I keep going back and forth, around and around, what can I possibly think about this book. At first it didn't do much for me. Oh yes, I was in love with DiCamillo's dizzy use of language. I was engulfed in the thick atmosphere that crawled off the page and swirled about my reading chair. But did I connect with the characters? Was I breathless to see where the plot led? I can’t say that those elements were there, at least not at first. As more and more characters showed up, carting their back-stories into the picture, paradoxically tightening the elements of the story with their clutter, I became more attached, more invested. By the end I was enraptured. My reservation is the ability for the average young reader to connect with this book. Unlike Edward or Despereaux, or Wynn-Dixie there is no strong identifiable protagonist to cling to.