Written by Kate diCamillo
Illustrated by K.G. Campbell
Flora is a cynic. Who reads comic books about superheroes. And can’t figure out her parents. Her mother spends all her time writing bad romance novels on an old typewriter and doting on a lamp named Mary Ann. Her father greets everyone with, “George Buckman. How do you do?’ Even people he already knows.
Flora’s neighbor, Tootie Tickham, gets a new vacuum cleaner so powerful that it drags her into the yard and sucks up a squirrel. The squirrel is transformed by the experience and is dubbed Ulysses, after the name of the vacuum. Thus begins Flora’s quest to prove Ulysses’ worth and discover the rest of his talents. He’s strong. He flies. He types. Poetry. And he loves Flora. Add to this Tootie’s great-nephew, William Spiver, who is temporarily hysterically blind, and Dr. Meerscham, Mr. Buckman’s neighbor who grew up in Germany and talks about her deceased husband, the other Dr. Meerscham. Most of the world is unwilling to believe in a squirrel with super powers.
Silly and full of running gags, this award-winning book is surprisingly deep and emotional. The characters and warm and deep. The third grade reader will learn about love in all its many forms and about doing the impossible. Kids will love and read this book again and again.