Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

Aven Green has grown up believing she can do anything. And she can, even without arms. However, when her parents take a job running a run down theme park in Arizona, Aven faces her greatest challenge ever. She moves away from everything she knows and has to start again in a new place and make new friends. Suddenly, Aven can no longer ignore the “looks” she gets and, even worse, the pity or extra help people offer.

Life gets a little better when Aven meets Connor, another classmate excluded because of his Tourette’s syndrome. Together they explore Stagecoach Pass and try to uncover the mystery of the theme park’s past. With a little mystery, this book is entertaining, but its highlight is an amazing protagonist. Aven Green is a spunky character, overcoming great odds and winning the world over as she does. This is a perfect middle grade read for many ages and also a wonderful class read aloud. It will entertain kids while teaching empathy and understanding.

Recommended ages--8 and up

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