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Toby Alone (Tobie Lolness #1)

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  1,855 Ratings  ·  187 Reviews
This is a story of adventure, heroism, friendship and survival, with a powerful ecological message, set in a miniature world. Toby is just one and a half millimetres tall and is the most wanted person in the great oak tree.
Hardcover, 392 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Walker Books (first published 2006)
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Erin Sterling
A fascinating fantasy world about tree people with nice allegories to earth. When you first meet Toby, he is on the run--from his former friends, life, everything. He doesn't even know where his parents are. As the story unravels, you learn that Toby lives in the Tree but his family was forced out of the Upper Branches to the bleak Lower Branches because his dad was a scientist who refused to reveal a secret that could destroy the lives of them all. An evil and greedy man has become dictator and ...more
Feb 08, 2011 Amalia rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011-challenge
This is one of my favourite reads so far this year. I must have borrowed this book about 4 times before I actually read it. When I finally did open it, I could hardly put it down. I am planning on making my kids read it, through gentle suggestion and subliminal messages, of course :) Toby Alone also fits beautifully into my environmental awareness program - the one I now plan to start!

Essentially the story of a boy abandonded by his people, Toby Alone touches on several universal themes includin
Khan Ozair
Jun 23, 2016 Khan Ozair rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I consider this a literary masterpiece.De Fombelle not only creates a new world,he creates a while we category.Imagine the world as the 'Tree' and the 'Grass'.The possibilities are endless;lichen forests,tamed insects,bark caves e.t.c.This is the dystopian story of Toby Lolness,where his life is turned upside down,with the whole tree against him and his family for crimes they did not commit and a secret that could change the very tree forever.One by one his links to life snap,Leo blue his best f ...more
This one was recommended to me by one of my best friends, and I really enjoyed it a lot!
At first I was a little disturbed by the fact that we start the story in a tragic violent moment, but just one chapter further I became completely hooked by the adventures of Tobie.
The ideals and reflexions behind the story suit me perfectly and I found a lot of poetic and quite smart quotes in this book. I even shared some tears, it was beautifully written.
I'm impatient to read the second book!
Apr 06, 2009 Scope rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2009
Tiny characters have a rich history in children’s lit. Stuart Little, The Borrowers, Despereaux, and The Littles have all been keeping it real for the diminutive for quite some time. Hey, even Alice got shrunk down for a bit. It makes sense that kids are drawn to tiny - it brings the world down to a size they can manage. The entire universe? Hard to grasp. A single oak tree? Now you're talkin'. Toby Alone, originally published in France and translated into 22 languages, is a great example of thi ...more
SIMON Karine
Jun 08, 2015 SIMON Karine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
J’ai découvert la très belle écriture de Timothée de Fombelle, l’automne dernier avec Le livre de Perle. En me rendant à la médiathèque le mois dernier, je suis tombée par hasard sur un autre de ces grands succès, Tobie Lolness, j’ai donc saisi l’occasion, et je l’ai emprunté.

Tobie Lolness est un roman d’aventures jeunesses qui met en scène de petits individus qui ont tout à fait l’apparence d’êtres humains, mis à part la taille. Ils sont vraiment riquiqui et vivent dans un arbre, mettant en ava
French YA fantasy about a community of microscopic people who live in an oak. The titular character's father the brilliant scientist makes a discovery that could give the oak people free energy, but also destroy their ecosystem. That throws the family into exile and danger.

It's not a bad book. In some ways it's even a pretty good one. De Fombelle can move the plot forward in brisk, riveting manner. He has a knack for withholding information and then revealing it at just the right moment. His cha
Jenni Joru
Mar 18, 2016 Jenni Joru rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jos rakastaa kauheasti puita ja seikkailuja ja on taipuvainen romantillisuuteen niin tämä on the kirja. Tobi Lolness on kiistellyn tiedemiehen poika. Heidän maailmankaikkeutensa on puu: koska he ovat vain joidenkin millimetrien mittaisia, he eivät kaikki edes tiedä, että puun ulkopuolella olisi mitään.

Puussa koittaa uudet ajat, kun puun maltoon vuokrakasarmeja järsiviä kärsäkkäitä kasvattava self-made-man, opportunisti ja julmuri Jo Mitch ottaa vallan. Puun yhteiskunta muuttuu totalitaristiseks
Matthew Winner
Jun 24, 2009 Matthew Winner rated it it was ok
NO for our library.

Let's be upfront. I read to page 77 of 384 of Toby Alone. And I only made it that far because I thought it best to give it the benefit of the doubt. I have a very hard time believing the kids will believe this story. Fantasy is a well-loved genre, but only when readers can believe in the world they're reading. Our story characters are only over a millimeter tall, living in the bark of a tree but blissfully unaware that they live on a living organism. They speak of rumored "Gra
Kluxorious Kluxces
This whole book is a metaphor of our world with Toby as the epitome of hope and goodness but even he cannot escaped the seed of doubt, which have been the cause of many downfalls of us human. It almost caused his downfall too but fortunately he snapped out of it.

Toby is miniscule. Not even over 2 milliliters. He lives in a tree that is full of other miniscule beings such as he. His adventures started off the day his father created Ballina. Things went awfully downhill after that. I wish he has a
Jun 25, 2013 Juu rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
On page 112 and can't go any further, especially knowing there's a cliff hanger and two more books to go. Like others who commented, I can't get into a story that arbitrarily chooses what technology these tiny people have. How can they claim not to know about how the tree lives but know about neurons?
And how can people 1.5 mm tall (2 mm max, this is highly emphasized) domesticate beetles that are at least an inch taller? Every time he mentions their height I get distracted. Reminds me of the vi
Jan 18, 2010 Karla rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
Lots of "messages" - about the environment, racism, pack mentality...It's a little heavy at times, but I did like the idea of tiny people living on a tree but unaware their world is alive. Ends on a cliffhanger so there is definitely a sequel. I liked the character of Toby who is spunky and brave, his scientist father, and independent mother. The bad guys in the story seem to be unredeemably bad, however, and somewhat caricature-ish... is that a word?
Ishani Parekh
Mar 02, 2010 Ishani Parekh rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: EVERYBODY
Recommended to Ishani by: my bff
This was a AMAZING book (except the ending was a little annoying)but anyways, verall:
When most of us think of fantasy we think of
weird creatures
harry potter
and other things
we NEVER think of little people living in a tree. Like he did and that is why this is a 5/5 book! :)
Nov 20, 2009 Karin rated it really liked it
Shelves: middlegrade
Really great adventure story with ecological message and lots of layers. Toby is part of a society of 2mm-tall people that live on a tree. He's on the run after trying to rescue his parents from execution (for 'crimes against the tree'). Narrative goes back and forth between present day and events leading up to it. Translated from the French. Awesome.
When I read it, I found it amazing! Couldn't wait to read the second book! So if you're not older then twelve, I'd go for it :) Even if you're older then twelve and don't mind reading something 'under your level', you should read it, because it really is a great story.
Ensin olin vähällä hermostua outoon poeettisuuteen ja jatkuviin tunteenpyskähtelyin (jotka tietenkin leimasin mielessäni heti epäilyttävän ranskalaisiksi). Sitten tuli seikkailu ja pyyhkäisi mukanaan.
Jul 13, 2011 Diana rated it it was amazing
Such an awesome book!!!It was one of the best books i have ever read!!!
Daina Valeine
Dec 11, 2016 Daina Valeine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simpātiski. Tēma brīnišķīga, skaisti ieskicēta arī apdzīvotā "pasaule". Cilvēku tēli gan salīdzinoši plakani, un notikumi ne vienmēr rada ticamības sajūtu... Bet lasīt var.
Thiện Thuận
Dec 02, 2016 Thiện Thuận rated it it was amazing
The greatest story for children I have ever read.
Lucie Baudrillart
Dec 28, 2016 Lucie Baudrillart rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
C'est un livre très poétique, l'histoire est magnifique et on se laisse très facilement emporter.
Jan 20, 2017 lanius_minor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pár těch drobných postaviček mi opravdu přirostlo k srdci. A žádný strom už pro mě nebude jenom strom. Více na mém blogu:
For the english review, scroll down under the french one.
Il ne s'agit pas d'une histoire à propos d'envoûtantes petites créatures, bercées par une vie paisible, joyeuse et confortable, mais d'une lutte pour la survie, à l'échelle d'un enfant et d'un arbre. Ce n'est donc pas un conte facile, l'inquiétude pointe souvent, mais il est porté par une indéniable touche de charme, aux douces couleurs de la nature. Il faudra lire le second tome, afin de connaitre le dénouement du premier.

Mesurant à peine
Feb 05, 2011 Erica rated it really liked it
When you are only one and a half millimeters tall, a tree can seem like the whole world, and that world is a dangerous place. Ants, weevils, birds, and even rain drops can pose a big threat. But the world is even more dangerous for thirteen-year-old Toby who suddenly finds himself the subject of a massive manhunt. A whole army of big muscled and small-brained crooks are out looking for him, and with his parents held hostage and his friends turning on him, he quickly finds himself alone. But Toby ...more
Julie Lectures D'Une Nuit

Cette série étant revenue à la mode, j’ai décidé de voir les raisons de ce succès. La ressemblance avec les Minimoys a été décisive, je le reconnais. On retrouve le charme des débuts des récits jeunesse : une narration riche et une intrigue bien menée bien que rien ne soit franchement extraordinaire.

Tobie Lolness est une créature minuscule vivant dans un arbre et à qui la vie sourit. Jusqu’au jour où son père, génial inventeur, est banni avec sa famille dans les Basses Branches pour avoir refus
Aras Redan
Sep 06, 2012 Aras Redan rated it it was amazing
How do I start this review? I have so many emotions when "Toby Alone" comes to mind and I never know where to start. Let's start with the fact that this is originally a French novel. Written by a French woman and written in French. I'm so happy it's been translated to English. Let's also continue with a fact that makes me angry. This book is not well known. I don't know anyone else who has read it and I know myself well enough to know that I would not have picked up this book today at age fiftee ...more
Questo è un libro che, se dovessi basarmi unicamente sull'originalità della storia e dell'ambientazione, si meriterebbe 5 stelline. Tutto si svolge in un albero abitato da persone alte solo 1-2 millimetri. L'albero rappresenta la voluta metafora con il nostro mondo, il pianeta terra, che come il nostro pianeta ha i suoi problemi ambientali e di inquinamento. Per questi motivi il risultato è quello di una storia piuttosto realistica, a tratti anche molto triste e crudele, dove Tobia (il protagoni ...more
Apr 16, 2011 may rated it it was amazing
Toby Alone is a non-stop adventure set among the branches of a tree. The tree is highly symbolic and in many ways represents our own planet, its positives yet its flaws too. I've never read a book like it; our world and its happenings condensed to the size of just a tree. It's a perceptive story that despite being a work of fiction reaffirms our all too real global environmental problems. Toby's father, Sim Lolness, is trying to save their tree from the devastation and destruction that his new s ...more
Тетяна Савченко
Асоціативні зв"язки - М. Носов "Незнайко на місяці", Роальд Дал "Джеймс і гігантський персик" (або будь-що інше)
Дерево населяє цілий народ крихітних людей. Десь на околиці їхнього всесвіту живе тринадцятирічний Тобі, син вченого-вигнанця, головний герой цієї книжки. Тобі досліджує Дерево, заводить друзів, а потім довго втікає від переслідувачів, намагається врятувати рідних, переховується і знов тікає...
Книжка радше для 7-11-річок, 13 років - це скоріше верхня межа. В той же час, містить в собі
El Templo
"Existen libros y libros. Libros que nos entretienen en tardes de ocio, libros de los que subrayamos frases ingeniosas, libros que guardamos en un sitio preferente al terminar la última página y libros, LIBROS en mayúscula, que nunca dejamos de recomendar. Tobi Lolness, escrita por el francés Timothée de Fombelle, es una de esas historias. Publicada en dos partes (tomo uno: La huida de Tobi; tomo dos: Los ojos de Elisha), se trata de una aventura heroica en la que todos los elementos son extraor ...more
May 11, 2009 Meredith rated it really liked it
I liked this book much better than I thought I would. Toby is a 13 year-old boy who is only 1.5 millimeters tall, and lives in a tree. When his father reveals a scientific discovery proving that the tree is alive and being destroyed by corporate housing projects, an influential business man initiates a tree-wide manhunt for Toby and a reward for his capture.

Amazon and Publishers Weekly have reviewed this book for ages 9 and up, but I'm not sure I would feel comfortable giving the book to someone
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As a child...
Timothee de Fombelle was born in the heart of Paris in 1973, but often accompanied his architect father on his travels to Africa. Each summer his family left for the countryside (the west of France), where the five brothers and sisters lived like wild horses, making huts in the trees, playing in the river and losing themselves in the woods. In the evening they performed plays for the
More about Timothée de Fombelle...

Other Books in the Series

Tobie Lolness (2 books)
  • Toby and the Secrets of the Tree (Tobie Lolness, #2)

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“[Toby] reflected that being cruel sometimes makes you rich and powerful, but it always makes you ugly.” 6 likes
“Little tree filled his lungs with the white airness of the night, as if he were going to fly.
The living voice of his parents. Elisha's eyes. These were reasons enough to set off on another adventure.
Reasons to be Toby Lolness again.”
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