Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures (2013)

Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. Kate DiCamillo. 2013. Candlewick Press. 240 pages. [Source: Review Copy]

What a quirky and lovely book by Kate DiCamillo. I loved the two points of view. I loved the little girl, Flora, and I loved the super-hero squirrel, Ulysses. The writing was just lovely; the story was quite fun and just as odd as I've come to expect from DiCamillo!

It has a great cast of minor characters, particularly both neighbors. Flora's parents are separated and most-probably getting a divorce. Her father's neighbor was great. Her mother's neighbor was great too. I had mixed feelings about Flora's parents. On the one hand, it was oh-so-easy to feel empathy for the father. I am not sure I could find sympathy for the mother. This is in part the fault of the squirrel! The mother is the nemesis of the squirrel. She's out to get him: out to kill him. But there is more to the mother than being a rodent-hater. She's also a writer, a writer of REALLY bad formulaic romances. Flora is at odds with her mother for almost the whole novel, so we see the mother mainly through the eyes of two characters that dislike her: the squirrel and the daughter. There is one confrontation scene that was heartbreaking for me. I felt for the daughter so, so, so much. I could identify with her in that moment. That last poem was oh-so-magical for me.

I would definitely recommend this one!

© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

1 comments:

Kailana 9:24 PM  

Glad to hear this is good. I would like to read it at some point. :)

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Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

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