Monday, October 3, 2016

Flora & Ulysses

Flora & Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo  233 pp.

I reread this Newbery Award winner in preparation for the Treehouse Book Club. Flora Belle Buckman is a self-described "natural born cynic" who lives with her mother, the author of romance novels. Flora hates romance novels but instead is a fan of the "Incandesto" comics. When the next door neighbor's super powerful vacuum cleaner (think Dyson with a supercharger) runs amuck a squirrel gets sucked up. Flora rescues the animal and revives him only to discover the animal has now gained incredible powers and is incessantly hungry. Flora names him Ulysses (after the brand of vacuum cleaner) and sneaks him home. Ulysses understands human speech and has the ability to type, poetry in particular. Mischief and mayhem ensue involving Flora's father, and the neighbor's great nephew, William Spiver, who claims to be suffering from temporary traumatic blindness. The character of Flora is somewhat reminiscent of Roald Dahl's Matilda in that she seems to be much smarter than the adults in her life. This is a thoroughly enjoyable book.

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