Toby K. Davis

Toby K. Davis

“… A heartfelt tale for young and older readers alike who delight in the magic of friendship, self-discovery, and bravery.”

An adventure-packed magical tale that skillfully balances childlike whimsy with the vulnerable parts that make us human. A magical tale that will sweep young readers off their feet, Toby K. Davis’s THE EVER PART OF ALWAYS (Keely Tucker’s First Adventure) draws on every child’s fantasies of flying, talking animals, mythical creatures, daring adventures, and standing up to bullies. However, this unicorn and star-speckled tale also explores more serious topics such as death, abuse, and self-discovery… 

Reviewer: Bailey Seibel, IndieReader

“…  [The] added element of drama … makes the happy resolution to the story feel harder-earned and extra rewarding for the characters and readers alike.”

This middle-grade fantasy novel stars Keely Tucker, a ten-year-old girl with a difficult life. Keely’s father is one of the few lucky people in their rundown neighborhood with a job, but he must spend most of his time on the road. Keely’s mother drinks away the stress of having so many unpaid bills and takes out her anger on Keely… Life seems especially bleak when Keely’s beloved grandmother dies unexpectedly, but when the family attends the reading of Gramms’ will, everything starts to change for Keely…

Reviewer: Sarah Poulette, US Review of Books

“… A wonderful novel for young readers to fall in love with, not only the characters and storytelling, but with reading itself.”

Keely is your normal ten-year old child.  To her, she is a modern-day knight, but without the armor.  Keely struggles to find her place in this world as she is bullied on a regular basis, and finds solace within the stories her Gramms told her.  Stories filled with enchanted and faraway places, unicorns, fairies, and angels, and children are protected from everyday pains like bullies… (see more) 

Reviewer: Jennifer Bailey, Pacific Book Review

“… The Ever Part of Always is a creative middle grade novel that spins the ordinary into the extraordinary.”

The Ever Part of Always: Keely Tucker’s First Adventure is about little Keely Tucker, an imaginative 10-year-old who never lets her difficult circumstances overcome her. Keely’s family does not have very much money, her dad travels for work, and her mom sometimes drinks too much and says harsh things. The inspiration and hope in Keely’s life is all gleaned from the memories of her dear grandmother, who suddenly passes away… (see more)

Reviewer: Michaela Gordoni, Hollywood Book Reviews

“So enveloping and inspiring…Felt I was entering a whole new realm myself…”

The Ever Part of Always — Keely Tucker’s First Adventure by Toby K. Davis is a young adult novel that departs from the norm by exploring the inner world of young Keely Rosalie Jackson; a world forged to cope with an emotionally neurotic mother, an absentee father, the loss of her confidante, her grandmother, and a relentless bully who seems to trail Keely around the Appalachian foothills where she spends every moment outside of school. The loss of her grandmother adds a transformational presence to Keely’s life, an elderly and fragile horse named Mariah, who for Keely is the reincarnation of her encouraging, supportive and loving grandmother. Toby Davis has an intuitive sense for the inner monologue of a young adolescent learning to overcome trials and tribulations that she inherited by no fault of her own, and for the loneliness and pain Keely experiences but eventually overcomes by asserting herself. The Ever Part of Always is a story of a young woman’s empowerment and coming into her own. The fantasy of her relationships with Mariah, and mythical beast Crea, are so enveloping and inspiring that I felt I was entering a whole new realm myself. An endearing, well-developed read that contends with the realities of the difficult and formative transition from childhood to adulthood and rewards the protagonist and the reader with Keely’s triumph. From beginning to end, I found it to be an exciting and great story. A must read.

Reviewer: Haggai Carmon, International Attorney, Author of 4 Dan Gordon Intelligence Thrillers

Book Reviews

“A great book to encourage kids… to convert the impossible to the “is-possible”…”

The Ever Part of Always — Keely Tucker’s First Adventure is a novel about love and friendship across human generations but also about being open to giving and receiving these from nonhuman creatures. It is a great pleasure to write this review for Toby K. Davis’ book, which I highly recommend. It deploys a tremendously rich and captivating vocabulary to convey beauty and wonder in the nature that surrounds us. 

Reviewer: Albert A. Thibault, retired senior diplomat, served in highest positions at several US embassies abroad and is currently writing a book on US-India relations.

“Stands in the reality-fantasy genre of tales like Ende’s “The NeverEnding Story”…”

Keely is a lonely 10-year-old girl living in a town impoverished by successive closing of the local coal mine and a land-scam that bankrupted many of its residents. Keely’s father is mostly absent on marginally productive business trips and her mother assuages financial stress and loneliness with Jim Beam, venting her anxieties on Keely who takes emotional refuge in internal defenses her Gramms had taught her.

Reviewer: T. Preschersof, May 12, 2012

“Emotional and heartfelt…”

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.

Reviewer: Phil Bolos, May 2012

“A delightfully inspiring book for all ages that teaches and enlightens…”

“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.

Reviewer: Abudsberg

“She talks to trees…”

This story will probably appeal to the pre-teen crowd. Our protagonist is a highly imaginative little 10-year-old girl named Keely Tucker. Keely doesn’t have the happiest life imaginable although it looks much worse to her than it might to an adult looking on. But that’s the point of a story for pre-teens to show how they feel and they cope. And Keely has a very special way of coping she talks to trees, for example. But life gets really interesting when her beloved grandmother dies and leaves her a unicorn! A unicorn that once belonged to her slightly neurotic mother. Unhappily, the unicorn dies after giving birth to a baby unicorn. Keely and the baby unicorn, Crea bond and Keely learns all sorts of new talents using her mind. Unfortunately, during one of their excursions to the stars, a tiny bit of a star gets

Reviewer: Catherine Book

“Moving so swiftly that the “ow” part of their howl was left behind…”

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 the 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. 

Reviewer: A.D Marcoux, October 29, 2012

Amazon Reviews

A. D. Marcoux
A. D. Marcoux
2012-10-29
The Ever Part of Always: Keely Tucker's First Adventure: Destined to be a classic! 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!
Kevin B.
Kevin B.
2012-05-28
The Ever Part of Always: Keely Tucker's First Adventure: inspiring 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.
Phil Bolos
Phil Bolos
2012-05-25
The Ever Part of Always: Keely Tucker's First Adventure: Wonderful new novel for young adults! 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, Author of Fiend: The Manifestation
Phil Bolos
Phil Bolos
2012-05-21
The Ever Part of Always: Keely Tucker's First Adventure: A Fantasy for Today's Youth 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, Author of Fiend - The Manifestation
Albert Thibault
Albert Thibault
2012-02-18
The Ever Part of Always: Keely Tucker's First Adventure: The Ever Part of Always - one great book! '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, retired Foreign Service officer, currently writing a book on U.S.-India relations.

Author's Comment

My maid came today and told me something wonderful and I wanted to share it with you. The last time she came she saw my book, “The Ever Part of Always Keely — Tucker’s First Adventure” and was so excited about it. Even though she doesn’t read English very well, she liked the pictures. She wanted to buy a copy for her 13-year-old daughter. So, I wrote a special endorsement for her daughter and she took it home. Her daughter LOVED the book and wouldn’t put it down. Her mom said she took it everywhere and was reading it, at school on breaks, at home — not even watching TV as she wanted to read it. Her friend wants a copy too. So, I will give her friend a copy today. But her mother said the most amazing thing happened to her daughter; the daughter is not angry any more, she doesn’t yell at her and fight all the time. Maria said she asked her why she was behaving so much better and she said it’s the book! She re-reads parts all the time and she says the book helps her so so much every day. She is studying more at school and is so much ‘happier inside’. Isn’t that awesome? That is the purpose of the book and so wonderful to hear. Both mother and daughter say they can’t wait for the next book!