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The Benefits of Being an Octopus
Cover of The Benefits of Being an Octopus
The Benefits of Being an Octopus
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Seventh-grader Zoey has her hands full as she takes care of her much younger siblings after school every day while her mom works her shift at the pizza parlor. Not that her mom seems to appreciate it....
Seventh-grader Zoey has her hands full as she takes care of her much younger siblings after school every day while her mom works her shift at the pizza parlor. Not that her mom seems to appreciate it....
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  • Seventh-grader Zoey has her hands full as she takes care of her much younger siblings after school every day while her mom works her shift at the pizza parlor. Not that her mom seems to appreciate it. At least there's Lenny, her mom's boyfriend-they all get to live in his nice, clean trailer. At school, Zoey tries to stay under the radar. Her only friend, Fuchsia, has her own issues, and since they're in an entirely different world than the rich kids, it's best if no one notices them. Zoey thinks how much easier everything would be if she were an octopus: eight arms to do eight things at once. Incredible camouflage ability and steady, unblinking vision. Powerful protective defenses. Unfortunately, she's not totally invisible, and one of her teachers forces her to join the debate club. Even though Zoey resists participating, debate ultimately leads her to see things in a new way: her mom's relationship with Lenny, Fuchsia's situation, and her own place in this town of people who think they're better than her. Can Zoey find the courage to speak up, even if it means risking the most stable home she's ever had?

About the Author-

  • Ann Braden writes books about kids struggling to find their voice amidst the realities of life. She founded GunSenseVT, a grassroots group focused on championing the common ground on the issue of guns in Vermont, which helped pass landmark gun violence prevention legislation. Visit her online at annbradenbooks.com.

Reviews-

  • AudioFile Magazine Initially, narrator Amy Melissa Bentley portrays seventh-grader Zoey in a youthful timbre and an upbeat tone. However, Bentley's cheerful voice soon flags as Zoey reflects on the oppressive environment in which she lives. Zoey, like an octopus, has become expert at camouflage. She compensates for her mother's inability to function, calms her three young siblings, and learns about football to please her mother's prickly boyfriend. When a social studies teacher offers Zoey an opportunity to be part of the debate team, Bentley registers Zoey's initial anxiety. This positive change might threaten her precariously balanced life. Later, Bentley captures Zoey's resilience and growing courage to speak out. Bentley also succeeds at fully portraying the secondary characters who have an impact on Zoey's growing sense of self. S.W. � AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine

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    Tantor Media, Inc.
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    All copies of this title, including those transferred to portable devices and other media, must be deleted/destroyed at the end of the lending period.

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The Benefits of Being an Octopus
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Ann Braden
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