Cover Image: Odder


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This book connects to a previous, non-fiction book I have used with 2nd grade about the otters at Monterrey Bay Aquarium. I'm excited to use this book with 4th grade students to practice empathy and design thinking skills.
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I loved how this book incorporated figurative language, descriptive writing, and science. I can imaging many young kinds wanting to venture out and learn more about sea otters and other endangered species. I have this on my “must purchase” list when it comes out and I’ve already posted about it recommending it to a group on YouTube in the comment section. I love an author that shows their love of animals through their writing!
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This is one of the best middle grade novels I have read in a long time. It educates the reader on marine live and specifically otters, while telling the story of one playful and curious otter, named Odder.

While reading, I immediately fell in love with Odder and her playful spirit. She gets herself in a bit of trouble, but throughout the book she learned and grows from her mistakes. The poems tell a wonderful story that immediately pull in the reader. I think younger people will really enjoy this story and may even see themselves a bit in Odder.
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Another beautiful novel by Katherine Applegate. Told from the perspective of Odder, an otter who makes his home in Monterey Bay, the story follows her journey in the wild, through conservation efforts, back to the wild, and ultimately becoming a foster mom to other abandoned otters in the area.

Odder is a sweet young otter pup who is separated from her mother. The story, told in the present then in a flashback, then returning to the present shares moments of her life that helped her to understand her role in the animal world. In the present, after a close encounter with a shark, Odder is rescued by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Rehabilitation Center to help her grow stronger. In a flashback, we learn this is not Odder’s first stay in the rehabilitation facility.  As a pup, she was separated from her mother and a kind aquarist takes her in and teaches her how to be an otter.

Applegate based her novel on the real experiences f several rescued otters in the area and she shares their stories in the afterward. A beautifully written novel in free verse. Easy to read and follow along with. Perfect for all animal fans and Applegate fans.
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Author, Katherine Applegate
Pub date: 9.20.22

Thank you Feiwel & Friends and NetGalley for sharing the e-arc of Katherine Applegate's latest middle grade novel! My kids and I have read all but one of Applegate's novels, and we were so excited to have the opportunity to read Odder! We have loved Ivan and Bob, Willodeen and Connor, Jackson and Crenshaw, Red the Wishtree and Bongo, and all the friends of the Endling trilogy- and now we can add Odder and Kiari to our collection of favorite characters. 

Odder is such a sweet and moving tale of a fun and playful otter named Odder who lives off the coast of central California. She is curious, adventurous, and already in her short life, has quite a few stories to tell! Fearless and bold, Odder gets she and her best friend Kiari, tangled up in a dangerous predicament with a great white shark causing their lives to be forever changed. What follows is the inspiring and witty journey of Odder based on the true story of the Monterey Bay Aquarium program that pairs orphaned otter pups with surrogate mothers. 

What is unique about Odder when compared with Applegate's previous middle grade novels is her free verse writing format. It's sharp, witty, and flows so well! It was fun to read aloud to my kids! What is consistent about Odder when compared to her previous novels is the distinct voice that she gives to each of her characters- a tree, an ape, a dog, a cat, and more, and now otters! Odder's story is wonderfully researched and filled with bravery, resilience, and hope for our middle grade readers to become conservationists, who can learn how to preserve endangered species and above all else, how to care for animals.
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Katherine Applegate creates masterpieces and her latest fits neatly into that category.
Odder, named appropriately, is a sea otter quite different from the other sea otters.  She has a sparkling, defiant personality who is rescued by humans.  My elementary school readers will delight in the story which contains all the elements of excitement, shock, hope and despair when shark attacks do their damage.
What's especially fascinating is the format in which the book was written.  It's lyrical tone and use of verse in conjunction with the story being told from Odder's perspective, will be a genuine crowd-pleaser.
The story if so relevant.  The glossary at the book's conclusion explains so much information about the ocean.  The Author's Note gives enormous background and my readers will be duly impressed that the fictional otters can be loosely traced to real otters.  It will make the story so realistic and engaging.  Loved the book!
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Katherine Applegate is so wonderful,  she tells the best stories! Thank you for the opportunity to read and review.
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4.5/5 rounded up to five. 

Thank you to NetGalley for letting me review this eARC of Odder. 

Following up her Newbery-award winning The One and Only Ivan, Applegate gives us the story of Odder, a sea otter that is rescued by humans (not once, but twice) after being separated from her mother in a storm (rescue #1) and after she's been bitten by a shark (rescue #2). 

Younger patrons will adore this book, especially those that enjoy sea animals/cute animals. It's in-verse style makes it more accessible to young readers that might be struggling or simply haven't found the right book to read. On a personal note, I sobbed after Odder was bitten by the shark, thinking that she wasn't going to make it. Fortunately, she does (though she is unable to go back to the wild) and she finds a new role as an adoptive mother. This story is based on true events and has a solid bibliography for both adults and children. 

Definitely a first purchase for libraries!
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Odder is different from her other otter friends. She’s at times too curious, too fearless, and too playful. One day, when she is out searching for food with her friend, a great white shark changes the course of her life. The shark attacks, and the attack changes the way she views the world, the creatures in it, and her very own sense of self. 

Inspired by true events of the Monterey Bay Aquarium program, Odder is a touching tale about the fragility of nature and humans’ role as both destructor and conservator. This novel-in-verse incorporates just the right balance of facts, history, and literary elements to intrigue readers that love nature-based fiction. It will spark curiosity and endear a new generation to one of the most lovable creatures in the wild. Odder is yet another triumph in author Katherine Applegate’s long list of successes.

Odder serves as a great springboard for teachers to explore ecosystems, keystone species, sea otters, and conservation efforts. The engaging narrative will easily intrigue students and generate curiosity for further exploration, making the novel another solid selection for a cross-curricular study. Although the literary depth is not as robust as other Applegate narratives, the novel’s length allows more space for Science applications. Many Applegate novels focus on animals, and Odder offers yet another opportunity for robust literature circles anchored on the similar nonfiction topics. It will also be well-loved in the hands of students that love nature or marine life, providing another option for students when choosing texts that align with their interests. 

Thank you to NetGalley and publisher, Feiwel & Friends, for an eARC of this book.
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Kathrine Applegate can do no wrong. Everything her golden pen touches turns to an instant heartwarming classic full of lovable characters, and aching tenderness that swallows you whole in the intricate mythology she creates with truth at the heart. Odder is special, spectacular even. Having been to Monterey Bay Aquarium, I can honestly say it is as she describes it, full of people who love animals and nurture them with only the best intentions. Their otter fostering program is the core of this story and is shines their her free verse. Odder is encouragingly and lovable, brave, fearless even, and full selflessness to others.  Through her eyes you experience the wonders of the ocean, the dangers, and also the very Human emotions of loss and recovery from an injury that threatens not just the body’s capabilities, but to smother the spark of soul within, and watching her triumphant and learn to live and open herself up to others is a beautiful thing. Full stars for another amazing Katherine Applegate adventure.
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Katherine Applegate does it again! She tells a great story from the otter's perspective.  You won't be disappointed in this sweet tale of Odder and how she fits into the aquarium and nature.
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This was a cute read. The cover is adorable. I loved that Katherine based the characters on real-life otters that the Monterey Bay Aquarium rescued. The story was heart-warming, and there were a few parts of the story that made me so sad for Odder and her friend, Kairi. 

This book is perfect for children and people who love animals. I also love that Katherine included information at the end of the book about the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the rescue program, and the real-life otters. There's also a glossary, and a selected bibliography included that can help readers learn more about otters.
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We loved this book! Odder is an adorable otter who got separated from her mother and went through rehabilitation and release. We learned a lot about otters in this fictional book in free verse. It’s such a great addition to any library! Thanks Katherine Applegate for writing another great book.

Thank you NetGalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for the opportunity to review this book.
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I love Katie Applegate's writing! She does not disappoint in her new piece of fiction about wildlife conservation and otters. 
Odder is the story of a young Otter who starts life in the traditional otter way- kept safe and well loved by her mother. Soon a storm separates Odder from her Mom and tosses her onto land. She is scooped up by strange creatures (humans) and brought to an odd pond (an animal rehabilitation center) where she excels at dives and flips. The humans are excited with her progress and prepare her to be released from the center back into the wild. The question is will she thrive after captivity or will she need to return to the center and be officially named by the humans?
Applegate's writing is lyrical and jam packed with information. The story is very accessible to children and provides a great starting point for anyone interested in animal conservation and adorable otters (look at that cover!!).
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Sea Otters + Katherine Applegate + a novel in verse = middle grade gold. As she has proven previously in Wishtree, The One and Only Ivan, Home of the Brave, and many others, Katherine Applegate knows how to make readers care. Add Odder (releases 9-20-22)  to that ever-growing list. I fell head-over-heels in love with Odder and I know kids will, too.

There are several excellent informational texts for kids about sea otters—Sea Otter Heroes by Patricia Newman is my personal favorite—and several adorable picture books, but this is the first middle grade novel about Sea Otters that I’ve encountered. I’m so glad Katherine Applegate decided to tell this tale, which is based on true stories from the lives of Elkhorn Slough otters cared for by conservation scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Odder could stand alone as a beloved read aloud. It could also be an unbeatable fictional hook for a classroom unit, which looks at endangered species, conservation work, trophic cascades in delicate ecosystems, climate change, apex predators, etc.. The backmatter—including glossary, author’s note, acknowledgements, selected bibliography, and resources for young readers—will provide teachers all they need to get started planning the unit.

NetGalley provided a digital advance reader copy of Odder in exchange for an honest review.
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Novel in Verse
I received an electronic ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group through NetGalley.
An interesting approach to telling this story. Applegate uses free verse to share the otter's perspective along with human insights. In part one, readers meet Odder, a young otter who sets off a chain of events by being daring and a bit careless. After boldly attacking a shark to save her friend, Odder ends up back at the rescue aquarium where she was raised as a baby. We see Odder's story told from memories in part two. She brings readers to the opening events and moves forward from there to finish the book. 
Applegate sets a tender tone that places readers in the ocean and in the tanks with Odder and the other otters. The verse design flows like sea water to mimic Odder's energy and fears. Don't miss the Author's Note at the end where she shares about the real location that handles otter rehabilitation and reintroduction. Based on several real animals, Applegate's characters behave in realistic and believable manners. 
Looking forward to sharing this as a read aloud.
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If you are a fan of Katherine Applegate’s other works you will love this book. It is written in verse and has the most gorgeous illustrations. 
As someone who loves animal stories, the oceans, conservation, and animal rescues this was a treat. It is especially unique to read an animal rescue story from the perspective of the animal being helped.
I loved the inclusion of real life information about the otters the characters in the books were based on. This will give many intermediate school science teachers opportunities to expand upon this book and learn more. 
I think it would also be a wonderful read aloud for the younger grades as well. There’s nothing too frightening, which is a question our animal loving readers often ask.
I can’t wait to hand this to our readers!
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A beautiful novel in verse about playful, lovable Odder.  Readers will fall in love with her bravery and friendship. Everyone should read it!
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Odder was a fantastic and charming novel in verse for middle grade readers. I loved how the rescue stories of the book's namesake, Odder, and other otters were told through the eyes of Odder. I found it nearly impossible to not be completely drawn into her world. 

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the eARC in exchange for my honest review.
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Odder by Katherine Applegate follows our main character Odder, a sea otter who spends her days twirling through the waters off the coast of California. The novel is told in verse and follows Odder and her friend Kairi in their ocean adventures until one day they come face to face with a great white shark.

Clearly I am not the intended audience for this book, but I have loved Katherine Applegate's previous books so I was slightly disappointed in this one. While I enjoyed many of the beautifully written verses of this book, I almost wish that it had been written in the traditional expository style. I wanted more from Odder than I think I was able to glean from the poems, and I think that kept me somewhat emotionally distant from the character.

That being said, I still did enjoy Odder as a character. I thought she was fun, playful, and insightful, and I loved seeing her journey throughout, albeit sad at points. The plot itself was enjoyable, and the book is broken up into several parts following different portions of Odder's journey.

Interestingly, I thought prior to reading that the sea otter was named Odder because she was "the odd one out" so to speak. I thought that feeling like an outsider was going to play a part in the story and go the direction of having a lesson of "just be yourself!". In reality, Odder is very outgoing and fits in well with the other otters in her orbit. She is different from other otters because of her adventurous spirit and desire to interact with humans! That was obviously a false perception on my part and not the fault of the book at all. 

I thought the artwork was adorable and certainly will work to draw kids (and adults) further into the story. 

I also think the fact that this book was based on a true story opens up a lot of educational opportunities to explore with kids including things like conservation, animal rescue, animal extinction, ecosystems, and the like!

Overall, Odder is a fun read following an adorably lovable character, though I found it lacked the same punch felt from Applegate's previous books. It is a must read for children who love animals or animal rescue! 

Thank you to NetGalley and MacMillan Children's for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my honest review!
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