Cover Image: Odder

Odder

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Member Reviews

Another hit from Katherine Applegate that middle grade readers will adore. I am recommending this title to be considered for my state readers' award. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an eARC.
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Thanks to Netgalley and Mac Kids Books for the gifted book I read along with the library audio.

Odder is an otter that loves to play. She is adventurous and curious and loves doing whatever her heart desires. But when her penchant for play puts her life in danger, her life takes an interesting turn and she is going to have to reevaluate her identity and who she trusts. 

This book is inspired by the true story of a Monterey Bay Aquarium program that pairs orphaned otter pups with surrogate mothers, and it is adorable. 

I loved how charming and full of life all the otter characters are and how this book helps readers examine the effects we can have on our environment and all who live in it. Told in a lyrical style that is beautifully captured by a chorus of voices on audio, this book was a quick read and fun listening delight.
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I am always amazed at how much can be said using so few words. Katherine Applegate is truly a master at the verse novel, particularly those with animal protagonists. Odder was a roller coaster of emotions - sweet, heartbreaking, and hopeful all at the same time. I loved the tactic of presenting Odder’s history in pieces, with the separate timelines, as it helped fill in some of the gaps when we were already invested in Odder’s story. And, even though there were very few secondary characters, the richness of their development added to Odder’ story. I also appreciated how Applegate wove elements from real life into Odder’s narrative, and then took the time at the end to explain what was accurate to the real-life story, and with what details she took poetic license. Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely and highly recommend it for a quick yet satisfying read.
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Say the name of this book out loud.  Go ahead and say it.  I'll wait.  Now it makes sense, right?

I love this book.  I love that it is written in verse.  I love that it is written by Katherine Applegate.  I love that I can read it to my 8th-grade students and my 4-year-old grandkids - and they all enjoy it.

I'm in love with this book.
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I absolutely love novels written in verse and cannot wait to put this one on the shelf of our library. Katherine Applegate has a flawless way of pulling you into the worlds she creates. Odder, our furry protagonist, is complex in all the best ways. She's flawed, fun, stubborn, loveable, curious, brave, and so much more. This story will introduce young readers to the complexities of conservation...in a good way. There are enough details about animal rescue, rehab, and reintroduction into the wild to make a point without being overly preachy. All in all, this was a great read!
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I absolutely LOVED this novel in verse. It was delightfully quirky, yet a powerful social commentary on conversation efforts, climate change and human intervention in preventing the extinction of animals. 

Odder was saved as a baby and released back into the ocean as part of the Monterey Aquarium's rescue efforts. She seems to be adjusting well. She makes friends. She hunts. She does otter things. Above all, she plays. When she ventures too far one day, she finds herself back in the aquarium and this time... with a name... which means she won't be leaving any time soon. 

I love all the minor otter behaviors and mannerisms that were woven into this novel. I had no idea of how complex and how amazing otters truly were. I also did not know about the aquarium's program to pair orphaned pups with surrogate mothers. 

I put this one in my middle school library right away.
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I adored this book from beginning to end.

Otters are my favorite animal and I adore Katherine Applewhite's writing.

I loved this book written in verse form and I had tears in my eyes at multiple times in the both. 

I loved it!
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This sweet animal story will surely touch the hearts of young readers and adults alike. The unique format of writing in verse makes this book different and perfect for a read aloud in a classroom. Based on a true story of orphaned otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, I thought Odder was a lovable main character and enjoyed her adventures. This book teaches age appropriate lessons about bravery and grief while telling a fun and exciting story. It's also a great science connection and learning opportunity for students about the work of real life animal rescues. I can see so many connections and extensions this book could open up. The illustrations were also lovely and perfect for young readers. Some parts might be scary for the littlest readers, so I'd recommend this for 3rd grade and above.
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I am a huge fan of Katherine Applegate and recommend her books to many elementary age students who come into the library.  I will definitely add this one to my recommendation list.
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A gem of a book! Told in verse, this gorgeous story follows Odder, a wild otter, who is taken in by an aquarium after being orphaned. Grab the tissues, because this book made me cry more than once. A stunningly lyrical work, a story of love, loss, and redemption. Fantastic book club read!
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What a sweet and tender read!
I felt like I was in the water with Odder and experiencing things as she did. The verse format will be easy for my students to digest and fly through this book.
I can't wait to put this in my libraries!
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Written in verse this is a good book to give your students ready to read chapter books, but are intimidated by size. Also, perfect for all the animal lovers!

Odder is an adorably curious otter who faces off with a great white shark. She's taken to Monterey Bay Aquarium to recover, again. However, will she recover enough to be set free?
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Inspired by rescued sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, this is the story of a curious and adventurous sea otter who gets hurt after trying to save her friend from a shark. She ends up at an aquarium where she was raised as a young pup after being separated from her mother. This time she is unable to go back to the wild, but she is given the chance to help an orphaned pup so it can return to the ocean. This is a sweet story that provides information about sea otters. There are some illustrations in the book which are adorable.
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Another sweet middle grade novel by Katherine Applegate! Odder navigates his life on and out of captivity, all while persevering and being a great friend.  Written in verse, this is sure to capture the hearts of middle grade readers who love animals!
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I admit I've been in a bit of a reading rut, but Odder is exactly what I needed! I was immediately delighted to discover that Odder's story takes place in the Monterey Bay, a place I have loved since I too was a young "pup."

This novel in verse captures readers attention quickly by starting with humorous pieces about sharks and surfers. It then smoothly transitions into the story of a sweet / spunky sea otter and her experiences going back and forth between the aquarium and the open ocean. While the story was calm and steady, I found it provided a unique kind of thrill in which I was constantly wondering what Odder's next move would be. 

This heartwarming tale is a must read for all ages - especially if you live in California and have ever found yourself appreciating the beauty of the bay!

Thank you Katherine Applegate, he publisher, and Net Galley for the opportunity to read ad review this wonderful story!
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Katherine Applegate, author of the Newbery Medal-winning The One and Only Ivan and the widely hailed The One and Only Bob, has returned with the story of Odder. Like Applegate’s other works, Odder is a fictional book intended to introduce young readers to the world of wildlife conservation, interspecies friendships, and the plight of captive wildlife. Written in free verse, Odder is the story of a happy-go-lucky otter who, after an encounter with a great white shark, is placed in a coastal wildlife rehabilitation center. Like The One and Only Ivan, the story is inspired by actual events and told through the perspective of the animal protagonist. Those who enjoyed The One and Only Ivan will surely enjoy Odder as well. 

Odder is a playful otter who spent an early part of her life in an aquarium, is rewilded, and then, three years later, is brought back to the aquarium for permanent residence after a shark attack. Despite an interesting plot line and unique means of storytelling, the character of Odder is fairly hollow. Aside from being playful, independent, and conflicted about her home in the aquarium, there is little else to Odder’s personality. However, as a reader who is admittedly not a member of the target demographic, I hesitate to be overly critical of the work as a whole. Ultimately, limited character development is only a minor infraction in an otherwise enjoyable read. 

One of Applegate’s greatest strengths is in her ability to make delicate topics digestible. Those familiar with The One and Only Ivan should note Applegate’s masterful means of discussing abuse and alcoholism with a young audience; taboo topics that are essential learning. Similarly, Odder explores the tumult of parenthood and the trauma of stillbirth in a way that is neither excessive nor clumsy. Much like Odder, readers will be introduced to the rescue work of the Monterey Bay Aquarium in recovering threatened sea otter populations. Applegate is a master in the art of using fiction as a tool for environmental education and Odder is no exception. Ultimately, Odder is a fun, reality-based work that suffices to introduce and expand knowledge of animal welfare to young readers.
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Newbery Medalist Katherine Applegate does it again. Odder is the "Queen of Play": a curious young otter who loves to play in the water and wander where she really shouldn't. While splashing in the water with her best friend, Kairi, they have a run-in with a hungry great white shark, and Odder is injured. Rescued by the same humans that saved her as an otter pup, the story takes an introspective turn as Odder confronts truths about herself and life in the ocean. Inspired by the true story of a Monterey Bay Aquarium program that rescues otters, Applegate creates movement and emotion through her verse: "...there is time for a bit of deep diving / wave chasing / tail spinning / smooth gliding / bubble blowing / FUN"; "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". Applegate makes strong points about conservation and throughout the story and in her author's note, which provides background on her inspiration for Odder. Charles Santoso's black and white illustrations guarantee that you'll need to stock your nonfiction section with more books on otters; kids will fall in love with gentle story. A glossary helps readers with new vocabulary. Visit Katherine Applegate's author website for more about her books and educator resources.
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Loved this book!  Katherine Applegate is an amazing author and has another great book.  Odder is a wonderful book for nature loving kids or as a read a loud.
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Odder while based on true life events at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the most heart warming and tender stories i have read in a while. The story is given such care in being told and keeps its audience (children) in mind throughout. If you are looking for a sweet and playful story that also has some action and adventure for your next read-aloud with your kids please look no further!

Thank you so much to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinion.
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Katherine Applegate does it again.  She makes you care about her lead character so much that you grow teary-eyed.  Applegate's free verse is charming and spirited, as is her heroine, Odder, who lost her mother as a tiny pup.  Now, three-year-old Odder is a risk-taker, loves to play, and is such a fancy diver that she makes triple doughnuts look easy.  We learn her back story and the determination it took for her to become an ocean-lover.  All her accomplishments are challenged when she swims too far out and encounters a great white shark one day.  This book was inspired by the true stories of several otters at Monterey Bay Aquarium and their surrogate-mother program for orphaned otters.  Applegate does a good job of blending free verse and scientific information while keeping Odder grounded in the animal world.   Recommend this book to Upper Elementary students who love animals and heart-felt stories and to those who shy away from dense books.
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