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Aven Green Chapter Book Series


Third-grader Aven Green has been solving mysteries for a whole month—cracking such cases as The Mystery of the Cranky Mom. But can this perceptive detective solve two cases at the same time? First her teacher’s lunch bag disappears. Then Aven’s great-grandma’s dog goes missing. Fortunately, since Aven was born without arms, all the “arm” cells went to her super-powered brain instead. (That’s her theory.) This hilarious chapter book showcases a new side to Dusti Bowling’s unforgettable protagonist.

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Gr 1-4–Bowling’s beloved “Life of a Cactus” protagonist returns in a new series of chapter books that capture her life as third grader. Aven Green is a smart, lively, confident white girl who happened to be born without arms, a congenital condition called amelia. For Aven, having no arms hasn’t stopped her from living life to the absolute max! Young readers will laugh aloud at Aven’s funny reactions to queries about what happened to her arms (they were not scrubbed off in the car wash, eaten by iguanas in the Galapagos, pulled off in a game of tug of war, or flattened by a steamroller). They will be intrigued by the practical skills she has perfected, using her feet to brush her teeth, comb her hair, eat mint chocolate chip ice cream, and write about all of the mysteries she has solved with her trusty magnifying glass and sleuthing kit.  With no arms, Aven says all those extra cells went straight to her brain, making her extra smart and, in her own words, “a sleuthing machine” who has been solving cases for a really long time—practically a whole month! Bowling’s book features Perry’s engaging pencil illustrations, short five- to seven-page chapters, explanations of potentially unfamiliar terms such as brain cell and acronyms, and a list of Aven’s sleuthing words: culprit, alleged, hypothesis, and more. The author holds a bachelor’s ­degree in psychology and a master’s in education and infuses her writing with humor and empathy. VERDICT This chapter book companion to Bowling’s well-loved middle grade ­series is a recommended purchase.– School Library Journal (starred review)

[Aven] is an irrepressible and irresistible narrator, whether reflecting on life as someone born without arms or amicably interacting with her funny friends and family. Unapologetically smart and refreshingly confident in her abilities, this super-sleuth extraordinaire is a joy to tag along with. - Booklist

 A fun series opener with a feisty protagonist who’ll keep readers on their toes. - Kirkus


Bowling centers earnest Aven’s quirky wit, determination, and earnestness (“But you know one thing I’ve never read as being necessary to be a good P.I.? Having arms. That’s what”), introducing an exuberant adoptee whose disability does not exist to serve the plot. Aven’s candid voice ensures that this chapter book series starter will draw a young audience. - Publisher's Weekly

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