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Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus
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Archive: Other Books > Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling - 4.5 stars

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Amy N. | 256 comments I think this one first caught my eye for the title. It's about a thirteen year old girl named Aven who is a spunky red head, plays guitar, and who is moving to dumb, hot Arizona from her home in Kansas and isn't too thrilled about it. Oh, and she was born without arms.

The premise was interesting, but it delivered on it spectacularly. From the first page you know this isn't going to be one of those books about disability that just wants to make you cry. Aven wants to make you laugh, or at least horrify you with crazy made-up stories about how she 'lost' her arms. This is also not one of those books that makes you think disabled people can do anything!!!!! that abled people can do!!!! they're just like you and me you know!!!!! it's not a big deal really!!!!

No, Aven is a very real girl who doesn't like to eat in the cafeteria because she doesn't want to be stared at while she eats with her feet, but has also taught herself to play the guitar and forces her friend with Tourrette's to go to support group meetings because she wants to help him gain confidence. Yes, it takes her longer to put on her pants. Yes, she can put on her own pants. There are no villains here, just people who are less compassionate than they should be, and plenty of people who are so much more compassionate than they have to be.

I wish I had known someone like Aven when I was in middle school: the kind of person who seems like they can do anything and makes you feel that way about yourself too. Aven is a very positive person, and the book has a very positive message, but not everything is hunky dory: people stare at her. People avoid her. She gets self-conscious and has moments of self-doubt. These moments make it so when Aven tells you she can too be an astronaut if she wants to, you believe her.


Cheryl is busier irl atm. (cherylllr) Love it! Gonna check this out for sure.


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