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Capture the Flag
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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane PDF Print E-mail

What You Need to Know:
• An excellent read-aloud, both adults and children will be captivated by Edward Tulane.
• Every word seems to have been written with care and chosen with precision and will resonate deeply
   with the reader.
• Note of caution – Edward has been drowned, buried, flung from a train, nailed to a stick and broken to pieces –
   literally and figuratively. There is also the death of a young girl and an abusive father.
• Some concepts like feeling mocked by the stars or birds “screaming a dark message in Edward’s ear” may require
   further explanation.
• Some of the vocabulary may be challenging. Be prepared for words like ennui and contrarian.
• The illustrations, done in acrylic gouache, are works of art that perfectly capture the moment.
Sweet Book Summary:
Edward Tulane “prefers not to think unpleasant thoughts.” It may be surprising that he has thoughts at all, as Edward is actually a toy rabbit. He spends most of his time thinking about his appearance, his elegant wardrobe and the stars in the sky. He’s not really interested in the people around him and only pretends to listen when they speak. He is a proud rabbit who had been given as a birthday gift to a young girl named Abilene by her grandmother, Pellegrina. Now ten, Abilene loves and cares for him, treating him like a human. One night, Pellegrina tells them a gruesome tale of a princess who chooses to live without love. The story, and sometimes Pellegrina herself make Edward feel “agitated” although he isn’t sure why. Warning for younger readers – Pellegrina’s story has an unpleasant ending.

Abilene's family later takes a vacation aboard a ship and in an unfortunate incident Edward is thrown overboard, landing at the bottom of the ocean. There are some serious, possibly disturbing thoughts presented here. "How does a china rabbit die? Can a china rabbit drown?" The reader will feel Edward's agony as he spends day after day awake and along with only his thoughts. He remembers his mistress Abilene, Pellegrina and the story of the princess and the stars he can no longer see in the sky. For the first time, Edward feels emotion - he is afraid.

After almost 300 days in the water, a fisherman rescues Edward. He adjusts to his new surroundings and ragged appearance, realizing that anything is better than lying on the ocean floor. At this point, Edward begins to change. He listens when people speak and as a result, his heart begins to open. His happiness does not last long however, because the fisherman’s daughter dislikes him and tosses him in a garbage dump. With more time to think, Edward begins to understand Pellegrina’s story and the importance of love.

Edward is rescued from the dump but then lost and found several more times. His memories of the starlit sky and the people he has loved keep him "alive" and comforted throughout his difficult journey. As the years pass, he recognizes that he is no longer like the princess because he has experienced love, but he also finds that opening his heart has allowed loneliness to creep in as well. In the end he must decide if he wants to risk feeling the pain and loss that sometimes follow when you open your heart.
Author: Kate DiCamillo Illustrator: Bagram Ibatoulline Published: 2006, 228 pages
Themes: Adventure, Aminlas – Rabbits, Excellent Read-Aloud, Extraordinary Language, Magic, Self-Awareness/Discovery
If You Liked This Book, Try:
Roxie and the Hooligans, Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
My Father’s Dragon, Ruth Stiles Gannett
Gooney Bird Greene, Lois Lowry
This recommendation was written by: Melissa G.
Support Independent Book Shops: Click Here to Buy this Book on IndieBound

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