From 2006, Kate DiCamillo’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is number 59 on the Top 100 Chapter Books list. This is only my second time reading one of her books, though, if memory serves, there are two others on the list ahead of me (Winn-Dixie and Despereaux).
What it’s about: Edward Tulane is a toy, a specially-made china rabbit with real rabbit fur ears and tail. He is usually dressed quite smartly (even with his own gold pocket watch) and he’s truly loved by his young owner, Abilene. Unfortunately, all of this has led to him thinking quite highly of himself, so much so that he can’t be bothered to love Abilene back. When Edward is accidentally lost and finds himself moving through different hands and homes, he slowly learns to feel for others.
Age level: Grades 3-5
Best part: I thought the various people who ended up with Edward were an interesting collection of lower-class Americans, from a fisherman and his wife to a hobo and his dog to an impoverished little boy and his sick sister. I thought they were all portrayed in a very sympathetic and humanizing way. They all had troubles but they also had the capability to care and love.
Worst part: The book was rather sad in parts and the doll repair guy at the end was a big fat jerk.
Overall, I thought this was a sweet story but a week or so later, it had already mostly faded from my mind, unlike the other Kate DiCamillo book I’ve read, The Magician’s Elephant, which stuck with me long after I had finished reading it. Still, I can see why this would be a good book for teachers to read in class. It emphasizes caring for others no matter their circumstances and for appreciating the people that are in your life.
Join me next for Roald Dahl’s The Witches as part of your RIP VIII reading! The movie is showing a few times this month on the HUB Network channel too (if you happen to get it).