The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (paperback)

by Kate DiCamillo

AR Level 4.4, 2 points

A friend recommended that I read this book.  She said she’d read it to her class in the past, and her students were able to predict the ending, but she thought something different would have happened.  That caught my attention- there must be something about the way kids related to the story compared to how we as adults do.  It follows the journey of a vain “toy” bunny (don’t let him catch me calling him a toy) as he grows and changes emotionally when his world is turned upside down.  He starts off in the home of Abilene, a little girl who loves and treasures him.  He was given to her by her mysterious grandmother, Pellegrina.  When they are separated, he goes from hand to hand and learns the value of LOVE.  He has several heartbreaking losses (some more heartbreaking than others), and you feel his pain each time because of DiCamillo’s awesome ability to personify this bunny.  I won’t spoil the ending for you, but I will say that the happiness or sadness of it is all about your perspective and emotional ties to the characters.  However, the theme is powerful, and summed up by the quote, “If you have no intention of loving or being loved, then the whole journey is pointless.”

What I liked about this book:  I haven’t read a Kate DiCamillo book before, but I enjoy her style of writing.  She is incredibly descriptive, and you have as much disgust for Edward as distrust for Pellegrina as the author meant for you to have.  You can see the flecks of gold in the little girl’s eyes and smell the dump or taste the salty ocean water.  I also enjoyed the way DiCamillo used short, precise sentences and phrases to make her point.  Something about the writing made me want to keep reading, even over the character description and desire to see what became of Edward.

What I didn’t like about this book:  There was something that happened in this book that didn’t sit right with me.  Everyone has their thing that makes them uncomfortable or upset or distressed and prevents them from enjoying the book or movie, whether it’s cruelty to animals, foul language, etc.  Suicide is one for me (although not the case in this book).  The particular event in this story made me cry big fat tears, and while I finished the book, it really took away from the meaning behind it, because I was so distressed about what happened.  For most, it would probably be no big deal, though.  I’d say that overall, the message of the book is powerful, and worth the read.

Thank you for recommending and lending me this book, Megan!

Book 4 of 52

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