The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
by Kate DiCamillo
“Someone will come for you, but first you must open your heart. . . .”
Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely.
And then, one day, he was lost.
Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the top of a garbage heap to the fireside of a hoboes’ camp, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. And along the way, we are shown a true miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.
My thoughts on this book…
I picked up The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane after a high recommendation from a friend on Goodreads. We’d just finished reading and reviewing Because of Winn-Dixie which we loved. I took a chance on it and purchased it from Barnes and Noble to read with my kids.
The story begins with Edward Tulane, a China rabbit who belongs to a girl named Abilene. The family is wealthy and not only does Edward have fancy clothes to wear, but he has the love of Abilene as well. She absolutely adores him and spends all of her time caring for him.
In all, Edward Tulane felt himself to be an exceptional specimen. Only his whiskers gave him pause. They were long and elegant (as they should be), but they were of uncertain origin. Edward felt quite strongly that they were not the whiskers of a rabbit. Whom the whiskers had belonged to initially–what unsavory animal–was a question Edward cold not bear to consider for too long.
Edward is really quite vain and wishes that the adults in the household would treat him differently, but at the same time he simply doesn’t realize what he has. He can’t talk or move, but he is very aware of the world around him. He listens to the humans as they talk, but he rarely wants to. Eventually Abilene’s grandmother shares a story with Abilene and Edward about a princess who refused to love anyone and was turned into a warthog by a witch. Edward isn’t sure why, but the story seems to be directed toward him. The grandmother then stares into his eyes and simply tells him, “You disappoint me.”
It isn’t long after that Abilene’s father shares the announcement of a family trip to London. Abilene decides to take Edward of course, but after an incident with some boys on the ship, Edward is stripped of his fancy clothing, thrown overboard, and sinks to the bottom of the dark ocean, naked and alone. He becomes scared, feeling a true emotion for the first time. He begins to question his future. What will happen to poor Edward now?
From the very first pages I was pulled into the story. As an adult, I felt many emotions and even had to walk away at one point because I became over emotional in tears. We even laughed at times too. It’s one of those books that you simply can’t put down and my kids kept telling me, “We have to keep going!” It’s written well and the characters are truly unforgettable. Every character has their own story, but often the reader is left to draw their own conclusion which opens up plenty of discussion. When we finally got to the end, we didn’t want it to be over. With that said, I felt weird about the last few chapters at first, but as we finished it all came together. This is a book I could read over and over again–it’s one to keep!
What an amazing author to write a book like this. Kate DiCamillo literally captured my heart again and I can’t wait to read all of her other books. She’s become a favorite author and we want to read everything she writes. I honestly question how this book didn’t win awards and wish they’d do a film adaptation.
The book is obviously great for any age, but I personally felt like some of the vocabulary seemed a bit advanced for 1st and 2nd graders as the recommended age listed for this book on Amazon is 6-9. There were a few vocabulary words my 4th graders didn’t know. It might be best to brush over the more difficult words before reading. There is a free teaching guide on the author’s website.
I’m choosing this book for my October read for the Ultimate Reading Challenge. One of my favorite tropes is when a character learns about the power of love and I feel this book is a great example.
I’d recommend this book to anyone. Over the top 5-stars!
- Age Range: 6 – 9 years
- Grade Level: 1 – 4
- Hardcover: 228 pages
- Publisher: Candlewick (February 14, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0763625892
- ISBN-13: 978-0763625894
See my reading challenge here…