Reviewed by: Claire
Have you ever wondered what a squirrel’s perspective may be? In the book Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo, a young independent girl named Flora, oddly enough, becomes best friends with a squirrel. Not only that, but this special squirrel named Ulysses has superpowers! He has the ability to communicate with Flora and he types poetry for Flora about her face, food, and how much he cares for her. Flora and Ulysses are stopped in their tracks of becoming friends when Flora’s mother boldly states that she will not allow the squirrel to stay or become attached to Flora because of their special ability to understand each other and their love for each other. Flora is forced to make a decision: will she choose the squirrel or her mother? I really enjoyed how much Flora and her mother become closer because of their adventures with Ulysses It’s such a sweet and heart-breaking story that shows that love will always find a way.
I personally wasn’t too fond of this novel. It seemed kind of “little kiddish” to me. The author uses comic strips every once in a while to add to the story line; it seemed a little annoying because I couldn’t make my own unique mental picture. Also, I have noticed that many modern authors are creating parents to be the “bad guy” or villain. I find this very ungodly and it completely goes against the Bible. Kate DiCamillo stuck with this same bad parent idea. My favorite scene is when Flora and her mother talk face to face at the ending. I really enjoyed how realistic the author wrote that scene and how the author could find humor in such a touching and heart-warming way. She does a tremendous job at making this disagreement into an almost realistic experience.
I would recommend this book to any 3rd to 6th grader. There really aren’t any mature parts or foul language or anything of that sort. It becomes a book that you think back to from all the lessons of faith, love, hope, and the power of a kid. I hope that you enjoy this book and will remember the love that the characters had for each other and do the same with people around you.