Toby Alone
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Toby Alone (Tobie Lolness #1)

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4.11 of 5 stars 4.11  ·  rating details  ·  892 ratings  ·  118 reviews
Translated into twenty-two languages.

Toby Lolness may be just one and a half millimeters tall, but he’s the most wanted person in his world — the world of the great oak Tree. Toby’s father has made a groundbreaking discovery: the Tree itself is alive, lowing with vital energy, and there may even be a world beyond it. Greedy developers itch to exploit this forbidden knowled...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 24th 2009 by Candlewick Press (first published April 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
Raisu
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...more
Scope
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
Alexandra
The Borrowers meet Harry Potter meet An InconvenientTruth in this allegorical eco-adventure.
Karla
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 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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:
THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS I HAVE READ!
When most of us think of fantasy we think of
dragons
witches
weird creatures
harry potter
vampires
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! :)
Karin
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.
Diana
Such an awesome book!!!It was one of the best books i have ever read!!!
Romi
What to say about Toby Alone... there are many factors to it, many levels that I'm drawn to and many feelings I had as I was reading, but I do feel slightly muddled on just how to pinpoint these things. This may, on account, be a slightly different review.

*Toby Alone captivated me wholly- it was original and ingenious and felt so very fresh and readable. The time switches, explaination of other times and introductions of other characters who would soon be critical to Toby's story, these were don...more
Amalia
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...more
Ciara *I love Harry Potter!*
I should start by saying Toby Alone was what I expected to be. Not worse, but not better, either.
I had been given this book as a gift and was eager to get started with it. I loved the idea of delving into a world where tiny people live in a tree, and the adventure of one young boy.
Try as I might, I could not make myself enjoy the book as I attempted to read it a couple of times.

However, this time I was determined to finish it; and I did.

Here are some good and bad points about the book: (SPOI...more
Mathieu
Très belle histoire dans un monde original. Tobie Lolness est un petit garçon qui vit sur un arbre que tous appelle simplement : "l'Arbre".

Quand je dis "petit garçon", on frise l'euphémisme, Tobie mesurant la bagatelle de 1 millimètre et demi. En fait, son peuple de caractérise par sa très petite taille (de 1 à 2 millimètres en gros). On nous présenyte donc dans ce livre toute une sociéte arboricole qui vit de sa symbiose avec l'Arbre. Le monde se limite à l'arbre, ses habitants niant jusqu'çà l...more
Marita
Unusual children's story translated from the French. It has a companion book in which the story continues apace. Somewhat twee and old fashioned in its way, Toby Alone is also a beautifully wrought Lillipution world. Toby and all the people there are but a few millimetres in height. Their world is an oak tree and they know nothing of any world beyond - other than a few warning tales that is. Toby's father is a scientist and a learned man generally and he has written texts and discovered importan...more
Erica
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
El Templo de las Mil Puertas
"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
YA Reader
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
Aras Redan
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
Samantha
I loved this book. It was a thrilling book that I couldn't put down. Each time I stopped I had to keep reading it because I wanted to know what happened next. At the beginning Toby was being hunted by his own friends. No one had ever ventured as far as the low branches before. Toby, his mother, his father and two porters chose to take the massive journey down to the low branches, with the porters only travelling with the Loneliness family to make sure that they did not turn back. As the book con...more
Meredith
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...more
Emily Collins
I loved this book. Loved. It. I am definitely buying a copy of this book.
I didn't think I would in the beginning. A book that starts out with a solitary character on the run normally ends up, in my experience, being a very lonely and dark book - the kind I don't like. Not so with this! Toby Alone has a myriad of characters there, supportive and present throughout, and gives that warm happy feeling that you get from the best of books. I live Toby. And Elisha. (and Nil).
Toby Alone is a book about...more
Matthew
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...more
Jill
This book has been translated from French into 22 different languages. 13-year-old Toby Lolness is 1 1/2 millimeters tall and lives on an oak tree with his family. Toby's father, a scientist, is sentenced to death after speaking out against the dangers of continued development of the Tree. Toby, outcast by a power-hungry property developer, is determined to save his father. He battles to survive in his miniature world. Grades 5-8.

Curriculum Connection: The book is quite an eco-tale, and would go...more
Jeanne
Environmentalism, power, politics, science, friendship, racism. There's an awful lot going on in this long-ish young adult book. The story skips around a lot, as if being told by a person (as in, oh, yeah, I need to explain this other thing so you understand what's going on).

Toby's on the run because his father, a scientist, discovers how to animate machines by using the living sap of the tree in which their society lives. When his father refuses to give up the secret of this process, Toby's fa...more
Juu
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...more
Maryana
A satisfyingly original story, told partly in flashbacks, Toby Alone is simply amazing. It combines an addictive and fast paced adventure with learning, as the world of the Tree subtly mirrors our own. The author successfully weaves politics, love, family and a deep knowledge of the human condition into the character driven plot. Each character, from Toby’s father Sim Lolness to the potentially tyrannical Leo Blue, has a background and a well developed personality that is essential to the progre...more
Malissa
I enjoyed this very cute book about tiny (1.5 - 2 mm) people who's world is a single tree, but some aspects felt lacking to me. The story itself was imaginative and engaging, and I think that kids in the target age range will enjoy it. My issue was with some of the simplistic characterization and treatment of 'issues.' I felt that too often the reader is told that someone is good or bad (or sometimes slimy, creepy, etc) rather than being shown. Also, the book is clearly meant to be allegory to s...more
Lael
La vie de Tobie se déroulait tranquillement au sein du grand chêne. Alors que son père refuse de livrer le secret d'une découverte, sa famille se retrouve mis au banc de la communauté. Forcé à l'exil, il va devoir s'intégrer à un nouvel environnement loin des branches rassurantes de la cime...

Récit alerte, goût des détails et intrigue bien menée, Tobie Lolness explore une large palette de sentiments où l'amitié et la solidarité sont mis à l'honneur. Dès les premières pages, nous sommes conquis p...more
Luis Hiniesto
Compré este libro en la feria del libro de Madrid el año pasado para mi hijo siguiendo la recomendación del librero de una de las casetas.

Comencé a leerlo y desde el primer momento quedé fascinado por la historia de Toby y sus congéneres, pequeños (unos dos mm.) habitantes de un árbol que es su mundo y en el que se representa un teatro de ambiciones, envidias, intrigas, pero también de amor, valor, amistad y nobleza.

La historia avanza con idas y venidas en el tiempo, con flashback y avances que...more
Evan
Toby Lolness is one and a half millimeters tall and on the run. Welcome to the world of The Tree: inhabited by very very small people who are trying their hardest to survive against difficult odds.
Toby's family is in trouble, and as the story unravels, the trouble becomes more clear. Toby's father, a brilliant scientist, is the keeper of a secret about the tree that some bad people are desperate to get their hands on.
This is a suspenseful tale of adventure, friendship, and courage. There are a...more
Anthony Burt
One of quirkiest, most beautifully-written two novels for children I’ve ever read. It’s about a boy who is merely one and a half millimetres high and lives in The Tree. To Toby and generations of his strange and secret-filled family, The Tree is a massive world full of moss lands, cliffs of bark, branches with whole villages on them and the unknown domains of the grass below. Toby is accused of a crime he didn’t commit and goes on the run as a fugitive in The Tree. He has to also hunt down the l...more
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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
More about Timothée de Fombelle...
Toby and the Secrets of the Tree (Tobie Lolness, #2) Entre ciel et terre (Vango, #1) Un prince sans royaume (Vango, #2) Victoria rêve Tobiáš Lolness (Tobiáš Lolnes, #1, #2)

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“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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“[Toby] reflected that being cruel sometimes makes you rich and powerful, but it always makes you ugly.” 2 likes
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