Sunday, July 24, 2011
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, by Kate DiCamillo (Candlewick Press, 2009)
Recommended for ages 9-12
I normally try to stay away from reading multiple books by the same author in a row, but after coming off of The Tale of Desperaux, I really wanted more, so I picked up The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane.
Edward Tulane is a stunning china rabbit with real fur ears and wires enabling movement in his arms and legs, and a fashionable silk wardrobe. He is the apple of his owner, a 10-year old girl named Abilene. She changes his outfits annd dotes on him. He lives a comfortable life and knows it, but he's cold and holds Abilene at a distance. Her purpose in his life is to take care of him and coddle him.
When Abilene and her family go on a cruise, Edward finds himself tossed overboard as a prank by two cruel boys on the ship; this starts him on a journey where he finds himself in the company of an old woman, a homeless man, and a dying little girl and her older brother. Each of these people teaches Edward a little more about love, loss and longing.
The reader experiences his growth and aches along with him with each subsequent companion's story. Despite the affection - even love - he feels with each new owner, his thoughts always stray back to Abilene, and he understands what she felt for him and regrets not returning her love. I also enjoyed the theme of second chances that runs through the book; I was left with the message that there's always a chance for redemption - it just make take some time.