Sunday, August 22, 2021


Do third graders have strong opinions? Ask one!

AVEN GREEN SERIES by Dusti Bowling, Sterling Children’s Books, 2021



Chapter book readers love series because they make friends with the main character and want to follow her from book to book.

Meet Aven Green.

Feisty. Fun. Filled with energy. She bounces from being a sleuthing machine to becoming a competitive baker. Next on her list is to be a musician. But which instrument will she choose?

Aven was born without arms. She tells the reader that up front. The rest of her is a solidly built third-grade girl. She has a curious mind and a vocabulary that plays havoc with word choices. Employing her feet, she meets daily challenges with courage and humor while she learns new skills and adapts to surroundings that didn’t plan for her.

Parents will want to follow Aven’s adventures, too. How else will they understand why their children are trying to use their feet instead of their hands to get dressed, brush their teeth, and turn the pages of a book?  

Best-selling author Dusti Bowling clearly knows and understands her readers as well as her lively characters.  Aided by easy to read facial expressions and body language sprinkled throughout the pages by illustrator Gina Perry, Aven and her friends fairly skip off the page to meet readers where they are, learning to navigate the choppy seas of growing up. Aven’s  mom and dad and the parents of her friends are kind and supportive with a dash of good humor and strength. 

The author spent years writing and researching Aven. Jessica Cox was one of her inspirations. Cox is a Motivational Speaker and Life Coach, the world’s first licensed armless pilot and the first armless black belt in the American Taekwando Association.   

Covid has caused the author to miss the school visits she loves, and that has been a downer. However, she has enjoyed slowing down and spending more time with her family and more time outdoors in the desert many of her characters explore. She’s grateful for zoom technology, virtual school visits, and Tuesdays. Those are the days – Tuesdays -- when Dusti Bowling regularly schedules classroom visits.  She derives “joy and happiness” from talking with kids.

In classrooms virtual and in person, Dusti encourages children to make reading a part of their lives. Her advice to those dreaming of becoming a writer: “Reading is the best thing you can do.” Her message to parents is to allow kids to choose what they want to read. Their tastes will grow and develop as they do.

In her own home, Dusti reads with and to her children whom she homeschools.  At the end of the day, they listen to audio books together.

In the meantime, Aven, the sleuth, baker and soon to be musician, is pondering her next life’s work. She will inspire the young readers at your house, and YOU, too.

Hillview School Library