Aven Green Sleuthing Machine

Dusti Bowling

Aven Green Sleuthing Machine
Sterling Publishing Co Inc
United States
1 November 2021

Aven Green Sleuthing Machine

Dusti Bowling

Age range 6 to 9

Get ready for a whole new chapter in the life of Aven Green, the remarkable heroine of Dusti Bowling’s Life of a Cactus series. Told in the same wry, memorable voice as the middle-grade novels, younger readers get to know Aven through her everyday adventures.

Third-grader Aven Green has been solving mysteries for a really long time-a whole month. She’s solved many important cases like The Mystery of the Cranky Mom, The Mystery of the Missing Ice Cream, and The Mystery of the Smelly Feet. Her record is nearly 100% (only The Mystery of the Cereal in My Underpants remains unsolved to this day). Aven asks all the right questions, wields her detective kit carefully, and follows up on every clue. Then her teacher’s lunch bag (with her lunch still in it) is taken and Aven’s great-grandma’s beloved dog goes missing! Can this perceptive detective crack two cases at the same time? Luckily, Aven has a super-powered brain full of lots of extra brain cells to take on both cases. See, she was born without arms, so all of the cells that were supposed to make her arms went into making her brain instead. At least that her working theory for The Mystery of Why I Have So Many Extra Brain Cells.


In this funny and quirky story, the wonderful author Dusti Bowling introduces younger readers to Aven Green – the main character from Bowling’s Insignificant Events in the Life of a Cactus and its sequel.

Third grader Aven Green has become a Private Eye and, after a month, believes she is more than qualified to solve two major mysteries: who is stealing food at school and what has happened to the missing Smitty, Grandma’s adored dog? She’s especially equipped for success as a sleuth because, as Aven explains, her body’s ‘arm’ cells have gone to make extra brain cells! Aven was born without arms, which means she does some things differently to others, and the illustrations, at times, show her accomplishing activities using her feet and toes. She has a great group of friends, and her family has encouraged her independence.

I love Aven’s wit and enthusiasm. She approaches life and people with spontaneous delight but has the acuity to be considerate of others. I am excited to see what Aven does next in this new series, not to be missed by readers ages 6 to 8.

Alexa Dretzke is the assistant manager and children’s book buyer at Readings Hawthorn.

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