Ideas for Learners Promoting Literacy, Inquiry, and Meaningful Learning Experiences
Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures
by Kate DiCamillo

Book Summary

This is a story of a girl and a squirrel. The squirrel, Ulysses, has super powers, including the ability to type, which Flora's mother, a writer, is not terribly excited about. Flora, who is built with a high-powered vocabulary and a strong sense of cynicism, is even less excited about the new next-door neighbor - the nosy optimist William Spiver, who is about her age. Ultimately, this story is about claiming space for what you believe is important.
Flora and Ulysses book cover
Flora and Ulysses

Book Review

As usual, Kate DiCamillo offers some great quirky characters and vocabulary, and some odd humour. It might be a little too odd for some - I would compare it more to The Magician’s Elephant than The Tale of Despereaux. There are some delightfully funny, absurdist moments, and I know a few students who treasure this book, while others don't quite connect to it.

left quotation mark

William Spiver was wearing his dark glasses. There was a Pitzer Pop in his mouth. He was smiling.

He looked exactly like a villain."  p.145

Topics and Themes for this book:

  • Family Relationships
  • Risk-Taking
  • Imagination
  • Priorities
  • Heroism

Discussion Questions for this book:

The best discussion questions, of course, are generated by and contemplated by readers. These questions are designed to avoid major spoilers about the book, and to provide a starting point for teachers, parents, and student reading groups.

**Questions coming soon**

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