Cover Image: Odder


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Member Reviews

Who is the audience for this book?

I adored Katherine Applegate’s The One and Only Ivan, one of the best books — not just children’s books — I’ve ever read. However, her ensuing books, for the most part, have just not been as good, and this one is the worst of all.

Applegate has borrowed Ellen Hopkins’ shtick of making her novel into a series of free-verse poems. Hopkins’ audience of emo girls love her books on drug addiction, toxic religion, suicide and other blights faced by teens. But I don’t see them picking up a book on sea otters, no matter how endangered and cute they might be. Nor do I see a tween or younger enjoying these poems. The illustrations are lovely, but I will let you judge for yourself if this book is for you. Here’s one poem:

No one pities sharks.
There are no great white Bambis,
and that’s to be expected,
given the grim smile,
those thousands of
triangular teeth,
row upon
row upon

There are other perks, though:
the way the ocean seems
to part at their approach,
and don’t forget the
Hollywood factor—
a movie like Jaws
could never be made
about otters.

As my best friend used to say, for those who like that kind of thing, this is just the kind of thing they’d like. I just doubt that person would be under 40.

I will leave you, though, with the one poem I liked: when our female protagonist, the eponymous Odder, tells her bestie Kairi about how California sea otters had nearly gone extinct in the wild:

The Fifty
Once, in times past
when the ancients lived,
the ocean was filled with our kind,
Odder says.
But that changed.
Not so very long ago,
there were only fifty of us,
and that was all.

Because of sharks,
Kairi interrupts.

Not really.
Otter [sic] twists and twirls.
Not then.

Because of sickness,
Kairi says.

Otter [sic] spins and rolls.
that came later.

Because why, then?
Kairi asks.

Odder glances at
the faraway kayaker,
now just a drifting dot,
so small he might be
an egret or
a marsh wren.

Because of them.

In the interest of full disclosure, I received this book from Netgalley, Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group and Feiwel & Friends in exchange for an honest review.
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Odder is based on the lives of real sea otters in the 90s at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I loved the poetical style of writing, making the story easy to read and follow along which is perfect for young readers. The story of Odder is playful and delightful.
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Fantastic story about an otter, named Odder and her upbringing. So uplifting and sends a great message to all young kids. Loved it!
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Leave it to the talented Katherine Applegate to give us a unique way to tell the story of a real otter, her escapades, her encounter with a shark, and her rehabilitation. I felt compassion for Odder, who had lost her family, and Odder's friend who had lost her pup. I felt admiration for Odder's patient, hard-working caregivers who tried not to bound with her so she'd have the best chance of survival if she returned to the wild. The soft, illustrations enhance the lyrical text.
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Odder by Katherine Applegate is a charming novel in verse featuring a sea otter named Odder. When danger and disaster leave Odder out on the shore, she is rescued by humans from a rehabilitation aquarium, bringing back memories of the first time Odder was helped by humans, as an infant pup. Readers will come to love this adorable otter and cheer for her to recover from her injuries with the help of her rescuers.
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This book is perfect for analyzing the main character and discussing the many levels of personification in this text.  Teachers could tie this book in with science and conservation curriculum as well—possibilities are endless.
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I absolutely adored this book! It was a quick read, as it's written in verse, and it was beautiful! I love how the author uses animals in all her books to teach us a very human lesson. I will be putting this book into the hands of ALL my middle school kiddos and my grandkids! I can not wait until September so I can get this book in our classroom library! Please read this book!!! You will LOVE it!!!
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I received an advance reader copy from Netgalley in order to give my opinion. 

I loved The One and Only Ivan so I was excited to read this one. It follows, Odder, an otter at the Aquarium. It tells two stories - Odders raising from an orphaned pup and the aftermath of a shark attack. It is even based off of the lives of some of the otters at Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California. It is a wonderful tale about friendship and growing up.
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I must confess that it took several pages before I began to enjoy Odder and I even considered passing on it. The free verse format made it a quick read, though, so I decided to finish. So glad I did. (I was probably just hungry or something when I started. Lol.) It was a touching story based loosely on actual otters who were part of the Monterey Aquarium’s orphan program. Any young animal lover will adore Odder—especially those who hope to work as marine biologists or in related fields. It’s one of those books that can really move a young person in extraordinary ways.

I have difficultly enticing my elementary students to select books written in verse, but I think I’ll be able to present this to kids in a way so that they’ll come to love it as I did. I’m already plotting! 

I appreciate the ARC from Macmillan Children's Publishing Group and NetGalley.
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I love Katherine Applegate’s new book, Odder. This book is about a otter named Odder. You first meet Odder with her encounter with a shark. Then it flashed back to when she was rescued as a young pup. Finally, it ends with Odder becoming a surrogate mother. . It  is inspired by the true story of a Monterey Bay Aquarium program and its otters.  The book is written in verse which makes it even more enjoyable to read! This book will appeal to variety of audiences-elementary and middle grade. It kept me wanting to read more and was impossible to put down until I finished the book. Katherine Applegate has written another book that will sure to be a hit!!
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Odder by Katherine Applegate was an odd case of surprise for me.  I am a Monterey Peninsula native-born and raised there and since Sea Otters which is a keystone species and a BIG part of our curriculum in school when you grow up there sea otters are just kind of in your blood so when I saw this book it garnered my attention immediately.

Odder is a precious book.  A precious book of poetry with so many deeply touching passages. But what surprised me is was more non-fiction than I thought it would be with a lot of information about sea otters and I was happily surprised and impressed.

The book is in three parts and takes you on a journey, an incredible journey that opens a window into the Monterey Bay and the life of helping sea otters. The only thing I can add that would have added more enjoyment is more art throughout and in color.  The cover is so colorful and the black and white drawings inside are beautiful but it doesn't illuminate the beauty of the words for me.

I would like to thank Net Galley and the publisher, Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for the opportunity to read and review such a splendid and spellbounding book.
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I would like to thank Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for providing me with an ARC.

Odder is a very playful and curious otter, who meets an accident one day that changes her life. This beautifully written novel in verse is based on Monterey Bay Aquarium's sea otter orphan program and the lives of some of their otters. The prose is beautiful and deeply emotional. I really appreciated how the topics were handled and the importance placed on conservation and treating wild animals with respect. I also think that without meaning to, Applegate managed to capture some of the feelings of becoming disabled and how that changes your life. I absolutely loved this book. It was very touching and deeply emotional. I'm sure this will become a favorite of many people.
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Odder is Katherine Applegate's newest middlegrade novel. This book is about an otter named Odder who lives near an aquarium. After Odder is attacked by a shark, she is sent to the aquarium so the scientists there can save her. 
I really enjoyed this book. Otters are one of my favorite animals so I loved that she chose to focus on otters. I also loved that the whole book is written in verse.
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This took me back to the beautifully written, The One and Only Ivan, also by Katherine Applegate.  A sweet animal fantasy story, written in free verse, about an amazing sea creature, the otter.  While the story is fantasy, the backmatter is extensive and gives information about the creation of the book from real otters at the Monterey Aquarium in California.  Kids and adults are going to love this story!
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A lyrical story of the life of an orphaned sea otter pup named Odder and her life in rehab as well as in the wild.  Having been separated from her mother during a storm, young Odder washes up on a beach where she is rescued and brought to a local sea life rehabilitation facility.  Told in verse through Odder's perspective, the reader follows her journey from unskilled and human dependent orphan to a confident, yet sometimes reckless adult otter who has been successfully returned to the sea..  The lines flow easily into one another and readers can't help but want to find out what happens to Odder in each phase of her journey back to the wild.  A cautionary tale as well, as Odder's exuberant behavior gets both herself and her best friend into a life or death situation with a surprising outcome.  For kids who love animal stories, stories in verse and an excellent family read aloud.
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I received a free digital ARC from Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group via NetGalley. Katherine Applegate doesn’t disappoint. Her prose are beautiful and her use of animals as the main characters to tell a meaningful story is just outstanding. She uses real places and situations surrounding Monterey Bay Aquarium as reference for a story about otters being rescued. This is a relatable and informative way for kids to understand the importance of wildlife preservation. So recommended.
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This is a story of an otter named Odder (come on!) told in verse. I thought it was really well written and it had cute illustrations throughout. Feels like it could also  be put with poetry? It based on real stories of otters living in Monteray Bay, CA and has a bit of back matter.
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