cover image Toaff’s Way

Toaff’s Way

Cynthia Voigt. Illus. by Sydney Hanson. Knopf, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-5247-65

Fans of Voigt’s Davis Farm books will relish this newest animal adventure featuring Toaff, a gray squirrel whose curiosity gets him in trouble as much as it brings happy surprises. Spanning one year, Toaff’s story begins when the tree where he lives is uprooted during a winter storm. Not knowing where his family has fled, Toaff sets out to find a new place to live. He’s been taught survival skills, but he still has many questions about the world: Are humans friends or enemies? Why is he supposed to hate red squirrels? What lies on the other side of the drive? In his quest to find answers, Toaff develops some unexpected friendships with a young red squirrel, a group of gray squirrels living a life of luxury, a playful dog, and a litter of orphaned “Littles.” As the seasons pass, scary moments, such as when Toaff is attacked by a fisher, are well balanced with cozy moments when the young squirrel is warm and safe. Skillfully presenting sights from an animal’s perspective and touching upon social issues such as prejudice and elitism, Newbery Medalist Voigt provides a lovely story to curl up with. Ages 8–12. [em]Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (Aug.) [/em]