by Katherine Applegate
* * * * * Stars (Amazing!)
What is life like for a wild otter? Living off the coast of California, near the Monterey Bay Aquarium (though it is called Highwater in her world), Odder delights in play. “Water means play, and play is their purpose.” When she was a child, barely a few months old (though otters grow much faster than human children) a storm swept her away from her mother and into the hands of the aquarists at Highwater. There, she learns to be an otter– thought taught by humans. Joining a raft (a group of wild otters), Odder befriends an otter named Kairi. Their whole life is filled with playing and eating, eating and playing, and playing and eating some more. But everything changes when a shark moves into the area and starts stalking the otters. Through the story, Odder must learn to teach others, but most importantly, teach herself.
One thing for sure- any book by Katherine Applegate will be a tearjerker (if not this one, then certainly The One and Only Ivan). But she manages to tie in the fictional story of Odder with true facts supporting wild animals. Though written in verse, it is fun and easy to read. For anyone who loves adorable animal illustrations (of which there are plenty in this book!) this book is perfect for them. Also, check out the resources listed in the appendices, as there are some live otter cams listed for otter fans!
Kids, teens, and adults may enjoy this book!