Wednesday, April 11, 2012

MIddle Grade Book of the Week: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

I feel like one of the few noobs in the world who missed the Kate DiCamillo train over the past few years. My son and I absolutely loved "The Tale of Despereux" in the movie theaters but I never traced it back to the book, or author, behind it.

I remember hearing about, but not seeing, "Because of Winn Dixie" and thinking the name odd because I lived in a town with a grocery store called Winn Dixie. But as I moved more and more into the middle grade arena, one can't help but be introduced to KDC and her body of work. There are so many folks out there on the Intertubes who praise "The Tiger Rising" and how their classrooms loved it, that its only a matter of time, perhaps minutes, before I join the fan club and read it. I'm excited, even.

But my personal journey with KDC starts with "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane." I admit I bought it on a whim because it was a special feature on and only $2.99 for my Nook. I'm cheap these days, I'll admit it. And when I couldn't stand another sentence in the numerous "get your baby to sleep through the night" books I'd been scouring, I opened up Mr. Tulane's story.

As I stated earlier, I'm not familiar with KDC's written style, but this was like nothing I'd read before. It was a bit dark. It had a main character that was not only a toy and unable to move or talk (but he could think) throughout most of the story, he was rather unlikeable. Cringe-worthy, dare I say?

"The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane" isn't exactly a warm and fuzzy sort of book. It's full of sad people. Mean people. Sick people. Abused people. And one rather pompous china rabbit who goes on the journey of his lifetime to discover the meaning of love. Even it's happy ending has little barbs of regret and loss.

It's actually an amazing book with such a strong voice, I can't help but be excited for the next KDC books I nab.

Happy reading!
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