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.
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.
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
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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