*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Flora and Ulysses:The Illuminated Adventures" by Kate DiCamillo, Illustrated by K. G. Campbell

Title: Flora and Ulysses:The Illuminated Adventures
Author: Kate DiCamillo (Illustrated by K. G. Campbell)
Have I Read it Before:No

I feel bad in saying that I wasn't over the moon with Flora and Ulysses:The Illuminated Adventures. It was fun, but I felt that it didn't have much purpose. Flora (a human girl) meets Ulysses (a squirrel) quite by accident when Ulysses is attacked by a vacuum cleaner. This ends up being a blessing in disguise as Ulysses then obtains what are essentially super powers. The two end up teaming on a quest to keep Flora's mother from disposing of Ulysses.
Overall, I liked enough of the elements in this book to call it a pleasing read, but it's not a book that I will plan on reading again. The characters were very interesting, but there just wasn't enough going on with the plot to keep me entertained. I feel that overall plot jumped around a little too much and even though we are rooting for Ulysses, it seemed like the story would derail at times before getting back to the original plot.
Though this book clearly wasn't for me, I think it will appeal to many children. Flora is an interesting enough character and I can see kids relating to her as she solves problems based on what she read in the comic Terrible Things Can Happen to You! (see, reading comics isn't necessarily a bad thing). I also think that kids will get a kick out of
William Spiver, a boy who claims to be blind and who shows up at the best and yet worst moments (he was easily my favorite character, so I was very pleased whenever he made an appearance). Though I am a little surprised that this book won this year's Newbery award as I feel that there were some much stronger contenders, I am still planning to read more of DiCallio's work, but probably wouldn't pick up a sequel to this book, if one comes about (but I'm still looking forward to reading The Tale of Despereaux this year).

Happy Reading!

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