Tobbi's Amazing Adventures in Cloudland
Goose River Press
Rating (0 - 10 scale)
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Flamingnet Student Book Reviewer TKono
"Tobbi's Amazing Adventures in Cloudland" by Ilya Simakovsky borders on adventure and fantasy. The story follows the struggle of an eleven year old boy in a wheelchair. His various reveries and dreams are plastered across the pages. In the boy's mind, clouds become real and he is able to fly. Most of his friends are either animals or personified inanimate objects. In the real world of middle school, Tobbi is not the most popular boy. He has a few friends, but most students just pity him because he is disabled. To make matters worse, Tobbi has to face the school bully every day. Regardless, the bulk of the plot does not take place in the real world; it takes place in Tobbi's cloudland. To others, Tobbi's land of adventure is just a silly dream or medical hallucination, but--to him--it is as real as raindrops on a freshly flowered geranium.
This book is an easy read for children. Boys will most likely prefer this book more than girls because of the issues raised. Tobbi is faced with the sudden change of mind about girls (they had cooties then, but now they are cute). Additionally, most of Tobbi's adventures are a bit masculine. They involve driving on the open road, skyrocketing into space, racing against time, and facing grotesquely monstrous enemies. That is not to say that only boys should read this book; they just might enjoy it more than girls would. The underlying tone of the book suggests that, as Tobbi is fighting evil in his make believe land, he is fighting his disease in real life. Only at the end of the book does he come to terms with what his cloudland truly is. Even then, he is not willing to close the book on that intermittent part of his life.
State and Country: Staten Island, NY USA
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