Childrens Book Reading Extravaganza 2010: Novel #97

Another week, another novel.  Before we continue, can I admit something fairly embarrassing to you guys?  I mean, I feel like we’re close enough at this point and all…see, when I was all, “Heck yeah I’ll read all Top 100 Children’s Novels and post about one each week!  That’s a finger-snappin’ idea!” it never really occurred to me exactly what I was promising. 

And then I mentioned my idea to Mr. Mimi.  After telling you all of course. 

And HE said, “So you’re going to do this for the next two years?”

And then I said, “?”

And he said, “If there are 100 of them and you want to do one a week, that’s just about two years.”

And I said, “?”

So, yeah.  I mean, I guess I could back out but I won’t, I can’t, I SHALL NOT!  But, um, yes, we will be doing this for the next two years friends.  Who knew we’d be so long term – hope you’re ready for that type of commitment.

Enough babbling.  If I keep it up with these long, meandering intros, it will take 3 years at least.  Onto novel number 97!  It’s The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane  (Click on this image for the link.)  (But don’t say I didn’t warn you that shopping for children’s books is addictive.)  (You heard it here first.)

You know, I was a bit skeptical coming into this book, as is my nature, I guess.  But I have to say I really enjoyed it.  It was a snap to read (took me only three nights…keep in mind I’m a pregnant lady with a mind that enjoys racing at night and, therefore, preventing sleep) and this particular edition has rather large print which would be fab for reading out loud to your friends.  The chapters are nice and short too, so you could squeeze one in real quick before lunch (or whenever) each day, no problem!

Edward Tulane is a rabbit.  At the beginning he is one stuck up s.o.b. who lives with a wealthy girl and has fabulous clothes.  He could care less about anyone around him.  For some reason the girl’s grandmother can tell Edward is all uppity-times and one night says to him, “You disappoint me.”  And Edward is all, “Whatever.”  BUT THEN…(and there’s always a but), Edward ends up getting thrown over board.  (Wealthy girl and her family were on a cruise by the by.)  Long story short, he spends a great deal of time at the bottom of the ocean thinking and then ends up getting passed along (through a series of accidents…but again, I’m trying to keep this short in the hopes that you don’t click elsewhere) to a lonely older woman, a hobo and his dog, and a sick little girl.  Throughout his journey, Edward learns how to love and what it feels like to be heartbroken. 

I’m debating about telling you the ending.  I totally feel like I need to hold up a sign that says, “Spoiler alert!”  But you know what? I don’t think I’m going to do it because it’s so sweet and I would feel like a total douche.  So you’ll just have to trust me, it’s a lovely ending.

I think friends in grades three through five would enjoy this as a class read aloud.  Of course, it would also make a fabulous independent or guided text, but I’m having trouble finding a level on this one.  My guess is someone in the fourth grade on average could handle this on their own, although there is some tricky vocabulary.  Then again, new vocabulary never killed anyone, now did it.

This one gets a full thumbs up from old Mrs. Mimi.  I’m off to start novel #96…after all I’ve got a long road ahead of me! 

Next up...The Witches by Roald Dahl.  (clapping hands)  (Yeah, I’m alone and clapping.) I heart him.  This will be fun!

Enjoy every minute of your weekend friends,

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  • I love Edward Tulane! I read it with my 4th graders last year and they were enraptured by the devotion that Kate DiCamillo captures so perfectly in that story. She is definitely a favorite with all age groups I've worked with (K-5).

    May 28, 2010 at 6:33 pm
  • I read this with my 6th grade and they loved it. We used it for character development. We made a timeline (how long has Edward been gone) using text clues to fill it in. Examined how Edward's feeling changed through the story. Vocab was great. Loved the whole book.

    May 29, 2010 at 12:56 am
  • Accelerated Reading level 4.4.

    May 29, 2010 at 4:44 am

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