by Dusti Bowling
Aven Green didn’t lose her arms in an alligator wrestling match or a wildfire in Tanzania. That’s just what she tells people when she gets the “look.” The truth is Aven was born without arms, but, at age 13, that hasn’t stopped her from doing almost anything. Then her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown Western theme park in Arizona, and Aven has to leave everything she knows behind.
Aven struggles to make friends at her new school, where kids can’t seem to see past her missing arms,. But her life takes another unexpected turn when she meets Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability. Together, they discover an old storage shed at the park that holds bigger secrets than Aven could have imagined. It’s hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your fears. But Aven’s about to find out what she’s capable of . . . and how far from insignificant she is.
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus was a fun read. Aven has a wonderful, spunky voice as the narrator of her story, making it enjoyable to read. All of the other characters also had great voices to read. It was also fun to read a story set in Scottsdale, Arizona, since I’ve been to the area before.
The story also provided a unique look into the life of a person without arms and how life is different for them, which was neat to read. It also gave a peek into what it is like to have Tourette’s syndrome, which Connor has, and how we often ostracize or misunderstand people with disabilities.
If you’re looking for a book with a great narrator or a peek into life with disabilities, pick up Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus.
Cautions: rude humor; Aven’s mother wasn’t married