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Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus: 07/23/18
Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling is told from the perspective of a girl who is tired of people asking her what's happened to her arms. She was born armless and her adoptive parents don't know and don't care about the reason behind her missing arms. They believe she can do anything she sets her mind to. That's all well and good until her parents get a job running an obscure Western themed park in Arizona.
When you have no arms, you have to eat with your feet. At Aven's old school, she sat with friends. Here she feels like she's on display. So she tries to find somewhere quiet and alone to eat. It's there that she meets Connor, a kid who also eats alone.
As their friendship blossoms, the two kids set out to solve the mystery of the missing park owner. No one has seen Joe in years. Aven believes she can solve the mystery with Connor's help.
There's a lot more going on here than just a quirky armless girl and a boy who barks. There's a well thought out history to the park. Aven's abilities are plausible. The life with Tourettes is also explored for its different nuances and for how it progresses.
My one quibble comes with a big spoiler that I'm not going to reveal here. It has to do with the timeline of the park. 1973 is a long time ago. I think this book would have made more sense if it were a recent historical fiction, set maybe back in 2000 or the mid 1990s, rather than the present day.