Sunday, March 29, 2009

Toby Alone

Do you absolutely love adventure books? What about fantasy-adventure books?
Ohhh, boy do I have a book for you!

Thrilling chase scenes, terrible secrets, having the whole world looking for you and wanting you dead, living every day in survival mode: These are the elements of Toby Alone, a fantasy/adventure that will leave you so far on the edge of your seat that you may find yourself on the floor without even noticing.
Toby Lolness, the main character, is a twelve-year-old boy who is 1 ½ millimeters tall.

Yes, millimeters. Meaning one-thousandth of a meter. One-tenth of a centimeter. Tiny. Miniscule. Infinitesimal.

Toby lives in the High Branches of the Great Oak Tree with his loving, devoted parents. His father, a brilliant scientist, makes an incredible discovery about the tree which turns their world upside down. Overnight, Toby is separated from his parents and begins a desperate escape for survival that sends him all over the massive tree. Along the way he learns meets many people, among them the lovely and mysterious Elisha, who immediately befriends him, and Joe Mitch (aka enemy number one), the fat weevil farmer whose rise to power banishes the Lolnesses to the Lower Branches and turns the entire tree against them. Toby must escape the powerful Joe Mitch and his nasty cronies and save his parents from being executed. Quite a large task for such a small person! This story is full of flashbacks so you have to pay close attention to what is going. However, it's completely worth the extra brain power.
Warning: The ending will leave you hanging, but don't get angry--there is more to come. (This is only the first of a 2-part series.)

After reading this book, I found myself staring at the shady oak tree in my backyard with newfound curiosity. Was there an entire world of microscopic people living in this oak without my knowing it? As if my dog, Kendall, knew what I was thinking, she began sniffing the grass and lower branches for signs of life. Perhaps it was a bug, or a feather, or a bit of squirrel poo that caught her attention and made her begin to pant and claw. I like to think otherwise…
Hey, adults can have imaginations too, right?

Recipe to Read By: Tree Bark

Don't gag yet--this is not the brown cardboard stuff that tastes like dirt many of you ate as small children (don't deny it--we've all tried it one time or another). This is the chocolate/Oreo variety of tree bark that tastes 100 times better than the real thing. In fact, it's so good, you may find yourself telling people that it's tree bark just so they'll stay away from it.

8 oz semi-sweet chocolate
6 oz white chocolate
2 tbsp peanut butter
10 Oreo sandwich cookies
Place semi-sweet chocolate and white chocolate in separate medium microwaveable bowls. Microwave until completely melted, following directions on package.
Add peanut butter to white chocolate; stir until well blended.
Crumble half the cookies over chocolate in each bowl; mix well.
Drop spoonfuls of the chocolate mixtures onto wax paper-covered baking sheet, alternating the colors of the chocolates.
Cut through chocolate mixtures several times with knife for marble effect.
Refrigerate at least 1 hour or until firm.
Break into 14 pieces.
Store in airtight container in refrigerator.
Label the container "Tree Bark" and no one will touch it.

*Recipe courtesy of: Kraft Foods
Watch the video of how to make this yummy concoction here


  1. COOL BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. Dear Mrs.Schrieber,
    I think that will be the next book for me.
    Let me now if you have another copy.

  3. Hi Mrs. Schreiber, I know you posted this a while ago but the recipe sounds really delicious! My mom and I want to make it to give to friends for the holidays!
    PS: You are such an awesome teacher! :)
    - Olivia Schwartz