Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo


This book was exactly what I was looking for: adorable and moving.

Flora is a cynic. Her mother writes romance novels that make Flora sick, and her father is goofy and too nice for his own good. Flora finds solace in the comic book series The Illuminated Adventures of the Amazing Incandesto. So one day, when she looks out the window and watches as a vacuum sucks up a squirrel, Flora does the superhero thing to do and tries to save him. But after she saves the squirrel, it turns out that she isn't the superhero, he is. Ulysses possesses powers that no squirrel ever has before. And so blooms an power friendship between Flora and Ulysses, that battles archnemeses and angry cats.

Kate DiCamillo has a way with animal stories that no other author has. She just...gets them. I don't know. It's hard to describe. But as a person who read a million animal stories when they were growing up, and all the dead dog classics, Kate DiCamillo is the best at personifying animals. Her stories are funny and unique and unexpectedly moving. She focuses greatly to the relationship between animals and humans, a bond that is powerful and unlike any other. She's a true gem--and other animal stories authors should stop whatever they are doing and try to be more like her.

This is my favorite Kate DiCamillo book. It was amusing and funny, and Flora was a one-of-a-kind character. She was cynical and passionate, intelligent and honest. She is willing to do anything to protect the ones she loves. And her friendship with Ulysses was adorable. She had faith in someone that most people don't care if they run over him with a car or shoot at him with a BB gun. She's unfailingly caring.

If I were you, I would put this book on your to-read shelf. It takes two hours to read and it will make your day. It absolutely deserved the Newbery.

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