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. . . .
I have been trying this summer to read the Kate DiCamillo books that I had not read before, and this was the last one on my list. I believe I saved the best for last, because this one really tugged on my heart. I've ordered it to add to my classroom library, and I think it will be a read-aloud book this year. This is a story of china rabbit who learns to love. Once again I was entranced by DiCamillo's use of language. It's a simple and profound story. My granddaughter was with me when I dropped the book off at the library and was very excited to tell me she read it last year in 4th grade and loved it. We had a wonderful conversation about our favorite parts of the story and she encouraged me to read it to my students this year. Perhaps I will do what her teacher did -- stop at a key part and invite the class to check out the book and finish it on their own!
Those who know me can tell you I am a huge baseball fan! That means I'm always interested in baseball themed stories, so when I came across this one I immediately put it on hold at the library. It did not disappoint, as I found both the story and the illustrations to be wonderful. It is set during WWII, and the young Japanese-American boy telling the story has been sent with his family to an internment camp following Pearl Harbor.
Having just been in a museum in Alaska where there was a large exhibit about the experiences of the Japanese American population in Juneau this story had a special interest for me. In the story, the young boy's father decides that they need to build a baseball diamond in the camp to bring them together and give them something to take their minds off what has been done to them. Definitely a book I want to share with my class this year.