Why a good book is a secret door

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Flora & Ulysses: “A Tale of a Natural Born Cynic”

Flora & Ulysses: “A Tale of a Natural Born Cynic”

The chapter book I chose to read was that of Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures. The book goes a little something like this, Flora is the main character and she considers herself a ‘cynic’ she claims to have no feelings and only worry about herself. She loves reading comics, something that her mother disapproves of. Her mother and her don’t have the best relationship, her parents are divorced and she gets along more with her father. In a weird sort of amusing way she meets what I would call her sidekick: Ulysses. A squirrel who acquired his superpowers by being vacuumed, a squirrel who can fly and write poems. Her mother does not approve of Flora’s relationship with the squirrel and pulls a stunt or two to try and get rid of it. Her reasoning is the following; Flora in her eyes is already kind of a ‘weird’ kid and she does not want others to see her as ‘weirder’ for being friends with a squirrel. When she goes missing one night Flora’s mother comes to a realization that she made a mistake. She has a heart to heart moment with Flora and tells her that she is the most important thing she has no matter who Flora might be friends with. 

This book did a really good job in portraying the world of the characters. I did not speak of all the characters in my summary but there was definitely more. For example, the Dad played in important role as he supported Flora and her friendship with Ulysses and he supported Flora’s mother even when Flora said she wanted to move out with her father and leave her mother’s home. William Spiver, the neighbors great nephew was a very accurate mirror of reality. It could honestly be anyone of us. William’s father passed away and his mother is with someone new who does not call William by his name instead calls him ‘Billy’ which eventually drives William to the brink and in act of spite; he drives his mother’s boyfriends truck into a pond. William is a child who still trying to cope with his fathers death and new people in your life can be scary. Flora is the same, Flora claims to be ‘cynical’ ever since her parents divorced and at the beginning of the story does not get along with her mother if at all. This book could be a very good book for any student who might be going through a similar situation at home. Using the characters problems instead of your own in a sense in order to connect and support your student during tough moments. 

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