Review: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Publication Date: 2006-03-07
Yes, this book was written for children, but as with any good book, it's for adults too.
In that last sentence, ennui means
Just kidding. But that's how the Standardistos mutilate a fine word when it appears. In mutilating the word, they mutilate the work--and the child.
I suppose it's a vain hope to wish that this book never make it onto the Accelerated Reader list. They are sure to quiz the young reader on the chronology of Edward's adventures, offering interrogation on how long he lay at the bottom of the sea:
a) 297 days
b) 3 weeks
c) 2 years
d) 5 years
The rub is that children trained in our acquisitive culture won't read a book if it doesn't offer points toward sleazy gimcracks. But reading about the adventures of this china rabbit to acquire points just may be worse than not reading it at all.
Parents can get around the fact that kids are now trained to expect points for books they read by buying the recording and listening to it with their children. It will be time well spent.
School Library Journal and Booklist both offer starred reviews.
I would put this book on a list of readings for a professional development course because it offers the message that love is what's important. I once offered the proposal that teachers' contracts should be renewed only if someone was willing to stand up at a school board meeting and declare their love for the teacher in question. My feeling was then--and is now--that people who watch over our children must be capable of love, both the giving and the receiving. Kate DiCamillo expands on this theme in a story that will pull at your heartstrings. . . and inspire you to fight for what matters most.
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