Four Middle Grade Novels for Fans of "Flora & Ulysses" on Disney+

Animal pals and a touch of magic infuse these books for kids who are drawn to the adaptation of Kate DiCamillo's Newbery winner about a girl and a squirrel who turns out to have superpowers.

Walt Disney Studios


Flora & Ulysses

Walt Disney Studios. Rated PG. Disney+. Available Now.

Ten-year-old white Flora rescues a squirrel only to find out that he has superpowers in this feature film based on Kate DiCamillo's Newbery Medal winner


Dragons & Marshmallows by Asia Citro. Innovation Press. 2017.
Gr 1-3African American Zoey discovers that her mother has been healing magical creatures, and it’s up to Zoey to help a sick dragon when her mom goes out of town. Zoey and her cat sidekick, Sassafras, use STEM concepts and problem-solving to figure out what to do. Readers drawn to plucky young protagonists, animal pals, and fantasy adventure stories should give this series starter a try.

Nuts to You by Lynne Rae Perkins. Greenwillow. 2014.
Gr 3-5After squirrel Jed is carried off by a hawk, he must find his way back to his colony. Meanwhile, his squirrel friends are looking for him. This fantastical story is rooted in very real situations. Hand it to animal lovers who enjoy witty humor and wacky antics.

Dear Sweet Pea by Julie Murphy. Balzer + Bray. 2019.
Gr 3-7After her parents’ divorce, white seventh-grader Sweet Pea adjusts to life moving between two houses and starts secretly writing an advice column for the local paper. While this book is realistic, readers who love Flora’s cynicism will likely enjoy getting to know Sweet Pea, too. Both stories will appeal to readers looking for humor and heart.

Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones. Knopf. 2015.
Gr 4-6When biracial (Mexican American and white) 12-year-old Sophie Brown moves to a farm with her parents, she unexpectedly becomes a caretaker to chickens with unusual powers in this funny epistolary novel. Like Flora, this stars a plucky protagonist dealing with unique animals.

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