Flora & Ulysses

The Illuminated Adventures

DiCamillo, Kate

Book - 2013
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Flora & Ulysses
Rescuing a squirrel after an accident involving a vacuum cleaner, comic-reading cynic Flora Belle Buckman is astonished when the squirrel, Ulysses, demonstrates astonishing powers of strength and flight after being revived.

Publisher: Somerville, Massachusetts :, Candlewick Press,, [2013]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ♭2013
ISBN: 076366040X
Characteristics: 231 pages :,illustrations ;,22 cm
Additional Contributors: Campbell, K. G. (Keith Gordon), 1966-
Alternate Title: Flora and Ulysses


From Library Staff

2014 Newbery Medal award winner for Children's Fiction

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Feb 18, 2015
  • nancycomfortanderson rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

I didn't like the book. It was way too cutesy. Very disappointing, especially since it's a Newbery winner.

Jan 19, 2015
  • Chapel_Hill_TishaW rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

This is one quirky book. Superhero squirrels aside, the dialogue reads like a movie that is trying to be funny through soundbites, randomness, and reuse of phrases like "Holy Bagumba", "Do not hope; observe," and "Your father is capacious of heart." Not much actually happens in terms of action, but through Ulysses' bravery, Flora and her mother come to an understanding of how much they really love each other. That in itself is sweet, but the path to it is bizarre. Most kids will love this book (a superhero squirrel! Fun comic panels throughout the story!) Some adults will appreciate the reconciliation that takes place between family members. For me, however, this story was a bit too eccentric.

Aug 16, 2014
  • MrFrida rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Every member of any family, including adults, will most certainly enjoy this tale.
The story is an imaginative adventure involving a self-proclaimed cynic and a super hero squirrel. Through a series of "holy unanticipated occurrences" Flora and Ulysses find one another and each finds their place in the world. DiCamillo is a master story teller and offers heart felt, realistic, and humorous moments. This work received the 2014 Newbery Medal Award.

Aug 07, 2014
  • jvander rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Not a bad book, but certainly not worthy of a Newbery Medal.

May 06, 2014
  • MissAnnie rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Holy bagumba! Another winner from Kate. A delight to read. The characters are wonderfully quirky and the plot is outrageous yet both are true to the heart of the matter.

Apr 30, 2014

It all began when a live squirrel was accidently sucked into Mrs. Tickham’s super-suction vacuum cleaner.

Ten-year-old Flora Belle Buckingham, a neighbour, witnessed it. She ran to the squirrel’s aid and revived it. The little creature recovered, but it soon became apparent that some extraordinary changes had taken place. The squirrel could now talk, read and write poetry! Moreover, it also now possessed super strength. It could leap over tall buildings with a single bound, and it could fly.

Flora, a comic book fan, couldn’t help comparing the little squirrel to some of her favourite superheroes. She named it “Ulysses”.

The two became wonderful, although unlikely, friends in this amusing, quirky story of an extraordinary squirrel and a cynical little girl whose parents had recently divorced.

What is meant by the word “illuminated” in the story’s title? The book is semi-graphic, using a comic-book style (which is appropriate here because of Flora’s interest in comic books).

Author Kate DiCamillo is the winner of the prestigious Newbery Award for 2014, and her touching tale of Flora, Ulysses and their adventures together will charm its way into the hearts of readers.

Apr 10, 2014
  • SnoqualmieKidsLibrarian rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Charming, quirky and memorable. I'll never look at that squirrel in my yard the same way again.

Apr 04, 2014

This is such a fun read! I would recommend this book to all those who love wacky, well-written stories. I mean, really? A squirrel that develops superpowers after a near death experience? So awesome.

Mar 07, 2014
  • 0Charlie rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I can never guess what Kate DiCamillo will come up with but I always anticipate a great read. Who could imagine the adventures of a super-hero squirrel? I don't know if the cartoons really added anything for me (I have a good imagination). Highly recommended along with her other works for kids.

Mar 02, 2014
  • gracindaisy rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

Flora, a little girl, meets up with a flying squirrel, Ulysses, and they become fast friends while sharing a few daring adventures. Great illustrations!

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

Jul 02, 2014

joycemas thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 12

May 17, 2014

M02V thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over

Apr 30, 2014

SPL_Childrens thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 8 and 11

Feb 17, 2014
  • blue_dolphin_4663 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

blue_dolphin_4663 thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12

Aug 18, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 9 and 12


Add a Quote

Jan 05, 2014

"The Criminal Element" spoke often, and passionately, about the nefarious activities that every human being is capable of. Not only did it insist that the human heart was dark beyond all reckoning; it also likened the heart to a river. And further, it said, "If we are not careful, that river can carry us along in its hidden currents of want and anger and need, and transform each of us into the very criminal we fear."

Nov 21, 2013
  • quagga rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Holy bagumba!

Nov 21, 2013
  • quagga rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Ulysses "was enormously, inordinately pleased with himself. He felt immensely powerful! He felt like writing a poem!"

Aug 18, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“George… we have a problem. Your daughter has become emotionally attached to a diseased squirrel.”

Aug 18, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

“… the torturing of dogs was the one reliable pleasure of a squirrel’s existence.”


Add a Summary

Jul 02, 2014

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.

Aug 18, 2013
  • ELIZABETH RAMSEY BIRD rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

It all began with a vacuum cleaner. Not just any vacuum cleaner, mind you, but a Ulysses Super-Suction, Multi-Terrain 2000X. One minute Mrs. Tickham is being dragged through her yard by a piece of cleaning equipment that clearly has a mind of its own, and the next she’s vacuumed up a live squirrel. Flora, child cynic and lover of all this comic book related, witnesses the event and when she runs to the squirrel finds that not only is it all right, it is imbued with superpowers. The squirrel, now dubbed Ulysses, is truly an extraordinary creature. It can leap tall buildings with a single bound (and fly!). It has super strength. And best of all, it can write poetry. Flora is convinced that Ulysses is a superhero, and it’s up to her to help him fulfill his destiny and protect him from his nemesis. Trouble is, how do you tell who a true nemesis is? And what if it turns out to be someone close to home?


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Find it at CLEVNET