by Kate DiCamillo

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5
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Review

I was delighted to learn that Flora and Ulysses won the Newbery Award.  This book is a treat.  It’s a quirky but heartfelt story about a girl and a squirrel. 

Flora saves the squirrel after it is sucked by a Ulysses vacuum cleaner.  Flora dubs the squirrel Ulysses and they become good friends. Ulysses isn’t an ordinary squirrel.  He is a superhero squirrel who can type and write poetry.  Flora’s mother doesn’t want to have anything to do with the squirrel, she just wants him out of the house and possibly dead.  Flora’s relationships with her divorced parents factor into the story as much as her relationship with the squirrel.  The characters are all a little odd which makes the book more interesting.

Throughout the book, DiCamillo sprinkles in words that could be on an SAT vocabulary test.  Readers might need a dictionary sometimes.  This could be a struggle for some kids but it’s a great way to introduce new words to children.  I highly recommend Flora and Ulysses for kids in upper elementary school.

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