The Adventures of Toby Baxter: The River Elf, The Giant, and the Closet | Dedicated Review

Book Review of The Adventures of Toby Baxter: The River Elf, The Giant, and the Closet
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The Children’s Book Review

The Adventures of Toby Baxter: The River Elf, The Giant, and the Closet: Book Cover

Written by Tim Wright

Ages 9-14 | 197 Pages

Publisher: Self-Published | ISBN-13: 9781667849645

What to Expect: Fantasy, adventure, coming of age, family, stories.

Toby Baxter doesn’t read books. He thinks they are boring and would much rather read comics, where the heroes are spectacular, and every page is action-packed. However, when he finds himself sucked into his very own story, complete with an Author who seems to be writing Toby’s every move for him, Toby realizes there’s more to being a hero than he ever imagined. Caught in the middle of a battle between good (the elves) and evil (stinky trolls), with his own magic sword in his somewhat shaky hands, Toby has to learn to use the power he’s been so unexpectedly given. If he doesn’t, he may lose the battle – and himself in the process.

Like many fantasy adventures, the quest in Toby Baxter is about finding oneself and one’s place in the world. As a reluctant reader, Toby is a thoroughly sympathetic main character, embodying the idea that you don’t need conventional book smarts to be emotionally intelligent and socially wise. Readers will love his slightly tongue-in-cheek fantasy adventure quest, drawing as it does on a wealth of popular culture snippets, from King Arthur and The Hobbit to Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Star Wars. Wright’s narrative voice is quirky and engaging but does not obscure the important messages in the narrative about what it means to be heroic.

Overall, Toby Baxter is an exciting adventure and a thought-provoking exploration of what it means to grow from boy to man.

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Tim Wright: Author Headshot
About the Author

Tim Wright is the co-host of the Wonder of Parenting Podcast: A Brain-Science Approach to Parenting, along with Dr. Michael Gurian. Tim and Michael have created several Rites of Passage experiences for middle school-age boys and girls and their parents. Tim and his wife, Jan, have two adult children and five grandchildren. Tim lives in Phoenix, AZ, and is an avid Arizona Cardinals fan.

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August 18, 2022 at 07:02AM Dr. Jen Harrison