Edward's Eyes

( 32 )

Overview

Jake is a part of an extraordinary family.

He has a life filled with art, music, and long summer nights on the Cape. He has hours and days and months of baseball. But, more than anything in this world, Jake knows he has Edward. From the moment he was born, Jake knew Edward was destined for something. Edward could make anyone laugh and everyone think. During one special year, he became the only one in the neighborhood who could throw a perfect knuckleball. It was a pitch you ...

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Edward's Eyes

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Overview

Jake is a part of an extraordinary family.

He has a life filled with art, music, and long summer nights on the Cape. He has hours and days and months of baseball. But, more than anything in this world, Jake knows he has Edward. From the moment he was born, Jake knew Edward was destined for something. Edward could make anyone laugh and everyone think. During one special year, he became the only one in the neighborhood who could throw a perfect knuckleball. It was a pitch you could not hit. That same year, Jake learned there are also some things you cannot hold.

Patricia MacLachlan, one of the most beloved children's book authors writing today, has painted a deeply stirring, delicately lyrical portrait of a child, a son, a family, and a brother. Through Edward's eyes, we see what gifts all of these things truly are to those around them, and how those gifts live on and grow.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Ventimiglia's soft voice and smooth delivery capture all the notes of fun, sadness and eventually, emergent hope that fill MacLachlan's novel about the powerful bonds of a family's love. Through the flashback memories of Jake, listeners meet Jake's younger brother, the strikingly blue-eyed Edward, a standout in their ever-expanding family for his baseball pitching prowess, his good humor and his ability to "see" signs that other people often miss. Listeners will discern early on that something must have happened to Edward, as Jake's reverent narration-which sometimes sounds wise beyond his years-creates a portrait of a boy who seems to be somewhere else. As the story unfurls, listeners learn Edward's heartbreaking fate and how his family copes. Having tissues on hand for some of the latter chapters may be a good idea, though the tale closes on an uplifting note. Ages 8-up. (Aug.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Children's Literature - Danielle Williams
The most amazing thing about Edward is his eyes. From the moment he is placed in Jake's arms and looks up at him, Jake is entranced by his younger brother Edward. While all of the children are devoted to each another, there is a special bond between Edward and Jake which makes them seem more like best friends than brothers. When Edward is accidentally killed one summer day, their parents make the difficult decision to donate Edward's organs to others, including his eyes. Jake is torn when he learns that Edward's eyes have been donated, but several months after Edward's death, he finds the person who received Edward's corneas. Fittingly enough, the recipient is a young baseball player. While Edward's life was cut short, his impact on the lives of his family members and his organ recipients was tremendous. MacLachlan has written a gut-wrenching story of family, life and loss that will stir the emotions of anyone who reads it. Reviewer: Danielle Williams
Kirkus Reviews
In Jake's large family, the kids raise each other, and he's taught his younger brother Edward how to speak French, use the toilet and understand baseball. In fact, the whole family plays ball pretty much every day, and it's there that Edward's already unusual talents truly take form, as he is both a flawless hitter and self-taught knuckleball pitcher. But the reader knows, from the very start, that somewhere in this story Edward dies, and that his eyes (corneas) are transplanted. The story, then, is told in flashback through a lens of nostalgia that occasionally makes Jake's young voice ring false, in an otherwise engaging story of an unusual family, in which each character is quickly and fully realized, and vivid dialogue helps set each scene. As a story of overcoming grief, it works beautifully, and the quality and brevity of the narrative will appeal to those who read it despite its actual subject. (Fiction. 9-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416927440
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 2/24/2009
  • Edition description: Repackage
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 125,698
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Patricia MacLachlan is the author of many well-loved novels and picture books, including Sarah, Plain and Tall, winner of the Newbery Medal; its sequels, Skylark and Caleb’s Story; Edward’s Eyes; The True Gift; Waiting for the Magic; White Fur Flying; and Fly Away. She lives in western Massachusetts.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

My earliest memory begins with Edward, as if somehow I have no life to remember before him. The memory comes to me often, mostly at night, but more often during the day now, surprising me. It is a very early memory. Not as early as the artist, Salvador Dali, my sister Sola tells me. He could remember when he was inside his mother, Sola says, where the world looked flat, like squashed egg.

But this is my memory:

Maeve and Jack have just brought baby Edward home from the hospital. Maeve and Jack are our parents, but we don't call them Mom and Dad, except for Edward, who when he learns to talk will speak to them in a formal manner, a bit English. "Motha and Fatha," he will say in his little tin voice.

Here's the scene:

Maeve and Jack walk in the front door, Maeve carrying baby Edward in his green blanket, packed tightly like a pickle in plastic. I am only three years old, but I can tell from their faces that Maeve and Jack want us to love Edward. They look a little happy, but not too happy; a little fearful as if they are adding an unwanted puppy to our large litter. Sola, the oldest, is used to this. Edward is the fourth baby they've brought home to her. Will, seven, is interested for only the barest moment, then he goes off to read a book in the corner, to spend the day happily in his own head. Wren, not yet five, reaches out to brush Edward's face with her hand. Maeve and Jack like this, a physical sign of affection. They look at me then.

"Jake?" says Maeve.

They wait. I peer down at Edward, my face close to his.

"He will poop all day long. And throw up," Will says.

Wren bursts into laughter at the sound of the word "poop." Sola, having heard years of this talk, unscrews the top of her fingernail polish calmly. Will goes back to his book. He turns a page.

"Jake?" repeats Maeve.

And when I don't say anything she hands me Edward. Just like that. As if he were a bundle or a book. I remember sitting very still, so scared I can't move. And then it happens. Edward opens his eyes and looks at me. His eyes are the dark mud-blue of the night sky, but there are surprising little flecks of gold in them. They stare right into my eyes. My heart begins to beat faster. I try to say something. I want to say that Edward is beautiful...the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. I want to say that I love him more than anything or anyone I know. But I am only three, and when I try to talk I can't say all those words.

"His eyes," I begin.

Maeve reaches out and smooths my hair. Her hand is cool and she smiles at me because she already knows what I can't say. Tears sting at the corners of my eyes. Maeve takes us both — Edward and me — into her arms.

"Edward's eyes," I say into her shoulder, the tears coming at last. "Edward's eyes."

Edward is little.

I sat on the floor, leaning against the bathtub, trying to do my homework. Maeve sent me to check on Edward.

"Do it, Edward."

He sat on the toilet, his legs dangling.

"Where's Motha?" he asked.

"In the kitchen."

"Read to me," said Edward.

"Please."

"Please," repeated Edward.

I picked up one of his books. I didn't need to look at it. I knew it by heart. I closed my eyes. "In the great green room there was a telephone..."

"French, maybe," said Edward. Edward loved French.

I smiled. Edward was so used to hearing all of us talk that he often used words like "maybe" and "actually" and "perhaps."

"Dans la grande chambre verte il y a un télé-phone..."

"What's that?" asked Edward, pointing to another book.

I picked up the baseball rule book.

"'The infield fly rule in baseball,'" I read. "'The infield fly rule is there to prevent advantage to the fielders in a baseball game. The rule goes into effect when there are fewer than two outs and there are players on first and second base, or on first, second and third base. If it is a fair fly ball in the infield, the umpire can call "infield fly" or "batter is out!" whether or not the ball is caught.'"

"Now do it," I said.

"Why?"

"Because everyone does it."

"Maybe I don't want to," said Edward.

I sighed.

"If you don't go I'll leave you here to get a ring around your bottom."

"Actually, I have one," he said.

Sola appeared in the doorway.

"Where's Maeve? Where's Jack? What am I doing sitting here?" I said to her.

"Your turn," said Sola. "I did it. Will and Wren did it. This family is a democracy."

"Edward, please!" I pleaded.

"I want a dollar," said Edward.

Sola bursts into laughter. She pulls a bill out of her jean pocket and hands it to him. We can hear her laughing down the hallway. Then it is silent in the bathroom. Edward looks at me for a moment, those blue eyes staring into mine. Then he jumps down from the toilet and flushes it.

He hands me the dollar.

"I went a long time ago," he says. "This is yours."

Edward walks out the door and down the hallway. Then I hear him walking back. He stands in the doorway.

"The infield fly rule is not dumb, you know," he announces.

It is Edward's first day of kindergarten.

"We'll walk you to school, Edward," said Wren.

"I know the way," said Edward. "I'll walk ahead of you. Two steps."

Edward held up two fingers.

Maeve looked a little sad.

"Oh, I thought I'd walk with you, Edward," she said.

Edward shook his head, making Jack smile.

"You're busy," he said to Maeve, not unkindly.

Edward picked up his navy blue backpack with red sox on it. He wore a blue and white striped shirt and jeans. His light brown hair was smooth.

He smiled at all of us.

"Let's go," he said cheerfully.

Maeve bit her lip as if she might cry. Edward looked at her.

"You can walk with me tomorrow," he whispered.

Maeve burst into tears. Jack got up and swung Maeve around in the kitchen until she laughed.

"Out, out, all of you," he said. "Maeve will be fine. We'll put on music and dance in the kitchen. Maybe we'll eat ice cream!"

Jack shooed us out the door and we marched down the steps and across the yard. Behind us, in the kitchen, music started.

Edward turned around, two steps ahead of us, and walked backward.

"Tina Turner," he announced. He sang, "What's love got to do with it?"

"Some day I'll write a book about this," said Will.

We were all surprised. Will didn't talk very much. His look was very serious as he watched Edward.

"I bet you will," said Sola, putting an arm around him.

"Edward's not nervous or scared," says Wren very softly. "I was scared my first day of school. I'm a little scared today."

She pauses, then looks at me.

"Edward's not scared of anything," she said.

"No. He's not," I say to her. "He's not."

Edward leads us the five blocks to school.

What's love got to do with it?

When Edward is in third grade he begins to stay up later at night than I do. On my way to bed I hear whispering on the porch. A moon shines over the water.

"So when I die," says Wren, "I'm coming back as a bird. Or maybe a dog. Nobody's happier than Weezer."

It is quiet.

"What about you?" she whispers.

"A fish," says Edward promptly. "I'll be in the ocean. I'll come in and go out with the tides."

Wren is silent. I keep listening. But talk is over.

Then, just as I walk away, I hear Edward say, "In and out, in and out, in and out," three times.

Copyright © 2007 by Patricia MacLachlan

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 32 )
Rating Distribution

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(23)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2012

    OMG

    My teacher was reading this book in class and I wanted to finish it faster so I got it. My sister read it and said it was sad. I was crying when he wasn't gone and it was the best book ever.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    good book!

    At the begining a baby is born and his name was edward and all his brother jake could talk about was his eyes. At the end there was a life changing expiriance for every one in edwards family espetually jake. Read the rest to find out

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    You have to read this!!!!:)

    A great story that gets you to love the main chararcter and teaches you a little bit about baseball. It captures you right at the beginning when edward is born. And then at the end the short bike ride of a life time takes an unexpected twist.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2012

    Anonymous

    Pretty good book but very sad. Made me cry. It was like you knew the people personally and you lost someone you loved.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2014

    Great book

    Good but sad
    #Blackpepolebelike.......
    Im black so this is not raisist

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 20, 2014

    Whitch book is this

    I cant remember the name of this book si om not rating it

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    Susan

    *cooks dinner in her kitchen she looks outside through the big window at the cold night*

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    Yo better respond edward. POST

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2014

    Susan

    Comeon wheres edward

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2014

    Edward to Susan

    Moving to res six...k?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 6, 2014

    Can i be susan

    Is that a yes?

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2013

    angiebos@comacast.net

    I now people hate reading these things but if you ever hear people say "forever alone guy" thats basicaly who I am. So please be kind and add me as a nook friend. Anyways, sad book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2013

    Great class read aloud!

    Beautifully written.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2013

    This is a beautiful story, deeply moving story artfully told by

    This is a beautiful story, deeply moving story artfully told by Patricia MacLaghlin. My 5th grade daughter and I read it for our own little book club last summer.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2012

    Edwards eyes

    This book was one of the best ive read in a long time. Edward connects with the reader and you feel his emotions stirring inside you. I almost cried as i read the endings. but i know that giving them to Willie was what Edward would hav wanted.
    ( if u didnt read the book yet than tht last sentence wont make sence. But im refering to Edwards eyes.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Heyy u

    What is it bout. My sister is said its sad

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2012

    Very sad, but wonderful

    This book is really sad but it really is worth the money, its has every single emotion a person can feel in the book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2011

    liked it alot

    i really liked it but it was soooo cunfusing, but it made my heart hurt wich is enough to say that this book is really good

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 23, 2011

    Edwards Eyes

    I thought this book was very discriptive, sad, but also heart-warming. Great for ages 10 and up! I love this book so much!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted January 10, 2011

    awesome. I Loved it

    I thought that the author did a great job talking about Edward. Edward was a wonderful character. He was so optimistic about everything. I wanted him to be my friend! The book was fantastic until he died. That was so tragic. Thanks a lot Taylor

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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