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Publisher's Summary

The audio edition of the best-selling middle grade novel about a spunky girl born without arms and a boy with Tourette syndrome navigating the challenges of middle school, disability, and friendship - all while solving a mystery in a western theme park.   

Aven Green loves to tell people that she lost her arms in an alligator wrestling match, or a wildfire in Tanzania, but the truth is that she was born without them. And when her parents take a job running Stagecoach Pass, a rundown western theme park in Arizona, Aven moves with them across the country knowing that she'll have to answer the question over and over again.   

Her new life takes an unexpected turn when she bonds with Connor, a classmate who also feels isolated because of his own disability, and they discover a room at Stagecoach Pass that holds bigger secrets than Aven ever could have imagined. It's hard to solve a mystery, help a friend, and face your worst fears. But Aven's about to discover she can do it all... even without arms.

©2017 Dusti Bowling (P)2019 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Charming and memorable. An excellent choice for middle grade collections and classrooms." (School Library Journal Starred Review)

What listeners say about Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus

Average Customer Ratings
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Ever wish a fictional character was real?

What can I say? Did you ever read a book where you wish the character was real? This is a preteen age book that I read with my daughter. But I think it affected me more than her even though it affected her a lot. A young girl, Aven Cavanaugh, is incredible. She's smart, sweet and she can do anything she sets her mind to but she has challenges like most teens do. She has a heart and a soul and sometimes her feelings get hurt. She's at the age where friendships mean so much and she has two friends who change her life. And, that is what is at the heart of this book...friendship. Aven feels real. She's one of the few fictional characters who actually seems real. She has no arms. She was born that way but that doesn't stop her. in fact, it pushes her, makes her stronger. I want her to be my daughter's best friend. Did you ever read a book that made you wish the character was real?

33 people found this helpful

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What a wonderful and refreshing story

I loved everything about this book, especially in this time of hate and turmoil!! This book is all about acceptance. Learning about differences, and overcoming obstacles. I’m suggesting it to all my students and my children! Inspirational to young and old alike. Heartwarming, funny, and it kept my attention! Thank you for a wonderful book! Our world needs more like these!!!

15 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars

Great book!

I picked this book up after reading it during the students free read time in an elementary school. I couldnt stop reading it, such a great book. Great point made about not to compare our weakness to another persons strengths. Although the main character in this book did not have arms this didnt prevent her from doing the everyday things and even keeping a sense of humor. when she realized that not every one saw her the same way, she had a choice to make, to see her self as a person that cant achieve much, or to follow her dreams! :) good read!

12 people found this helpful

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Great Story! Read with my 5th grader and his class

Read with my son and his 5th grade class. Was engaging, encouraging, and full of suprises!

10 people found this helpful

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Read this book!🤩

This was one of my favorite books! The story is amazing! I recommend this to all readers!

7 people found this helpful

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Funny, Awesome, Great Book, Says My Seven Year Old

Anybody can do anything and make lots of friends along a very difficult path. A wonderful story.

5 people found this helpful

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M

This book was so good. I loved it. Thanks you soo much!!!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️Never stop believing!!! ❤️

5 people found this helpful

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Good read and audible

I enjoyed this book and I'm happy I listened to it with my daughter. At first to keep her on track with school, but overall good book.

4 people found this helpful

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If you loved Out of My Mind or Fish in a Tree...

then you will love this book. like the above two titles, it's main characters are upper elementary students. In similar fashion, this stories celebrates students who are differently abled. I'll definitely be reading it to my students.

4 people found this helpful

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couldn't stop listening

I loved every minutes of this book! The characters were beautifully flawed and perfectly developed. one of my favorites!

4 people found this helpful

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  • CNC Uraih
  • 02-18-21

Awesome

I absolutely loved it: it was really funny, it was so heartfelt ...
Just Awesome

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  • Elley Miller
  • 05-14-19

Great book and great narration.

A well writen and refreshing story, humerous and heart felt. The narration is bar one author who reads her own books, the best Ive heard.

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  • nash
  • 09-08-20

The emotions this makes you feel

This book was so good that whenever they were sad I was angry happy I was all those emotions this book made me wanna KO all the people who hurt them in book or real life. ╰(*'︶`*)╯♡