The Benefits of Being an Octopus

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Zoey is in seventh grade, and if being in middle school isn’t enough, she has virtually no friends and has to spend a lot of her time and energy taking care of her two little brothers and sister. Her mother has to work long hours, and her mother’s boyfriend, Denny, is just plain mean. They all live in a trailer house with Denny’s father. Zoey’s favorite animal is an octopus, and she knows so much about them that sometimes she dreams she is one and has the skills to overcome almost anything. She is nearly invisible in school except by those who want to bully her, but she finally finds her voice when a compassionate teacher takes an interest in Zoey and challenges her to join debate club. This is life-changing for Zoey.

Author Ann Braden has written a strong and important debut novel for middle-graders, but it deserves a much wider readership. This is a book far too many young people will see themselves in, but it will give them hope and, with any luck, help them find their own voices. The characters are incredibly real, the writing is beautiful, and the story is moving and very meaningful.


Reviewed By:

Author Ann Braden
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 256 pages
Publisher Sky Pony Press
Publish Date 2018-Sep-04
ISBN 9781510737488
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue October 2018
Category Tweens
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