Posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Tween Reads

Book Review: 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’s eye, 10-year old Abilene. Abilene changes his outfits daily annd dotes on him. He lives a comfortable life and knows it, but he’s cold and keeps Abilene at a distance, never allowing himself to love her as she loves him; her purpose in his life is to take care of him and coddle him.

Abilene and her family go on a cruise where Edward, as a cruel prank by two boys on the ship, is tossed overboard; thus begins 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 journeys with Edward, experiencing his growth and heartache through each subsequent companion’s story. Despite the affection – even love – he feels with each new owner, his thoughts always stray back to Abilene, finally understanding what love is and he regrets not reciprocating her affection.
 
The them of second chances is a dominant theme in the book, leaving the reader with the message that there’s always a chance for redemption – it just make take some time. It is a powerful and relevant theme for middle grade children, who need to understand at this delicate age that their actions can and do have consequences, but that almost nothing is unforgiveable, and reconciliation is always down the road.

Author:

I'm a mom, a children's librarian, bibliophile, and obsessive knitter. I'm a pop culture junkie and a proud nerd, and favorite reads usually fall into Sci-Fi/Fantasy. I review comics and graphic novels at WhatchaReading (http://whatchareading.com). I'm also the co-founder of On Wednesdays We Wear Capes (http://www.onwednesdays.net/), where I discuss pop culture and geek fandom from a female point of view.

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