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Check It Out: Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

This is Kristina Yezdimer from the Sioux City Public Library and You’re Listening to Check It Out. 

Today I’m going to recommend the delightful kids’ chapter book Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling. Aven Green was born without arms, but that hasn’t stopped her from doing almost everything that other 13-year-olds can do. With help from her supportive parents, she has learned to successfully navigate the world using her feet, a hook, and lots of practice. She’s great at soccer, plays the guitar, and she’ll tell you how she manages it all in her blog, along with posts like the top twenty benefits of having no arms (#17: Never having to do push-ups!).   

Aven has been thriving in her Kansas town where she has known all the kids in school since kindergarten and everyone is used to her. But when her dad gets a great opportunity to manage Stage Coach Pass, a rundown Old West-themed amusement park in Arizona, she has to start over with new kids who stare at her when she eats with her feet, and speak to her only to find out whether her armless condition is contagious. Soon she makes friends with her school’s other outcasts, Connor who has Tourette syndrome and overweight, shy, Zion, whose sci-fi fan parents chose his name not from the bible, but from the movie The Matrix. Outside of school there’s a mystery to solve at Stagecoach Pass. The mysterious owner, Jo Cavanaugh, has had no contact with Aven’s dad and has taken down the Cavanaugh family picture that used to hang in the park’s museum. As a joke and a game, Aven suspects foul play, but the clues lead her instead to a shocking personal discovery.

Find Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus and other books that celebrate what makes us each unique at the Sioux City Public Library.           

Support for Check It Out on Siouxland Public Media comes from Avery Brothers.