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Every hero has a story, and for this story, the hero happens to be a squirrel named Ulysses. Ulysses is not your ordinary squirrel; I mean he used to be, but after being sucked up by a vacuum cleaner, he goes from being ordinary to extraordinary.

Flora Belle Buckman is not an ordinary young girl. She is a self- proclaimed cynic and lover of the comic "Terrible Things Can Happen to You!" Her parents are divorced and she lives with her mother, who happens to be a novelist that writes romantic fiction. Because she is a cynic, Flora is always prepared for life's worst events. So the day that Ulysses is sucked up by the neighbor's vacuum cleaner, she is prepared and saves Ulysses' life by giving him CPR. From that day forward, Flora and Ulysses are inseparable.

Like any good superhero story, Ulysses has many adventures, as well as archenemies- Flora's mother. Her mother doesn't like the thought of a squirrel in her house. She instructs Flora's father to take the squirrel, a sack and a shovel, and to "put the squirrel out of his misery." Flora's father, having just come to the house to pick Flora up for their usual visit, doesn't yet know that Ulysses and Flora have a special bond or that Ulysses has super powers. Flora's father, also a lover of the comic "Terrible Things Can Happen to You!" sees for himself just how amazing Ulysses really is and cannot bring himself to do the squirrel any harm. However, when Flora's mother finds out that Ulysses is still alive, she takes matters into her own hands. Flora might have saved Ulysses once, but will she be able to save him this time?

This book is recommended for grades 3-7 by the School Library Journal. It's a perfect read for a fan of graphic novels because throughout the novel you will find comic-style graphics to illustrate some of Ulysses' greatest feats. This book would also appeal to a reader who loves books with quirky characters. Author, Kate DiCamillo, won the 2014 Newbery Medal Award for this book. She has written various other titles such as: Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux, and the Bink and Gollie series.


Recommended by Tracy Alexander


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