Cover Image: Odder


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Member Reviews

Odder is a story about an otter pup- but so much more: a story of parents, of friends, of water, rehabilitation, of learning and love. And learning TO love. A beautiful, beautiful book.
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This is a cute story.  The fact that it is written in free verse makes it accessible to a wide range of reading levels.  I think kids will like the book.
I love the connection to the real otters in the Monterey, CA aquarium.   I enjoyed how Katherine Applegate pulled the aquarium's history into the story.
Very sweet story.
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Odder is a southern sea otter with a whole lot of spunk. Scared of nothing, and always on the move, Odder loves to play. She especially loves to seek out human connection. Separated from her mother as a pup, Odder was rescued and rehabilitated by humans who taught her how to be an otter and returned her to the ocean. When her daring personality endangers a friend, Odder attempts to challenge a young shark. Severely injured, Odder is once again rescued by humans, who fear that their intense interaction with Odder from a young age has bonded her to humans. Odder’s endless fascination with humans has endangered her ability to survive in the wild. The rescue center decides she cannot be returned to the ocean. Once hunted for their fur, these adorable creatures are endangered. The humans realize they need to find a new way to rehabilitate abandoned and lost otter pups in order to save the species. Instead of having humans teach otters how to live in the wild, the center attempts to try to get Odder to adopt a newly abandoned otter pup. Though unwilling to mother the pup at first, Odder eventually befriends her young charge and teaches the baby otter how to be an otter and function in the wild. Based on the real-life stories of rescued sea otters at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California. This is a beautiful story told in verse with delightfully detailed illustrations by Charles Santoso. 

Applegate’s story-telling is absolutely gorgeous. This is a very moving story of love, family, and the effect of humans on the creatures in our environment. Many opportunities for further learning about endangered species and marine biology. Includes a glossary and author’s notes with suggestions for further study. Fans of Applegate’s books will devour this well-told story!
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This is a great book for younger readers to learn about acceptance and understanding, as well as the balance between human and wild animal life. Written in prose, this book creates an interesting format, yet it is easy to read and follow the story.
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Katherine Applegate has written another winner! She has written the story from the otter's perspective and I felt I understood the benefits and drawbacks of humans interfering with nature to bring back an animal from the brink of extinction. She has taken actual narratives of rescue by the Monterey Bay Aquarium and blended them into this wonderful story. Following the story, she provides a glossary of terms. Then she explains the history behind the story. This is a title that both teachers and librarians should add to their collections. I will also be recommending this as a Battle of Books title in the future.
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The cover alone is enough for young readers to pick up this verse novel. A poignant story based on the Monterey Bay Aquarium program to save the otters. Readers young and old  will fall in love with this otter and her story.
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At a time when the importance of play and social emotional learning are at the forefront, Odder is a must read! 

Odder is a sea otter living in the waters surrounding Monterey Bay in California.  When she is separated from her mother as a pup, the aquarium rescues and releases her back into the ocean where she meets her best friend. Odder and Kairi spend their days frolicking until they come face-to-face with a great white shark.

Based loosely on the success of the rescue mission of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, this novel-in-verse will steal the hearts of every reader.
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As a second-grade teacher, I'm always on the lookout for something new to use as a Read Aloud for my class. Odder is a darling book that teaches kids about Odder, an otter that lives off the coast of central California. Bringing the otter to life through the pages of the story, we get to know this cute, little, adventurous otter who tends to find trouble wherever she goes. 

Odder's story is written in Free Verse by Author Kathleen Applegate. Free verse is the name given to poetry that doesn't use any strict meter or rhyme scheme. Because it has no set meter, poems written in free verse can have lines of any length, from a single word too much longer. I love the opportunity this book gives me to teach this style of poetry to my students.

Here is an excerpt from the book...


Her mother called her "Odder"
from the moment
she was born.

Something about the way
the little pup never settles,
something about the way 
her eyes were always
full of questions.

To Eat or Not to Eat

A few feet away
from Odder,
her favorite companion,
Kairi drifts on her back,
aimless as a log.

Kairi, two years older
than Odder, has
shiny ebony fur.
Odder, smaller
and more agile,
has a deep brown coat
and caramel-colored head.

Odder wants to know,
or eat?

First, we eat,
then we play,
answers Kairi,
who is always practical,
a cautious sort.

This touching story is based on true life events in the 90's at the Monterey Bay Aquarium program that paired orphaned otter pups with surrogate mothers. Odder’s story is told with humor, adventure, action, and a lot of playfulness tossed in. It also teaches kids about one of the most cutest, intelligent, rambunctious, chatty, curious, and sociable animals found in the animal kingdom. I can't wait to share this story with my second graders, because I know that they also will be charmed by the delightful little otter called Odder.
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Kids will love reading Odder’s story of survival loosely based on real life otters at the Montgomery Aquarium. I could see this going along well with a ocean or endangered species unit.
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Based on the true story of Monterey Bay Aquarium, Odder will tug at your heartstrings.
Odder is the Queen of Play. Nothing she does is what is expected of her. Odder is always on the move, spending most of her time off the coast of central California riding waves and playing with others until she comes face to face with a great white shark. Then Odder’s life takes a drastic turn as humans fight to save her.
This MG novel in verse is what we’ve come to expect from Applegate: a heartwarming story (usually involving animals) that teaches multiple lessons and engages readers. Odder will worm her way into your heart and you’ll find yourself researching this rescue program that pairs otter pups with mothers and wanting to help. Applegate continues to inspire empathy, understanding and love with all her books. This novel releases 9.20. Preorder now!

CW: animals in danger, blood
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Thanks to NetGalley for an advanced copy of this book.

Katherine Applegate has the amazing skill of facilitating a reader to get inside the heads of unusual protagonists.  How many of us cried empathizing with a silver backed gorilla named Ivan?  All of us.  In Home of the Brave, readers met the experience of Kek, the young refugee, and immediately a generation of readers embraced free verse poetry as a narrative form.  I still cry my eyes out at Wishtree, and Crenshaw helped readers to process the issues around homelessness.  With Willodeen, we know that Applegate was flexing her writing  muscles toward ecology and the preservation of the natural world.

Odder is the Katherine Applegate that we adore.  Her accessible free verse text is concise and deeply evocative.  She gives voice, as only she can, to an adorable, opinionated, perfect otter named, appropriately and very meaningfully, Odder.  The story is emotional, stark and luminous at the same time.  You might wonder how a story narrated by an otter is true--I didn't realize that until I got to the end.  The fact that this is a true story makes it even more emotional and meaningful.

This book will hook middle readers because... well, otters.  It will create empathy and understanding.  And after everyone stops crying, it is an excellent and satisfying springboard for web of life, ocean, marine mammals, natural science and ecology.  It's that rare book which is an excellent read which teachers and librarians can align with their curriculum  and justifying up the yin-yang.  If I could frame this book, I would-- it is art as much as prose.
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Written in verse, this beautiful book about otters would be a great introduction to books written in this style. The cover is sweet and inviting, and this was a lovely book to read to my child!
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Odder By Katherine Applegate
Thank you to #NetGalley and the publisher, Macmillan for the digital advanced reading copy.
“Odder” by Katherine Applegate is a wonderful poetic prose.  It’s scientific and fun, singing about the life of sea otters in Monterey Bay.  We get up close and personal looks at the lives of Odder and her friend Kairi.  Some days are delightful, they swim, play, talk about anything.  Other days are stormy and dreadful.  We learn about sea otter survival, and the help humans provide them.   This is a page turner, it’s hard to put down.  I think it would read aloud nicely to younger children.  The words are easy enough for older children to enjoy on their own.  After the story is a glossary of terms and some discussion about the Monterey Aquarium, a primary rehabilitator for Sea Otters.  Otters were once near extinction, but efforts have raised their populations to threatened.  This is a lovely story.  I think it will be on the books everyone must read list.  And it’s easy and delightful to read.  Target Age 8-12 but great read aloud for everyone. “Odder” releases in Sept.
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Katherine Applegate does it once again!  This is a beautiful book written in verse based on several real life otters.  I loved this book and I'm sure the students at school will love this as well.  This was very quick to get through since it is written in verse.
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by Katherin Applegate
Pub Date: Sept. 20, 2022
Thanks to the author, publisher, Illustrator, and NetGalley for the ARC of this delightful book. I love Katherine Applegate’s middle-grade titles. The detail of emotion that comes through in Odder made me pause....Odder’s character, based on true events, also makes me curious about the Monterey Bay Aquarium! 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. 
5 stars
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I did not realize that this book is poetry. The cover and the art work are beautiful. The poetry is simple and can we read by or to children of a wide age range. Believe this book will appeal to libraries and patrons who are participating in the ocean theme of summer reading.
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Odder is a novel in verse about a sea odder.  Odder is a bit of a mischief maker.  She is a daredevil.  She is quite impulsive.  Everything changes though when she encounters a great white shark.  When she does and is injured, she is sent to a place with different animals "humans" who take care of her until she is ready to return to the ocean.  

The One and Only Ivan is one of my favorite books.  Ivan is a character you are drawn too.  I was hoping Odder would be just a special.  However, I didn't feel as connected to Odder.  I am wondering if the third person point of view would be changed to first person if I would have enjoyed it better.  It is still a beautiful tale.

Thank you to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Odder is an otter who lives in Monterrey Bay.  She is very playful and loves to get into trouble.  One day, this leaves her  wounded after a shark attack.  This book is told in very sparse yet lyrical verse that is sure to be appealing to reluctant readers.

I am unsure how to feel about this book.  While I liked Odder's voice, and it was a compelling read, I'm not sure how I felt about the message, especially since the ending, while hopeful, was a little sad.  This definitely reminds me a lot of The One and Only Ivan.  I think this will have a mass appeal and I'll be happy to promote it, just not my personal favorite.
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5 stars! I loved this fictional story of Odder which led me to research the otter rescue and research facilities the story is based upon. Will recommend.
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Thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest opinion.

Odder was so adorable and had SUCH cute illustrations, as well as an important message! I cried, I smiled, I felt all the warm fuzzies. Love this author!
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