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Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventuresby Kate DiCamillo and K.G. Campbell
2014 Newberry Award
In her new novel, Kate DiCamillo once again weaves an enchanting tale, this time involving an eccentric squirrel and Flora, a true cynic. A story filled with warmth, hope, change, and magic, featuring full-page graphic-style illustrations, Flora and Ulysses becomes a true celebration of life.
Synopses & Reviews
Holy unanticipated occurrences! A cynic meets an unlikely superhero in a genre-breaking new novel by master storyteller Kate DiCamillo.
It begins, as the best superhero stories do, with a tragic accident that has unexpected consequences. The squirrel never saw the vacuum cleaner coming, but self-described cynic Flora Belle Buckman, who has read every issue of the comic book Terrible Things Can Happen to You!, is the just the right person to step in and save him. What neither can predict is that Ulysses (the squirrel) has been born anew, with powers of strength, flight, and misspelled poetry — and that Flora will be changed too, as she discovers the possibility of hope and the promise of a capacious heart. From #1 New York Times best-selling author Kate DiCamillo comes a laugh-out-loud story filled with eccentric, endearing characters and featuring an exciting new format — a novel interspersed with comic-style graphic sequences and full-page illustrations, all rendered in black-and-white by up-and-coming artist K. G. Campbell. Newbery-winner DiCamillo is a master storyteller not just because she creates characters who dance off the pages and plots, whether epic or small, that never fail to engage and delight readers. Her biggest strength is exposing the truths that open and heal the human heart. She believes in possibilities and forgiveness and teaches her audience that the salt of life can be cut with the right measure of love.
"Newbery Medalist DiCamillo and illustrator Campbell meld prose with comics sequences in a broad comedy tinged with sadness. Bitter about her parents' divorce, Flora Buckman has withdrawn into her favorite comic book, The Amazing Incandesto! and memorized the advisories in its ongoing bonus feature, Terrible Things Can Happen to You! She puts those life-saving tips into action when a squirrel is swallowed whole by a neighbor's new vacuum cleaner, the Ulysses Super-Suction Multi-Terrain 2000X. Flora resuscitates the squirrel, christens him after the vacuum, and witnesses a superhero-like transformation: Ulysses is now über-strong, can fly, and composes poetry. Despite supremely quirky characters and dialogue worthy of an SAT prep class, there's real emotion at the heart of this story involving two kids who have been failed by the most important people in their lives: their parents. It's into this profound vacuum that Ulysses really flies, demonstrating an unconditional love for his rescuer, trumped only perhaps by his love for food and a desire 'to make the letters on the keyboard speak the truth of his heart.' Ages 10up. Author's agent: Holly McGhee, Pippin Properties. Illustrator's agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Newbery-winner DiCamillo is a master storyteller not just because she creates characters who dance off the pages and plots, whether epic or small, that never fail to engage and delight readers. Her biggest strength is exposing the truths that open and heal the human heart. She believes in possibilities and forgiveness and teaches her audience that the salt of life can be cut with the right measure of love." Booklist (starred review)
"Original, touching and oh-so-funny tale starring an endearingly implausible superhero and a not-so-cynical girl." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Rife with marvelously rich vocabulary reminiscent of the early superhero era (e.g., 'Holy unanticipated occurrences!') and amusing glimpses at the world from the point of view of Ulysses the supersquirrel, this book will appeal to a broad audience of sophisticated readers. There are plenty of action sequences, but the novel primarily dwells in the realm of sensitive, hopeful, and quietly philosophical literature." School Library Journal (starred review)
About the Author
Kate DiCamillo is the author of many beloved books for young readers, including The Tale of Despereaux, which received a Newbery Medal; Because of Winn-Dixie, which received a Newbery Honor; The Tiger Rising, a National Book Award Finalist; The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, winner of a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award; The Magicians Elephant; and the best-selling Mercy Watson series. Kate DiCamillo lives in Minneapolis.
K. G. Campbell is the author-illustrator of Lesters Dreadful Sweaters. He was born in Kenya, raised in Scotland, and now lives in southern California.
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