This article is about the book. For the film adaptation, see Flora & Ulysses (film).

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures is a children's novel by American author Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by K.G. Campbell, published in 2013 by Candlewick Press. It tells the story of Flora Belle Buckman and a squirrel named Ulysses.

The illustrations include full-page and small pencil drawings, together with comic-book panels describing the gang's adventures.

Plot

Flora Belle Buckman, a self-proclaimed cynic, spends her time reading comic books and struggling to understand her parents’ recent divorce. She is jolted into action when the neighbor runs over a squirrel with a vacuum cleaner. The squirrel’s brush with death causes him to develop superpowers, allowing him to understand humans and become smarter. Flora then names the squirrel Ulysses after the vacuum cleaner accident. Flora explains to Ulysses that he must use his newfound powers to right wrongs, fight injustice, "or something." Ulysses decides to write on Flora's mother's typewriter, revealing he can write poetry.

When Flora confronts her mother about her desire to kill Ulysses, a shouting match erupts in which Flora comes to believe her mother does not love her. Flora, feeling hurt, declares that she will go home with her father. Ulysses writes a poem to explain Flora and her mother’s real emotions, but Flora’s mother kidnaps him before the poem can be read. Flora puts together a crack team to rescue Ulysses, who has already escaped, leaving Flora’s mother to read his poem. The cast reunites in the father’s apartment building where Flora’s cynical exterior is cracked for good as she realizes her mother truly loves her.

Awards

Flora & Ulysses won the Newbery Medal for 2014.

Reception

The Horn Book review described the book as "heartwarming" with plenty of humor and a "quirky supporting cast", and notes that the illustrations "accentuate the mood".

Film adaptation

Main article: Flora & Ulysses (film)

On May 31, 2018, it was announced that Disney was developing a film adaptation of the novel for their streaming service, Disney+, with Brad Copeland writing the script. On June 13, 2019, it was reported that Alyson Hannigan and Ben Schwartz were cast as Flora's parents. The Blind Side and Life of Pi Oscar-nominated film producer Gil Netter is producing the project. On June 27, 2019, it was reported that Lena Khan will direct the film, and Matilda Lawler was cast in the titular role of Flora Buckman with Benjamin Evans Ainsworth and Danny Pudi also added to the cast as filming began in Vancouver. Filming wrapped on August 23, 2019.

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