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Toby Tyler: Or, Ten Weeks with a Circus
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Toby Tyler: Or, Ten Weeks with a Circus

3.6 of 5 stars 3.60  ·  rating details  ·  225 ratings  ·  33 reviews
Family Listening! -- Ages 7 and up"Couldn't you give more'n six peanuts for a cent?" And so begins a small boy's adventure with the circus, and a much-loved children's classic first published in 1879. 4.5 hours.
Audio
Published March 1st 1997 by Audio Bookshelf (first published 1880)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 400)
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Melissa
It's funny what memories from childhood stick with us so clearly: I remember one time at our local library, my mother reached onto the top shelf to bring down a yellowed copy of "Toby Tyler" and recommended it to me. I remember that it looked so huge and the print was so small, but I was determined to tackle it because she said it was so good. I'm sure I did finish it, but having now listened to an audio version, I remembered none of the actually story (other than the fact that Toby runs away fr ...more
Denise Barney
Toby Tyler is an orphan who lives on a farm with "Uncle Dan'l" (who isn't really his uncle) and the "other fellers." Toby eats a lot for a boy his size and isn't the most diligent worker. The circus comes to the small town and Toby is seduced by the concessionaire into working for him.

Toby soon realizes his mistake, but is stuck with his decision. Old Ben, the wagon driver, tells Toby to work hard, make the best of the bad situation, and save his money for a ticket home. Ben also prevents Toby's
...more
Verity Brown

The Wonderful World of Disney version of this story gave me a great deal of enjoyment when I was child, so I'm a little surprised that I never got around to reading the actual book before.

The storytelling style is quite old-fashioned, and the theme is rather Victorian: even living in a foster home is better than being a circus star. Although I enjoyed the story on its own terms, as an adult, I found Toby's overall situation to be very troubling. It was difficult for me to sympathize with his pe
...more
Melody Michelle
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Joan
Jan 01, 2013 Joan rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: age 7-12
Shelves: boys
What boy doesn't think of running away at least once? For Toby his wish becomes a reality when the circus hits town, although he is repentant of his decision before he even leaves. The orphaned boy grows to understand more about love and friendship while navigating the perils of the circus life and dealing with his abusive masters. He pours out his heart and soul to Mr. Stubbs, the little monkey who becomes his best friend. There is a lot of suspense for the young reader in each chapter and this ...more
Dogsmom Laura
I love this book

I have read it many times over the years and whenever I find an old copy I buy it again

This was one of the books that sparked my love of reading
Laura
Very much a cautionary tale. Toby Tyler meets nothing but heartache when he runs away to join the circus. Sounds like it will be light and sweet, but ends up as a real downer.
Linda Adams
I had to read this again. I firat read it when I was about 10 or 11 years old. I am now a senior citizen and I love it as much now as I did then.
Frances Sawaya
"Good bye, cruel world, I'm off to join a circus…" Romantic notion and then, Wham! the circus master is not all he should be, etc. Too predictable and sentimental to be read by children over 8-10 years of age. Thought "Under the Lilacs" did a better job of handling the problems but then I prefer LMA to Otis.
Alicia
Mar 16, 2008 Alicia rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any child who thinks of running away and joining the circus
Rachel and Joshua really enjoyed this story of a boy running away and joining the circus, written in the late 1800's. I was shocked by the amount of child abuse in this book, as Toby is punished by cruel circus workers. But he makes good friends, too, who help him eventually run away. The Disney movie version of this story is not so violent.
La Tisha Wammack
This was one of my favorite movies when I was a kid. The book was only okay. It was really harsh and had a lot less of the love that you find in the movie. The story of realizing that you made a mistake and trying to make it better was good, but I don't think I would give this story to a kid to read.
Amy
How could I not read a book with one of my children's names in the title? And it's also titled Ten Weeks in the Circus! The story itself is pretty charming, and old fashioned. I think it could have been half as long and still been as effective in the story.
R.
I think the monkey...the monkey dies...? Or is trained to strangle and...the circus leaves town before the detective catches on? I dunno. It was the 1980s. That was Interchangeable Plot No. 2 (No. 1 was Stranger Comes to Town, Finds Love in Unlikeliest Spot).
Stacy
Another one of those children's books that seem really brutal for tender sensibilities. I liked the Alcott Under the Lilacs much more for the circus theme, although I learned a lot more about how the circus used to operate. The ending was a big letdown.
Paul W. Nielsen
There is something magical about this book. The fact that I remember it more than fifty years after I read it says something. If you know young readers, be they children or grandchildren, do them a favor and get them this book. A true classic.
Annette Boehm
If this is the first time you come across this theme, I guess it would be more enjoyable (i.e. for a child) but I found it a bit tiring - Toby regrets his decision pretty much the moment he makes it, so has not much fun with his adventure.
Linda
One of my grade-school teachers used to read to us every day and I remember listening to this and enjoying it. I think I probably re-read it myself at least a few times. I suspect we would find it very dated now.
Harrison
I read this a couple times over as a kid, I have vivid memories of it being truly magical. I am somewhat hesitant to revisit Toby on the fear that he wont be quite as wonderful.
Jailynn
Since me and the kids all went to the circus I thought it would be a fun book to read with them, I read it back when I was in 4th or 5th grade and remembered liking it.
Dawninmontana
I loved this story as a child. What child doesn't want to run away to the circus and have a chimp as a friend? I'm prejudice because its the first book my dad ever bought me.
Kim Kelly
I loved this book as a kid. Probably why I have a lifetime longing to run away and join the circus. Very appealing to the imaginative child.
Katie Sunsdahl
I liked this book as a kid, so decided to read it again as an adult. Not quite as enjoyable, but still pretty good. :-)
Micha
This book has a lasting place in my memory as I remember my father reading it to me a chapter a night at bedtime.
April
My grandma gave me this book a long time ago. It was her favorite(she loved reading just like I do). RIP Grandma <3
Nellie K.
I didn't read it but someone read it to us in class in primary school in Belgium. I saw the movie and I loved it.
Brianna Karp
Nostalgic... brings back memories of my childhood, as well as of an era long before I was born.
Lepetitjardin
HAVEN'T WE ALL WANTED TO RUN AWAY TO THE CIRCUS. AREN'T WE ALL LIVING IN A CIRCUS ANYWAYS?
David Horney
i liked it right up to the obligatory "homecoming scene". i woulda stuck w/the circus.
Elizabeth Barter
I just enjoyed this book when I was a little girl!
Sarah Sammis
It was my mom's book. Great escapist read.
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James Otis Kaler (March 19, 1848 — December 11, 1912) was an American journalist and author of children’s literature. He used the pen name James Otis.

Pen name of James Otis Kaler.
aka Adam Skidmore.
More about James Otis...
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