Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo
published by Candlewick Press, 2013.
won the Newbery Medal in 2014. It’s a pretty crazy plot involving a girl named Flora Belle Buckham and a squirrel superhero who writes poetry. Ulysses acquires his powers in an unfortunate tangle with a vacuum cleaner. Flora rescues him, but her mother wants Ulysses out of the house.
Reading this book requires one to believe the impossible. All of the characters are funny and quirky, including Flora’s father and mother, the neighbors William Spiver and his great aunt Tillie. However, the children’s problems are serious and real.
I expect Flora and Ulysses would be vastly entertaining for middle grade readers. It’s scenes are so absurd, the characters’ voices so humorous. Particularly interesting to me as a writer was the blending of graphic novel and narrative. The graphics moved the plot forward.
I’ve liked other Newbery winners better, but this was a fun, fast read.