If you haven’t read The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo, you are in for a real treat. This heartwarming story follows Edward, a porcelain rabbit. In the 1930s, Grandmother gave Edward to Abilene. Abilene adored Edward and treated him as a member of the family.
While on vacation, two mischievous boys throw Edward overboard while Abilene is traveling on the Queen Mary. Edward ends up in the depths of the ocean. He is fished out and passed from one owner to the next over several years
Summary of Edward’s Travels
Home – Egypt Street
The story is told from the perspective of Edward, a beautiful china rabbit. He spends his days staring out the window and waiting for his owner Abilene to return home from school. The biggest event in Edward’s life is getting to sit at the dinner table with the family each night. Two mishaps occur to Edward. Once a maid vacuums him and places Edward among the dolls. The family fires this maid. A second time a boxer dog comes into the house grabs Edward in his jaws and shakes him.
Before going on a sea voyage to London, Pellegrina tells Abilene and Edward a story about a selfish princess who can’t love anyone. The princess is turned into a warthog that gets cooked for the royal family. Pellegrina then turns to Edward and tells him he has disappointed her.
Two young boys, Martin and Amos, play pass with Edward sending him overboard into the ocean on the voyage.
1st Stop ~ The Ocean Floor
Edward laid face down for 297 days. During this time he thought about the princess’s story and blamed Pellegrina for his misfortune.
2nd Stop ~ Home of Lawrence and Nellie
Lawrence is a kind old fisherman who finds Edward in his fishing nets. He thinks his wife will be happy to get the rabbit because she is sad. The reader learns that she watched her grandson die from pneumonia. Nellie repairs Edward’s ears and makes him dresses to wear. Lawrence goes on walks with Edward. Their daughter Lolly learns of this behavior and decides to put an end to it. She throws Edward in the trash and takes him to the dump.
3rd Stop ~ Garbage Dump
Edward stayed in the garbage dump for 180 days. Each morning a crazy man named Ernest crowed like a rooster and yelled to the garbage that he was king of the world because the whole world was garbage, and he was on top of it.
Edward hated the dump. He thought being buried in the trash was much worse than being in the ocean. Finally, Edward was carried away from the dump by a dog named Lucy.
4th Stop ~ Across the Countryside
Bull, Lucy, and Edward walked or jumped the trains. Bull was kind to Edward. He carried him in his bedroll making sure that Edward could always see where he had traveled. They traveled for almost seven years. One night as they slept in an empty railroad car, the night watchman found them. The watchman tosses Edward out.
Stop #5 ~ In the Field as Scarecrow
Edward was picked up by an old woman who had been fishing. She picks up Edward and carries him home. She then attaches him to a pole and hangs in the garden to scare away the crows. Thankfully, Edward only stays with the lady for two days before he is rescued by Bryce.
Stop #6 ~ Home of Sarah Ruth and Bryce
Bryce is hired to work in the old woman’s garden. As soon as he sees Edward hanging up as a scarecrow, he knows he is going to take him home as a gift for his sister, Sarah Ruth. Bryce comes back into the garden after the old woman has left and takes Edward down. He carries him home to Sarah Ruth because their dad carelessly trampled on the china doll she had, breaking her into many pieces. Sarah Ruth cradles Edward. She loves him immediately. After Sarah Ruth dies, Bryce takes Edward to Memphis.
Stop #7 ~ Memphis and Neal’s Diner
Bryce makes Edward dance like a pirouette while he plays the harmonica. Many passersby say mean things such as “He’s dirty,” and, “It’s a sin to dance.” Bryce cries but continues to raise money. Pellegrina comes by and sees Edward. He wants to tell her he’s changed, but Edward can’t speak. Finally, Bryce takes his money into Neal’s Diner and eats a large meal. After the check comes, Bryce realizes he doesn’t have enough money. Neal grows angry and throws Edward against the counter busting his head. Everything goes dark.
Stop #8 – Workshop and Store
Lucius repairs Edward turning him into his former self. He sat on the shelf in his store for years but was not selected to be purchased. Edward talked to the dolls that sat with him. The doll with the green dress had the same feelings of self-importance that Edward had at the beginning of the novel. Then Edward sat next to an antique doll that told him to open his heart, and he would find love again. That is exactly what Edward did.
Activities for The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
Novel Study Samples
If you would like to try out The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane Book Unit this sample includes the including:
- Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
- Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
- Constructed Response Question – Cause and Effect
- Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like
Anchor Chart of Edward’s Journey
Tracking Edward’s Journey Free Printable
Download this free printable chart for your students to track Edward’s travels. Use the chart to discuss Edward’s different names.
- Does a name change a person?
- Edward is given both male and female names. Does that change who is he?
- Do the names fit the circumstances Edward finds himself in? Explain.