Parents' Guide to


By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Poignant, hopeful free-verse tale of orphaned otter.

Book cover for Odder, with cute otter in the water looking at reader

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Not unlike the title character, young readers of Katherine Applegate's free-verse tale of an orphaned sea otter may find themselves a bit overwhelmed as her adventures unfold. As young Odder is rescued, nursed back to health, returned to the wild, and nearly devoured by a shark, the emotions are all over the map, and the shifting perspectives (of Odder herself, the scientists, the shark, etc.) sometimes make it difficult to understand exactly what's happening. But all is revealed in a very informative author's note, afterword, and bibliography, which explain the species restoration project at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and where Odder's story fits in. Charles Santoso's endearing illustrations bring Odder and her environment to life.

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