The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo
(Summary taken from amazon.com) "Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost... Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle--that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again."
My daughter's second grade class read this book for their book club last month. I hadn't ever read it before now. Edward Tulane is a china rabbit. He belongs to a girl named Abilene and he lives a very comfortable life. He wears fancy clothes and gets to sit at the big table with the family for dinner. Abilene loves him. A lot. Unfortunately for Edward, he is grumpy and criticizes everything. He does not love as he should. Abilene goes on a big boat and Edward is lost overboard. He falls to the bottom of the ocean, and there starts a very long and difficult journey for him. As he travels from place to place and from person to person, he slowly begins to learn how to love. I didn't love this book. My daughter's teacher said it is one of her favorite books, and a lot of the kids in the class gave it five stars, but for some reason it just didn't click with me. I thought it was slow, kind of boring, and predictable. Some of the characters are a little scary, and there is a very sad part in it. The lesson, though, is really good. Loving those around you, really loving them, and enjoying the time you spend with them, while you have them, is an invaluable lesson.
Rating: PG (A few scary and rough characters, the death of a main character)
Recommendation: As a silent reading book: 2nd grade and up
As a read-aloud: Kindergarten and up (My kindergartener read it with us and did fine with it.)