My heart goes pitter patter for stories like this. I love stories of different kids overcoming adversity.
Aven has no arms, and as she grows up and attends school, she fluctuates between horribly made up tragic stories of how this happened and the truth that she was born that way. I can imagine that she would be tired of telling people the same story over and over and I enjoyed her sarcasm.
After a move to Arizona where her parents begin to manage a sort of Old West Theme Park, (which reminded me of Rawhide in Scottsdale) she has to start completely over at her new school knowing no one.
While looking for a place to eat lunch she meets Connor who has Tourette's Syndrome and also doesn't want to eat in the lunchroom. Together with another new friend, Zion, (who has a weight problem and amazing cosplaying geeky parents), they solve a mystery and make their own way through middle school. I loved the setting of the theme park because it gave the story just a hint of the Scooby Doo gang finding clues.
In the end, Aven realizes that she is accepted and loved by her new community just the way she is.
I read Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus by Dusti Bowling September 5, 2017, to review for this blog and passed it along to the #Book Posse (a group of teachers and reviewers)