death; and how he and his sister escaped being drowned in a canal and were given a new home with a little boy and little girl to play with. Toby’s hope for both of them is crushed as Tara is attacked by a Doberman and dies on their way to Connecticut. In Connecticut, everything seems wonderful and Toby’s new family gives him plenty of love and happiness, though a part of him still misses the farm and his sister. When things turn suddenly bad, Toby’s happiness turns to confusion. What happened to the love and happiness? A Place to Call Home: Toby’s Tale shows us both sides of what is going on in the life of our pets. By alternating the story between Toby’s point of view and the human point of view, G.A. Whitmore helps us to understand how each thing that we do is seen and interpreted by our pets. Through the eyes of Toby, we are drawn to a deep emotional attachment to the innocent world that is seen through the eyes of a puppy and a dog. In contrast, the reader is placed in something of a judgment seat to examine the actions of the humans in the story. Simple yet profound, tragic but triumphant, A Place to Call Home: Toby’s Tale is a reminder to us that every dog and every pet deserves to have a happy, loving home and we can give them that if we are more aware of how our actions affect them.
ReadersFavorite2 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite In A Place to Call Home: Toby's Tale by G.A. Whitmore, we follow the story of Toby, a white German shepherd who is part wolf, born in a Northern California farm where he barely escaped the death sentence by his breeder. From there, his story takes us on a journey across to a Connecticut suburb, where he found temporary happiness with a loving family before it is harshly ruined. Toby has to learn to trust humans again, enduring grief, trepidation, and bravery before finding love once more. The main basis of A Place to Call Home is about dog rescue and finding a loving family, although the story does touch on a bit of everything from prejudice, growing up, redemption, and most importantly, trust. The uniqueness of this book compared to the ones with similar themes that I have read before is the well-written communication between animals. Thus, both animal and human perspectives are reflected. This makes the story mind-challenging as well as engaging. It will no doubt leave readers to ponder deeply about the relationship between man’s best friend and people. Anyone, not just dog lovers, will definitely love this story and be truly inspired by it. The faultless writing style and great flow of the story makes it easy to finish the book in one sitting. Despite the sadness regarding some animal deaths and tragedy, I enjoyed it and I think it would be a great gift for young teen readers. They can learn valuable lessons in how to treat animals humanely from Toby’s story. All things considered, this an excellent work from G.A. Whitmore.
ReadersFavorite1 More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite A Place to Call Home: Toby's Tale by G.A. Whitmore is for those who love dogs and love to read stories about them being rescued from abuse. Toby is a white German Shepherd who is part wolf and is a rare breed. Toby lives on the Bailey Farm and he and his sister are not able to satisfy their breeder's idea of making a profit with their rare white wolf fur. He wants to destroy them but the breeder's wife is compassionate and sends these two pups with a farmhand to another shelter. But the farmhand is forced to leave the puppies in a box next to a dumpster on the way. A family of four finds these abandoned dogs and takes them home. The book, told from both Toby's and the humans' point of view, throws light on the story where both angles are shown to readers. It is a story of joy, sorrow, courage, fear, love, and redemption. The book speaks about how to take care of your pets and bond with them, especially since dogs are known to be man's best friend. The story is poignant and will make readers shed some tears. The book is good for middle school children because it will teach them about bonding with pets and how to treat them well with love and care. Toby's story should be read by all dog owners and dog lovers because it speaks of a dog's angst and sorrow and finally how he finds love.
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Brenda Casto for Readers' Favorite A Place To Call Home: Toby's Tale by G.A. Whitmore is the story of Toby, a dog born to a breeder who saw no value in him or his sister because of his color. The breeder felt because Tara and Toby were white German Shepherds that they would reflect poorly on his dog breeding business and wanted them both killed. Fate intervened instead and the pair found a chance at life. Sadly, Tara didn't make it but Toby winds up with a family in Connecticut. The home isn't peaceful, causing Toby to distrust most humans. Can Toby ever trust humans again, and will he ever find a place to truly call home? Even though the author labels this a work of fiction, the characters become very real as you read the story. G.A. Whitmore writes from both canine as well as human perspective. While this might sound confusing, it isn't. Instead the author flawlessly transitions between characters which allowed me to glean a greater understanding of not only the story, but the characters as well. I was  pulled right into the head and heart of each of the characters, especially Toby. I could feel his joy and hope as a young pup on the farm, and then the confusion and grief he felt as his life shifted. The many twists in Toby's story gripped my heart and caused me to shed more than a few tears, but also kept me filled with hope that he would eventually find his forever home. Another unique aspect of this story was that the animals could communicate with each other, and Toby even had dreams where he was encouraged by family members. In a great read for young and old alike, Ms. Whitmore takes readers on an emotional journey with A Place To Call Home: Toby's Tale. Anyone who enjoys reading animal rescue stories will find this a must-read, but really there is much more to this story than that. The author touches on alcoholism, abuse, discrimination, as well as the importance of patience and not giving up. Truly a story that grabs the heart and won't let go!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
From heart wrenching to heartwarming," A place To Call Home - Toby’s Tale", draws you into the life of this special dog through his eyes and voice as he makes his remarkable journey from west coast to east coast. As any dog lover will understand, I had a lump in my throat as I turned the last page. You will only truly appreciate every twist and turn by joining in on the adventure.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A friend asked me to read this novel for young adults because she was thinking of using it for a teen discussion club and wanted my opinion as someone who has experience with advising teen groups. After I finished this novel about a rescue dog and his journey to his forever family, I was happy to recommend it, not only for her young adult discussions but also for anyone who loves dogs and wants to explore people’s connections with them. Toby’s Tale (the book’s subtitle) follows a white German shepherd puppy from his birthplace in a Northern California farm and a death sentence by a heartless breeder to a loving Connecticut family who adopts him. But before he arrives at his forever home, Toby experiences losses (of his canine family and his first adoptive family) that challenge him to learn to trust again. The story contains situations that can encourage conversations about prejudice, alcohol abuse, communication within and between species (the animal characters talk with and understand each other), afterlife, animal souls, and growing up. Although there are animal deaths and a family in crisis, the descriptions are not gory or gratuitous. Because the author does not preach or argue a specific faith, this book is thought-provoking as well as engaging. Toby’s quest inspires readers to reflect on their own relationships, and its final message is hopeful and uplifting.. A portion of the sale proceeds goes to organizations that provide refuge for dogs, so even the act of buying the book results in good deeds all around. I hope there are other dog novels coming from G.A. Whitmore, and I think my friend’s teen group members will agree.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Toby's tale tells you the story of a Shepherd/Wolf mix pup who starts out with his mother and siblings on the farm where they are born. Tara and Toby have a history and a parentage that they can be proud of. When they are taken from their mother and tossed into a strange world together they plan to stick it out. Unfortunately Toby finds that he must travel alone on his journey. This book will not only bring you tears, but you will find joy in the bond of family. Even though Toby has never met his grandfather Strider and his grandmother Sadie they are with him on his journey. The spiritual undertones that are within the story are uplifting. You get the impression that this author "gets it" that although we travel this life we are connected one to the other and the choices we make matter. I recommend that you take a chance and get this book, read it you shall not be disappointed. Oh an added bonus to purchasing this book is a portion of the precedes from the sale of each book will be donated to either the Humane Society of the United States or an organization of the author's choice that advocate for the protection and welfare of dogs. Toby was a rescue dog whom the author shared love with this is for him.