Flora and Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures

flora and ulysses

Section 1: Chapters 1-17

  1. cynic: a person who distrusts people; especially one who believes that people act only in self-interest
  2. defiance: a refusal to obey something or someone
  3. heinous: very bad or evil; deserving of hate or contempt
  4. mundane: dull and ordinary
  5. obliged: to force or require someone or something to do something because of a law or rule or because it is necessary
  6. stout: having a large body that is wide with fat or muscles
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. Ronda was surprised by her son’s defiance when he refused to make his bed.
  2. John felt obliged to help the elderly woman cross the street.
  3. Penny believed that life was mundane when she wasn’t playing soccer.
  4. It is difficult to imagine that there are people who commit heinous crimes.
  5. Phil was invited to be on the football team because of his stout frame.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Flora regrets signing the contract that says she will “work to turn her face away from the idiotic high jinks of comics and toward the bright light of true literature.” (p. 5)
  2. The “squirrel brain” is mostly thinking about food. (p. 10)
  3. Mrs. Tickham sees a tail sticking out of the vacuum cleaner and realizes she has run over a squirrel. (p. 11)
  4. Flora decides to perform CPR to save the squirrel’s life. (p. 14-15)
  5. Flora believes that the “other” kind of information you can absorb from reading comics is that impossible things happened all the time. (p. 21)
  6. Flora’s mother buys a shepherdess lamp with her first royalty check. (p. 28)
  7. Alfred T. Slipper slips into a gigantic vat of cleaning solution, which causes him to become a glowing pillar of light and turns him into Incandesto the superhero. (p. 35)
  8. Flora describes her father as sadder and quieter since the divorce. (p. 38)
  9. Flora realizes Ulysses ate the bag of cheese puffs and typed on her mother’s typewriter while she was sleeping. (p. 45)
  10. William Spiver is Tootie’s great nephew and he will be staying with Tootie for the summer. (p. 55)
  11. Flora believes William Spiver is strange because he has temporary blindness induced by trauma. (p. 54-55)

Section 2: Chapters 18-34

  1. cryptic: difficult to understand; having or seeming to have a hidden meaning
  2. doubt: to believe that something may not be true or is unlikely; to have no confidence in someone or something
  3. jest: something said or done to cause laughter
  4. outwit: to defeat or trick someone by being more intelligent or clever
  5. persistent: continuing to do something or to try to do something even though it is difficult or other people want you to stop
  6. treacherous: showing that someone cannot be trusted; very dangerous and difficult to deal with
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. Mary felt confused by the cryptic message her sister left on her door.
  2. Abby was known to jest with her friends, especially after eating loads of sugar.
  3. Finn was persistent in practicing piano in order to be ready for the holiday performance.
  4. Evan wants to outwit his older brother when they play chess together.
  5. Joey doubts that his mother will let him eat chocolate at every meal.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Flora brings the paper that Ulysses typed in order to show that Tootie isn’t the victim of an extended hallucination. (p. 60)
  2. Tootie faints after watching Ulysses type a poem on the computer. (p. 66)
  3. Phyllis tells George that the humane thing to do is to put Ulysses in a sack, hit him in the head with a shovel, and then use the shovel to bury him. (p. 75)
  4. Ulysses is thinking about all the dangers he has faced as a squirrel, but he is also thinking about poetry. (p. 76)
  5. William Spiver apologizes to Flora for saying Ulysses’ poetry was the worst he had heard, and for not taking his glasses off when she asked him to. (p. 81)
  6. Flora recalls reading that if she’s ever stranded at the South Pole, she should eat seal blubber. (p. 84)
  7. Flora’s father is a careful driver because he keeps his hands at ten and two o’clock on the steering wheel, he never takes his eyes off the road, and he does not drive fast. (p. 86)
  8. Flora says her father would make an excellent spy because he never really answered her questions. (p. 86)
  9. Rita the waitress screams after tapping her pencil into the shoebox when she sees Ulysses’ face. (p. 96)
  10. Flora’s father says, “Holy unanticipated occurrences” in the voice of Dolores, when he sees Ulysses fly through the air. (p. 102)
  11. George Buckman promises Flora that he will never try to hit Ulysses over the head with a shovel. (p. 110)

Section 3: Chapters 35-51

  1. capacious: able to hold or contain a lot; large in capacity
  2. inept: showing a lack of skill or ability; not done well
  3. malfeasance: wrongdoing or misconduct especially by a public official
  4. persevere: to continue doing something or trying to do something even though it is difficult
  5. treacle: something that is annoying because it is too sentimental
  6. vivid: seeming like real life because it is very clear, bright, or detailed; very bright in color
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. Mark’s backpack is capacious and able to hold all he needs for the big camping trip.
  2. The colors of the rainbow in the sky were so vivid that Lisa thought they couldn’t be real.
  3. Jeff felt inept when he wasn’t able to hold his breath under water for more than a minute.
  4. Amanda knows that in order to get an A on her math test, she must persevere in completing all the homework assignments.
  5. The poem is difficult to enjoy because of all the treacle about the poet’s love of rainbows and unicorns.
Comprehension Questions
  1. Flora and her father run through the hallways of the Blixen Arms because they don’t want to meet Mr. Klaus, the angry cat. (p. 111)
  2. Flora decides to knock on Dr. Meescham’s door because she thinks maybe this doctor can help Ulysses. (p. 113)
  3. Dr. Meescham says she is a doctor of philosophy. (p. 118)
  4. When Flora stares at the painting more closely, she sees that there is a tiny boat floating in a black sea, with something like a tentacle wrapped around it. (p. 123)
  5. Dr. Meescham says that her life was lousy in Blundermeecen because she was always knitting outfits for little trolls. (p. 128)
  6. Dr. Meescham knows that Flora’s father is lonely and sad because it broke his heart to leave Flora. (p. 128)
  7. Dr. Meescham says the best way to say good-bye is to say, “I promise to always turn back toward you.” (p. 135)
  8. Flora’s mother says that William Spiver is helping her with her novel. (p. 149)
  9. Flora’s mother sees Ulysses fly through the air and decides she needs a nap. (p. 155)
  10. William Spiver says his mother banished him from home.
  11. Flora’s father says his “good news” is that Flora’s mother wants Flora and Ulysses to stay with her. (p. 162)

Section 4: Chapters 52-68

  1. consume: to eat or drink; to use; to destroy something with fire
  2. grim: unpleasant or shocking to see or think about; causing feelings of sadness or worry; gloomy or depressing
  3. incandescent: white, glowing, or luminous with intense heat; strikingly bright, radiant, or clear
  4. provoke: to cause a person or animal to become angry, violent, etc.
  5. sentiment: an attitude or opinion; feelings of love, sympathy, kindness, etc.
  6. sorrow: a feeling of sadness or grief caused especially by the loss of someone or something
Vocabulary Sentences
  1. The incandescent lamp lit up the room so much that the faces in the room were glowing.
  2. The little boy did provoke the old dog to bite his finger after pulling its tail for fun.
  3. It is recommended that people consume at least eight glasses of water each day.
  4. Summer felt much sorrow when her cat escaped from the yard unexpectedly.
  5. Billy felt grim when he realized his parents would not allow him to play video games for a month, after being caught in a lie.
Comprehension Questions
  1. The blinking neon sign in Flora’s dream say, “Welcome to Blundermeecen.” (p. 179)
  2. Flora’s mother says that Ulysses must type every word she says. (p. 182)
  3. Flora realizes that the one person she trusts to help her find Ulysses is William Spiver. (p. 187)
  4. Flora plans to exchange Mary Ann for Ulysses. (p. 188)
  5. Flora’s mother tells Ulysses that she wants things to be normal and that she wants a daughter who is happy. (p. 195)
  6. William Spiver explains that he pushed Tyrone’s truck into a lake. (p. 205-206)
  7. After his glasses break, William Spiver sees stars in the sky. (p. 216)
  8. Flora tells Ulysses she loves him when she finds him in Dr. Meescham’s apartment. (p. 218)
  9. Tootie whacks Mr. Klaus the cat over the head and Mary Ann’s head breaks. (p. 225)
  10. Flora’s mother says she felt terrified when she didn’t find Flora at home. (p. 225)
  11. Flora’s mother says the title of Ulysses’ last poem is “Words for Flora.” (p. 230)