Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
The paperback edition of the bestselling middle grade novel about a spunky girl born without arms and a boy with Tourette syndrome navigating the challenges of middle school, disability, and friendship—all while solving a mystery in a western theme park.
Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she’ll have to answer the question over and over again.
Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven’s about to discover she can do it all . . . even without arms.
Dusti Bowling holds a Bachelor of Psychology and a Master of Education, but her true passion is writing. She is the author of the well-reviewed 24 Hours in Nowhere (Sterling); The Day We Met, her self-published YA novel, sold over 20,000 copies. She currently lives in Carefree, AZ, with her husband, three daughters, one bobcat, a pack of coyotes, a couple of chuckwallas, several rattlesnakes, and a few herds of javelina.
"She is a perky, hilarious, and inspiring protagonist whose attitude and humor will linger even after the last page has turned. The tale of Stagecoach Pass is just as compelling as the story of Aven, and the setting, like the many colorful characters who people this novel, is so vivid and quirky that it's practically cinematic. VERDICT Charming and memorable. An excellent choice for middle grade collections and classrooms." -- School Library Journal (Starred review)
"Dusti Bowling's story of a regular, hugely likable kid who deals with her unusual challenges with grace and humor is pitch-perfect." -- Shelf Awareness (starred review)
"Connor's Tourette's support-group meetings and Aven's witty, increasingly honest discussions of the pros and cons of 'lack of armage' give the book excellent educational potential. . . . its portrayal of characters with rarely depicted disabilities is informative, funny, and supportive." -- Kirkus
"[A] sensitive and funny novel . . . an openhearted, empathic book. -- Publishers Weekly
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