Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo...


How I Heard About It:   While in Nebraska visiting my daughter I saw this book on the shelf at a local bookstore.  I have enjoyed Kate DiCamillo's previous books so I purchased this one with great expectations.  I was not disappointed.  

What It Is About:  The story begins with a vacuum cleaner, a disgruntled wife, and a clueless husband.  The next scene brings in Flora, a young cynical girl, a squirrel, and the vacuum cleaner.  What follows is an incredible adventure of Flora and Ulysses; her new squirrel friend who ends up with super powers because of the vacuum cleaner.  Throw in a mother who is a romance novel writer,  a father who is straight-laced, the wife from next door, her great-nephew; and the next thing you know all of them are involved in a situation that they never thought possible.  I would say this book is part cartoon, part fantasy, part mystery, and mostly a lovely story about a girl and her closest friend.  

What I Thought Of It:   I found this to be a delightful novel.  It was not what I was expecting, but quite the pleasant surprise.  The opening "cartoon" scene will grab you right off the bat and take you on a wild ride.  The characters were unique, fresh, and endearing.  The writing was solid, cleaver, and as good as ever for Kate DiCamillo.  The 6-hour car ride helped in me not being able to put this book down, but no matter where I would have read it, it would have been "unputdownable."  

Who Should Read It:  I knew as soon as I read this book, I wanted to share it with my fourth graders.  Because the illustrations add greatly to the book, I think this book needs to be in the hands of the reader.  I'm going to use it as a book club selection for my "Breakfast with Books".  It could make a great read aloud, but the illustrations would need to be shared.  This is a perfect book for readers in fourth through sixth grade.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars!

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