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Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus

(Aven Green #2)

4.52  ·  Rating details ·  308 ratings  ·  94 reviews
“High School. Two words that struck fear into the heart of every armless middle schooler I knew. Which was me. And like two people online.”
The sequel to the critically acclaimed Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus follows Aven Green as she confronts yet another challenge: high school.
Just as Aven starts to feel comfortable in Stagecoach Pass, with her fr
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Sterling Children's Books
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Dusti Bowling Hi Betsie! I'm sorry but I don't currently have plans for a sequel to 24 Hours in Nowhere, though I think it would be really fun to write one! I'm…moreHi Betsie! I'm sorry but I don't currently have plans for a sequel to 24 Hours in Nowhere, though I think it would be really fun to write one! I'm glad you and your kids are enjoying my stories! Thank you so much!(less)

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Average rating 4.52  · 
Rating details
 ·  308 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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Dusti Bowling
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm so excited to share more of Aven's adventures with you all! I hope you enjoy them!
Kate ☀️ Olson
(free review copy via @kidlitexchange ) I LOVED getting to go back into Aven's world and see how all of her friendships and other relationships evolved over time! Bowling expertly transitioned from a book ABOUT Aven's being differently abled (Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus) to a book about a teen girl's (who happens to have no arms) trials and tribulations. Mind you, this is a very important distinction as it takes us from and "issue" book to a "non-issue" book. I loved that evolut ...more
Feb 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This sequel takes Aven to her first year of high school. 3,000 students, but only 700 from her middle school. Her best friend, Connor, has moved across town and now attends a different school. Now, Aven and Zion have to tackle this new chapter on their own. And it's starting off worse than transferring middle schools ever was. Will Aven stay true to herself with so much confusion, hurt, and loss swarming around her?

Pre-order this one now! You will want it in hand when it drops on September 17, 2
Laura Gardner
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So happy to get an early copy. Loved it! More soon...
Michele Knott
I am so grateful Dusti wrote this story. I hope middle school and high school students read this book. More to be said on the blog soon...
Lizz Axnick
Jul 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was so looking forward to reading this book and was even more excited to receive an ARC! However, I just didn't feel this book the same way I did with the first one in the series. However, I think I would continue to follow Aven's character indefinitely because she is just so amazing.

The backstory is about a young woman who lives in a "theme park" called Stagecoach Pass in Arizona. Her family moved there for her last year in middle school and this year she is starting high school. What makes
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Dusti Bowling gives readers more of the unsinkable Aven, her family, friends, and life at Stagecoach Pass in the follow-up to 2017's Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus (which also happens to be one of my favorite middle grade books ever). Aven, a middle grader born with no arms; her best friends, Connor, a boy with Tourette's and Zion, a boy with weight problems, formed a tight-knit group of kids who could lean on each other, strengthen one another, and - because what are friends for? ...more
Jul 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
I didn't really like the cover and Aven was depressed for most of the book, so I didn't like it as much as the first book (one of my favorites!). Final verdict: 3.8 stars.
Tonja Drecker
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Firstly, I did not read the first book in this series, although I have heard quite a bit about it. While reading the first book would have helped to know who the characters were, at times, and their backgrounds, I had absolutely no trouble sinking into this book. I recommend reading the first book but can't say there's a problem with picking up the second instead.

Aven is entering high school, and after just getting settled into middle school, she's more than nervous at the idea of having to adju
Andrea Doyon
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids-books
“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.”

In Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus Dusti Bowling continues the story of Aven Green, a young woman who was born without both of her arms. This novel’s story focuses on her newest adventure: high school. As many of us remember from our own journ
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
So great to revisit the world of Stagecoach Pass and Aven’s circle of family and friends. I liked that the dynamics were shaken up significantly with Connor and Jo being disconnected in some way. I’m glad that Aven’s relationship with Zion was explored and strengthened. His anger with her because she didn’t listen to him (twice) was a bit heavy handed, but these are teenagers, after all. The tone of this book was very different from the first- Aven is sad, anxious and afraid for much of the stor ...more
Shaye Miller
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you've read Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, then surely you've grown attached to Aven, Connor, and Zion. These characters shared the misfortune of being left out, bullied, and ignored for much of their lives before finding comfort in one another. Well in book #2, Zion is still fairly timid, struggling to make eye contact. Connor still has continual tics due to Tourette syndrome. And Aven is still armless, obviously. But things are pumped up a notch as the friends enter high scho ...more
Katie Reilley
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am fortunate to be part of this book's launch team and received an ARC to read and review.

Picking up shortly after the end of Insignificant Events, Aven is getting ready to begin a new chapter in her life...high school. With a new school comes change, of course. From 700 students to 3,000, and without Connor (who's moved across town and attends a different school), Aven and Zion work together to battle the beast known as high school.

When Aven is challenged in ways she's never experienced bef
Jennifer Whitt
Mar 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am fortunate to be part of this book's launch team and received an ARC to read and review.

The sequel of Insignificant Events brings Aven to high school. With a new school comes change and Aven's confidence is tested. After losing Connor (to a move), Aven and Zion, with Zion's older brother Lando, set out to make the most of this new school. Aven finds strength in people and places that she did not expect and works through the turmoil that high school and growing up can bring to anyone, even w
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aven continues to be a captivating leading lady. Bowling deftly communicates just how adept Aven has become at living life without arms in a world built for such appendages. Spaghetti, the llama, shares Aven's affections with Chili, the horse, and Fathead, the tarantula rescue. Connor has relocated to spend more time with his dad and is not as strongly featured as in the first book. I missed his friendship with Aven being such a prominent theme. Connor's geographical distance, however, does allo ...more
Clare Lund
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely ADORED this sequel to Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus! I received an ARC as a member of the book's launch team, but am not being compensated for my reviews.

As Aven starts high school, she is faced with a new level of bullying she has never experienced before, causing her to lose her confidence. Through the help of Connor, Zion, and a new cast of friends, Aven learns a lot about what it means to be true to herself. I loved the references to comic books and punk rock, and
Reading in the Middle Grades (Stacey DeCotis)
Aven is back with her wit and humor! As she starts high school with 3,000 kids her strength and confidence is tested. Connor has moved and won’t be part of her new experience. Zion warns her about a boy who is giving her attention. Henry is starting to lose his memory and Aven has to deal this all and more.

Written in such a smart way with each chapter giving cool lyrics to punk bands, Dusti Bowling does it again to make this book unputdownable. Fans of Aven will laugh and cry as she navigates t
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I was in love with Aven Green from the moment she gave her first crazy reason for not having arms. She is one of my favorite fictional characters and I couldn't wait for this sequel to arrive! Just as entertaining as "Insignificant Events," Aven is now navigating the pitfalls of high school. A safe read for any age - Dusti Bowling can tell a story that's entertaining at any age. Keep on writing!
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
AVEN! Ya did it again. Took my heart and made me laugh and cry. Such rich characters! Who wouldn't want to spend more time with them??
Loved this as much as Insignificant! Aven is the best.
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love Aven!!!

So many beautiful lines hit home, but this one made me laugh out loud:

"(My hair) looked like I traveled exclusively via rollercoaster."
Shauna Yusko
More about Aven! For fans of the first book.
Feb 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So excited to have picked up an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from ALA Midwinter. Every bit as good as the first! I find Aven Green to be quite an inspiration, and I love her diverse interests. Thank you, Dusti Bowling, for this book! My students are already looking forward to its release!
May 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Aven is now fourteen and is starting high school, something both exciting and terrifying. It's like starting all over again, with a bunch of students who don't know her. And after a boy pulls a mean trick on her, Aven's confidence is shattered, causing her to lash out at those who love her. I'm glad to see Aven back in another volume, but I don't think that this book is as strong as the first. I'm also not sure, as a librarian, what to do with Aven's stories as she gets older. The book is writte ...more
Bonnie Grover
Mar 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I’m sure adults and kids will relate to the theme of fitting in when you don’t quite fit. Aven Green’s newest challenges are navigating friends, fears, humiliation, loss and bullies in high school. And did I mention she has no arms. “It’s about what you believe, it’s about saying “I’m good the way I am, spitting in the face of the man.” All of us have at one time or another found ourselves in “A blazing dumpster of suck” . Aven shows us how to get back up and stay on the horse. I admire her. I c ...more
Kristin Crouch
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to the author for sharing an ARC for review.
First of all, you should know that you can read this book without reading the first (Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus), but DO NOT! Do whatever you have to do to meet Aven in her first adventure, Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus. Because just like Sandra Cisneros says in 'Eleven,' we are the sum of all of our days. You should meet Aven chronologically because in her first tale, you'll experience her tenacity and efferv
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
For transparency purposes: I’m a member of the Cactus Launch Team, which afforded me an advanced copy of Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus ; I volunteered for this honor because of how much I loved Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus.

I’ve shared my love for Aven’s story for the past couple years, handing it off to teachers for read alouds, or my 5th graders eager to find a book that grips them like Wonder. In Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus, readers pick up Aven’s story
Ms. Yingling
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
E ARC provided by Edleweiss Plus

Aven is back after Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, and high school is a frightening prospect. Three thousand students, most of who won't understand that her lack of arms isn't something they don't need to mention to her. It's even worse that Connor has moved across town to live with his father, but at least she has Zion. Josephine is in a nursing home, and Henry is rapidly failing, but Trilby is still working at her parents' smoothie shop at the wild
Sep 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing

Aven's best friend Connor has moved out of town and now she has to face her move to high school with a single friend, Zion. Zion is overweight; Aven is armless. Moving to a new school with 3,000 students is intimidating for both of them. And, when both are bullied by a guy who has bullied Zion in the past, Aven doesn't take it well. Will she ever adjust to high school and make new friends?

That first paragraph is a dramatic simplification. Aven lives at Stagecoach Pass, a Western amusement
Mandy Stallard
Mar 16, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bookposse
If you enjoyed Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus, you have probably been highly anticipating this sequel. When we rejoin Aven, she is on the cusp of starting ninth grade, and she is scared out of her mind. Her best friend Connor has moved across town and won't be beside Aven to help her navigate high school. Her llama Spaghetti is in declining health; Henry's memory is getting worse and worse, and Josephine is as grumpy as ever. When Aven attracts the attention of Joseph, a cute footb ...more
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DUSTI BOWLING grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, where, as her family will tell you, she always had her nose in a book. But it wasn’t until after starting down a couple of different career paths that Dusti realized her true passion was writing. She currently lives in Carefree, Arizona with her husband, three daughters, one bobcat, a pack of coyotes, a couple of chuckwallas, several rattlesnakes, and ...more

Other books in the series

Aven Green (2 books)
  • Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus