I just finished reading it to my Grade 1s and they LOVED it!
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is just the most heartbreakingly beautiful story about a china rabbit who learns to love after a series of adventures. He experiences life as a treasured toy, a fisherman, a hobo, and a puppet. Parts of the story were very sad (in fact I was fighting back tears at the happy/sad ending) but the kids were fine with it and were begging me to read more every day.
At the end of the book we had a great discussion about the story and its meaning. I was trying to get the kids to recognize the main theme (learning to open your heart and feel love), but they're only 6 years old and were fixated on the dream/death hallucination towards the end of the book. They were trying to decide if Edward really learned how to walk or was just dreaming.
Afterwards, the kids painted their favourite scene and wrote about it. Most of them focussed on the ocean voyage when Edward is tossed overboard.
You can find a fabulous teacher's guide here. I wish I'd stumbled across this earlier, but I'll be sure to have it on hand before I read the book to next year's class.
Here's a trailer for the book:
I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did:)