This is a book review for Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus (Aven Green #1) by Dusti Bowling

What is a great friends & family (and even a little bit of mystery) book for elementary and middle school kids?

Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling is!

If you look different from others around you, does that give you permission to be mean to them?

Absolutely not!! Aven Green was born without arms. she loves to tell people that she was wrestling an alligator and that is how she lost her arms or that they were burned off in a wildfire. Now that she is in middle school that doesn’t work unless a new kid comes in. But now her dad has taken a job to manage Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western-themed park in Arizona, and she knows the questions are going to start all over again.

Do you think you could write or turn pages of a textbook or even eat with your feet?

She knows she doesn’t have a choice in class to use her feet to write or turn the pages of her textbooks, but she refuses to eat with her feet in the lunchroom in front of everyone. During her lunch break, she goes to the library and this is where she meets Connor. She makes eye contact with Connor and then he barks at her. Aven thinks he is making fun of her so she marches across the library to give him a piece of her mind. She quickly finds out how wrong she is. Connor has Tourettes Syndrome and cannot help with his outbursts. Aven and Connor become fast friends and help each other navigate middle school life.

Mysteries at Stagecoach Pass!

As they are looking around Stagecoach Pass, they find a locked-up building that holds so many secrets. As they are becoming detectives they are also trying to figure out why Henry, the old man who runs the ice cream shop, keeps mistaking Aven for someone else.

What is Aven’s true identity?

Can Connor and Aven unravel all of the mysteries surrounding Stagecoach Pass? Can Aven help Connor overcome the embarrassing ticks that come with his disability? When Aven finds Zion, a boy that eats outside in the blistering heat to avoid the lunchroom, will she allow him to become friends with her and Connor, or will she just keep on walking? Read this incredible story to find out!!

Why I love this book!

This is one of my favorite books!! From the first page Aven pulls you into her world and it feels like you are right there with her every step of the way. Dusti Bowling writes this book in such a way that it will make you want to live at Stagecoach Pass and be in Aven’s circle of friends. Along with the unbreakable friendships, she throws in a great mystery to be solved and when it is revealed, your jaw will drop! Do not miss this absolutely amazing book and the follow up books, Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus!

Favorite Quotes

  • “Sometimes the friends you make aren’t the ones you expected. And sometimes the place you find yourself in isn’t the place you were hoping for. And sometimes, if you keep an open mind, you’ll find they’re so much better than what you imagined.”
  • “Let’s live life like we mean it because today is the youngest we’ll ever be for the rest of our lives.”

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First Chapter Fridays Coloring Sheets

Click here to purchase the First Chapter Fridays coloring/doodling sheet that goes along with your reading. First Chapter Fridays are a great way to introduce students to a wide variety of books. Some students like to doodle while they listen to the teacher read. This is a great way to get the students to remember the title of the book. Students could also make notes on the back of the coloring sheet and make a binder full of titles that they want to read.

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Hi! I'm Laurie!

I am a book loving librarian with a passion for getting the right book into the hand of a child so that they will develop a love of reading! I live in Hoover, AL with my husband, Lee, and my dog, Holly.

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