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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Book review by
Matt Berman, Common Sense Media
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Book Poster Image
Heartless toy finds love in a cruel world.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 35 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

A moving, lyrical, and for some, too emotionally effective examination of love.

Violence & Scariness

A boy is slapped, a dog is kicked, and a living toy is smashed and broken.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a melancholy little story in which there is cruelty and misery, including a little girl who dies of consumption. Most readers, child and adult, will cry while reading it; at the most extreme, some very sensitive kids might find it too disturbing.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 8 year old Written byElliott and Gwen September 14, 2019
Parent of a 6 year old Written bySmilyhorse12 October 16, 2018

Too moving

This book is a good book but quite complicated and moving for 7 years old. I advise to read if when you are 10 so that you don't cry over it on the sad pa... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMeow314159 May 31, 2010

Best book ever

Best book I have ever read in my life. I read it when I was about eight with my dad, when I finished the book I cried for about 7 hours because it was so happy... Continue reading
Written byAnonymous April 18, 2010

I Fell In Love

Out of all of the books I've read, this was one of my favorites. This book is ranked up there in my book with pieces like The Lovely Bones and Pride and Pr... Continue reading

What's the story?

Edward Tulane is a three-foot tall toy rabbit, beautifully made, with a wardrobe of exquisite clothes. Like any toy, he cannot move or talk, but he can think. And despite being loved by a little girl, Abilene, he doesn't love anyone but himself.

Abilene's mysterious grandmother tells them a story of a princess who cannot love, and she whispers to Edward, "You disappoint me." Soon after, while on a cruise ship, Edward is thrown overboard by some mean boys, thus beginning an odyssey that carries him through many years to different owners, through humiliation and damage and pain, but enables him gradually to open his heart to others.

Is it any good?

This lovely, lyrical, almost Dickensian tale is certainly a classic in the making. How is it that, at a time when so many authors don't seem to be able to get their readers emotionally involved with their human characters, Kate DiCamillo can have her readers breathless and weeping over a toy rabbit that can neither move nor talk? This is the author's secret, and the key to why this book should last long after others have faded away.

Yes, it is at times mawkish and overwrought: The stunning cruelty of the world to a little boy named Bryce, for instance, left unresolved by the author, borders on being too much. But by that time, even jaded readers won't mind -- they'll be too swept up in the rich and powerful story, enhanced by the gorgeous drawings and paintings by Ibatoulline. The whole volume, in fact, is a treat, printed in perfectly sized type with plenty of white space on creamy paper -- a beautiful edition well worth the slightly higher hardcover price. Don't miss sharing this near-perfect bedtime book with your middle-graders, and don't be surprised if you find your older kids listening in at the doorway.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the path of growth and understanding that Edward follows.

  • What does he learn about love?

  • Why does he try, for awhile, to avoid it?

  • Why is it so important?

Book details

For kids who love simply wonderful stories

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