Keely Tucker’s First Adventure
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About the Author
Toby K. Davis
Toby K. Davis, a writer, businesswoman, management officer, and teacher, traveled the globe with her American diplomat spouse. They served in twelve overseas posts, from the red dunes of Saudi Arabia to the shores of Tel Aviv, and Toby is the one who tackled the languages, cultures and wrote everywhere. Toby created successful businesses, held Management Officer and Contracting Officer positions in U.S. Embassies, and was known as a problem solver in difficult situations. They now reside in Arlington, Virginia. and Toby continues to write.
The goals of her teaching and writing are to intrinsically motivate kids to believe in themselves, using imagination to problem solve and discover their individual talents.
The Ever Part of Always
Keely Tucker’s First Adventure
Ten-year-old Keely Rosalie Tucker is a modern-day knight with no armor. Constantly bullied by a neighbor boy, Keely struggles to find her place in the world in which she is comforted only by the stories her Gramms has told her about enchanted, faraway places, where unicorns, fairies, and angels protect children from life’s everyday pains and dangers. Now all Keely has to do is figure out how to call them to help her…
Everything changes when her beloved Gramms suddenly dies and gifts Keely with her aging horse, Mariah-setting the stage for an adventure. Keely discovers that Mariah can talk,
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'The Ever Part of Always - Keely Tucker's First Adventure' is a novel about love and friendship across generations but also about being open to giving and receiving from non-human creatures. It deploys a tremendously rich and captivating vocabulary to convey beauty and wonder in the nature that surrounds us. On behalf of Keely and her friends, it finds unexpected possibilities for comfort and surprise in clouds and in rainbows and their colors, colors that become tinted rivers and homes to new and friendly, and not so friendly, creatures. The wind is a transmission belt of thought-words and sentiments, crossing great distances and different stages of the human condition. The cosmos, home of the clouds, rainbows, winds, secret caves and dark pools, always described with great appeal to the imagination, is a constant backdrop to Keely's adventures. The book is soaked in imagery and situations - from thought language to wondrous unicorns and dragons - whose lineage draws from the timeless fairy tales of the past. But Keely, a heroine if there ever was one, is hardly a princess. She lives firmly in the twenty-first century, and it is not a pretty setting. Hard times, a difficult, somewhat neurotic mother, a father constantly on the road and never there for her; poor performance at school - a litany of woes that befall her, all too familiar to our current age. It's her ability to turn it all off - to tune out and step into a parallel universe of magical properties that envelop her as she takes on responsibility for her dying unicorn friend and embarks on a quest for a special potion - that makes Keely so appealing to the reader, keen to fully join in her adventures. Her canine friend, Growler, and feline boon companion, Meowcher, are almost surrogates for the kids who will read this book, wishing they could be there to ensure that Crea, the infirm unicorn, finally drinks the magic elixir. Keely is everything anyone of us would like to be. She is resourceful and quick thinking as she contemplates each new set of predicaments. She is focused on her goal to save Crea. She is adaptive as she draws water from clouds and uses dragon scales as stepping stones while descending the steep slopes flanking a magical waterfall. She is fearless in sidestepping dragons and ahead of everyone else in learning how to fly a unicorn. 'The Ever Part of Always' is a great book, which will perhaps encourage kids to revise their thinking of what they can do, to convert, in Keely's words, the "impossible' to the "ispossible." One starts with imagination, after all, and this may be the book to spark the thought that becomes, as the saying goes, father to the deed. I thoroughly enoyed reading it and strongly recommend it.Albert Thibault
While reading "The Ever Part of Always: Keely Tucker's First Adventure" I often paused and closed my eyes for a moment, letting the lyrical words of the author sweep over me and paint the scene. Phrases like "Keely goose-bumped with fear"... "moving so swiftly that the "ow" part of their howl was left behind"..."the melody was recovered from that mist-filled, enchanted garden of her grandmother's memories"... just grabbed a hold of me, the author definitely has a way with weaving words together to create a beautiful and touching scene. The illustrations that pepper the book match the scenes perfectly and seem to want to jump off the page. They draw you into the story (pun intended) and are so intricate every time I glance at one I pick up new tiny details that enchant me. This story, of a little girl who learns how to stand up to bullies, believe in herself, and learn the meaning of self-sacrifice, really touched me. You see the growth of Keely throughout the book, from an introverted and bullied little girl to one who stands tall, "(g)one were the scrunched shoulders, the hanging head, the little girl hiding from shadows." My daughter is still a little young to read this book, she is only four, but she has already made the pages ragged looking at the pictures and making her own story from them. It has a prominent place on her bookshelf (I wanted it on mine but she begged to keep it on hers) and I can't wait for the day when I can open it up and share this magical story (the real one) with her. Side note, the title states that this is Keely's "First" adventure, which makes me hope that this is only book one of an eventual series. If you want a magical, refreshing and uplifting book I highly recommend this!A. D. Marcoux
A child's imagination can be the strongest defense against the cruel reality of the world she lives in. This ideal is brought to life in The Ever Part of Always -- Keely Tucker's First Adventure by Toby K. Davis. In a shining example of a side of American society that has been ignored for too long, Davis brings to life Keely: part child, part victim, but all hero. Keely's world is one that is too common in towns across the United States. She faces physical abuse from a bully down the street, verbal and emotional abuse from an alcoholic mother, and psychological abuse from a loving but absent father. To combat the seemingly endless assault from the outside world, Keely uses her imagination to create a world of her own. A world where unicorns are the keepers of dreams, dragons guard the colors of the rainbow, and animal friends take on human traits and help Keely face the ultimate challenge: save the life of the unicorn Crea. The Ever Part of Always -- Keely Tucker's First Adventure is a bedtime story for the modern day youth. Emotional and heartfelt, the story is ideal for teaching children how to express their thoughts, feelings, and fears in positive and productive ways. Teachers, counselors, and therapists should consider this novel a vital asset to be used to help troubled students and children cope with the pressures of abusive or absent parents. Beautifully illustrated, uplifting and heartbreaking, The Ever Part of Always -- Keely Tucker's First Adventure is a must for the bookshelves of children everywhere.Phil Bolos
Moving softly as if inside a whisper - this is just one example of the wonderfully creative and imaginative thoughts that the author has brought to life in her first book. She has taken her life experiences and her passion for inspiring children and turned it into a delightful modern day fairy tale. Her characters are well developed and have thoughtful insights into their behavior and their transformations. The heroine learns to overcome the obstacles set in her path by fate and does so in a way that is transformational and inspiring to the readers. The author mixes learning vocabulary and folk wisdom with a deep-seated belief that anything is possible if you only believe and make it happen as only a former teacher who has a love for children can. A delightfully inspiring book for all ages that teaches and enlightens in a wonderfully charming way.Kevin B.