Aven was born without arms, but that hasn’t slowed her down at all. She can do almost everything with her feet that other people do with their hands, including going to the bathroom by herself. (Don’t ask). She’s a real trooper about trying new things, but when her parents accept a job to manage a western theme park in Arizona, Aven is not happy. Leaving her friends behind in Kansas is the last thing she wants to do. They know her. They’re used to her. They quit staring a long time ago.
Starting middle school as the new kid is hard enough. Starting it without arms is a hundred times worse. The first day, Aven hides out in the library at lunchtime because she knows people will freak when they see her eat with her feet and she’s not ready to deal with the stares and questions. In the library, she meets Connor who is also hiding out. He has Tourette’s Syndrome and he knows his tics (a barking noise) annoys the other kids. Aven and Connor bond over their mutual desire to avoid people. They explore Aven’s new home, the run-down Western theme park, and discover a mystery about the owners of the park. Aven thinks there was a murder.
I loved Aven’s spirit and courage. She’s smart, funny, brave, and doesn’t let her disadvantages get her down, most of the time. Fans who loved “Wonder” or “Out of My Mind.” will love this story. I highly recommend it for ages 10 and up. And yes, Dusti Bowling is the author’s real name.