Flora is a self-proclaimed cynic. She retreats into her comic books and happily stays away from her mother, who doesn't seem to have much time for her anyways. Everything seems to be rather normal, until Tootie (the nosy neighbor) vacuum's up a squirrel. Through this one incident, the squirrel survives and gains super powers. The squirrel, Ulysses becomes Flora's best friend. Along with William Spivey, Tootie's temporarily blind nephew, Flora is pulled out of her shell and forced out into the world and away from her safety net of comic books.
First, I have enjoyed everything that Kate DiCamillo has written. She is descriptive and usually very humorous. This is no different. Each character is fully developed with their own quirks. There are so many funny parts in the novel that it's hard to stop laughing, but there are some touching parts as well. Flora's mother definitely leaves much to be desired. The novel itself is easy to understand and will fit with most of DiCamillo's general audience, but the vocabulary is pretty tough. Who said that comic books couldn't increase your vocabulary development? Flora learned what malfeasance meant from reading comics.