Odder -- New Middel Grades Novel in Verse about Sea Otters


Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

My life has gotten a bit crazy. My reading time is definitely cut down, but I found time to read today's book and loved it. We can start with the adorable picture on the cover. This book is a new middle grades novel written completely in verse. It is Odder by Katherine Applegate. It is recommended for ages 8 to 12.

From the Publisher:

Now a #1 New York Times bestseller! A touching and lyrical tale about a remarkable sea otter, from Newbery Medalist Katherine Applegate, author of Wishtree.

Meet Odder, the Queen of Play:

Nobody has her moves.
She doesn’t just swim to the bottom,
she dive-bombs.
She doesn’t just somersault,
she triple-doughnuts.
She doesn’t just ride the waves,
she makes them.

Odder spends her days off the coast of central California, practicing her underwater acrobatics and spinning the quirky stories for which she’s known. She’s a fearless daredevil, curious to a fault. But when Odder comes face-to-face with a hungry great white shark, her life takes a dramatic turn, one that will challenge everything she believes about herself—and about the humans who hope to save her.

Inspired by the true story of a Monterey Bay Aquarium program that pairs orphaned otter pups with surrogate mothers, this poignant and humorous tale told in free verse examines bravery and healing through the eyes of one of nature’s most beloved and charming animals.

From Me:

This story is about a sweet sea otter, who is orphaned at a young age and taken in by the humans at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The verse makes it easy to read and the point of view is Odder's. The verses share the life of a young sea otter including things she encounters from humans in kayaks to sharks and more. The book goes from current day to the past when she was orphaned and brought into the aquarium and then back to the present. Odder is playful and curious and is often pushing the limits of the rules her mother taught her and her friend tries to help her keep. 

I love how this book shares the view of Odder and makes it fun to read with the verse. The reader can feel Odder's excitement for life and exploring the ocean. Her life in the aquarium has interesting stories as well as she is trying to figure out what is going on. It teaches us a bit about sea otters. It also shares the concerns of their numbers dwindling. It also shares the love and care the humans at the aquarium are giving and trying to help the species. 

It is a fun read. Odder is playful and entertaining. The verse makes it a quick read. I can see this book being read by animal lovers as well as part of a classroom whether studying verse or about sea otters. I think many kids are going to love it!

To go with this book, I suggest finding a sea otter craft like this one over at Buggy and Buddy or check out this round-up over at Kids Art & Craft. I hope you will check out this amazing book!