Flora & Ulysses
Genre: Chapter Book/Illustrated Novel
Summary (from Goodreads): Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel by master storyteller Kate DiCamillo. It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry—and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart. From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format—a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white by up-and-coming artist K.G. Campbell.
Marcie's Review: I got this book in my library's "Blind Date with a Book" section; it was listed as quirky yet lovable, and I would completely agree! The library had shelved it originally in the Buzz Books section, and as I was reading, I kept wondering if this was really an adult's book. Well, when I started looking at it on goodreads, I found out that it is in fact a middle school aged children's book. So I am reviewing this with the understanding that it is a children's book.
This is the kind of chapter book that I would love for my kids to read, maybe in a few years since the vocabulary is well beyond my daughter's level right now. Sure, there's very little chance that a 10 year old would use such great vocabulary words like malfeasance, but I loved that the author included them. It helped make Flora's character so intelligently charming and unusual. I was unsure about reading a book that contained graphic novel elements, because I have tried to read some solely illustrated young adult books, and I haven't been able to get into them. But this book was perfect - mostly chapters, with the occasional illustration. A very fun book! And as a bonus, you can read the entire book in a few hours.
Marcie's Rating: 4 stars
Becky's Review: What a fun, quirky book! Flora was such an interesting little girl. Actually all the characters were unique and different. The events of this book were quite unexpected. I imagine kids will love this story. I did find the vocabulary a little distracting because even I did not know what the words meant and had to look them up. I think kids might struggle with them because they are very advanced words. I did want more at the end. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. Maybe the author has plans to write more with these characters, who knows? I hope she does because they were definitely fun to read.
Becky's Rating: 4 stars