Reading/Interest Level: Primary, Intermediate
Author: Kate DiCamillo
Illustrator: K.G. Campbell
When Flora witnesses a tragic accident involving a squirrel and a vacuum, her adventure begins. Enter Ulysses—a superhero squirrel who can lift heavy objects, fly, and type poetry. Flora’s mother is not happy when her already-odd daughter has brought home a squirrel as a “friend” and orders her ex-husband to get rid of the squirrel. On an outing with her father, Flora’s father develops a liking for Ulysses as he saves him from a crazy cat and causes a ruckus in the diner. Flora’s mother is left with no choice but to kidnap Ulysses, leaving Flora and her father to embark on a rescue mission.
Flora and Ulysses is a heartwarming story that tackles difficult themes of family, love, and finding happiness in a sometimes dull life. Whether readers can personally relate to divorce or not, all readers can still relate to Flora’s frustrations of not having a perfect family. As Ulysses leads her on a crazy adventure, Flora learns to open up her heart and love her far-from-perfect family. Readers can’t help but empathize with Flora and will find themselves cheering her on as they watch her grow up and learn how to find happiness in her life. The fast-paced adventure is told through text and graphic novel scenes that pull readers into the action and keep them engaged throughout the story. The bizarre plot and odd characters might not appeal to all readers but definitely create a story unlike any that readers have read before.