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The Benefits of Being an Octopus av Ann…
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The Benefits of Being an Octopus (utgåvan 2018)

av Ann Braden (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1958104,634 (4.28)2
NPR Best Book of 2018, Bank Street List for Best Children's Books of 2019, Named to the Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher List, Maine's Student Book Award List, Louisiana Young Reader's Choice Award List, Rhode Island Middle School Book Award 2020 List, 2020 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award Nominee, 2021 South Carolina Junior Book Award Nominee, 2020-2021 Truman Award​ (Missouri) Nominee, Middle School Virginia Readers' Choice Titles for 2020-2021​. Some people can do their homework. Some people get to have crushes on boys. Some people have other things they've got to do. Seventh-grader Zoey has her hands full as she takes care of her much younger siblings after school every day while her mom works her shift at the pizza parlor. Not that her mom seems to appreciate it. At least there's Lenny, her mom's boyfriend--they all get to live in his nice, clean trailer. At school, Zoey tries to stay under the radar. Her only friend Fuchsia has her own issues, and since they're in an entirely different world than the rich kids, it's best if no one notices them. Zoey thinks how much easier everything would be if she were an octopus: eight arms to do eight things at once. Incredible camouflage ability and steady, unblinking vision. Powerful protective defenses. Unfortunately, she's not totally invisible, and one of her teachers forces her to join the debate club. Even though Zoey resists participating, debate ultimately leads her to see things in a new way: her mom's relationship with Lenny, Fuchsia's situation, and her own place in this town of people who think they're better than her. Can Zoey find the courage to speak up, even if it means risking the most stable home she's ever had? This moving debut novel explores the cultural divides around class and the gun debate through the eyes of one girl, living on the edges of society, trying to find her way forward.… (mer)
Medlem:MsPDenton
Titel:The Benefits of Being an Octopus
Författare:Ann Braden (Författare)
Info:Sky Pony (2018), 256 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Taggar:Ingen/inga

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The Benefits of Being an Octopus av Ann Braden

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» Se även 2 omnämnanden

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Pages: 260

Genre: realistic fiction, middle grade

Release date: 4. september 2018

My thoughts
Rafting out of five: four stars



I did not realize this was a debut novel, that’s even more impressing. This book says it’s important, and it’s right. It’s about one girl, Zoey’s, experience and daily life, the struggles she goes through as she’s taking care of her siblings, trying to survive school and making tough choices.

This book talks about how some children are forced into adulthood earlier than others with the amount of resposibilities they have. There’s a gap between kids who have a different amount of support at home, like having healthy food prepared for them, help with homework, not having to worry about family’s financial situaiton, that shapes so much what their experiences are like and what amount of stresses and stability they have in other aspects of their life, like school. This book communicates that in a very direct, but appropriate way. It has a language that works both for adults and kids. It shows Zoey experience in hopes that more stories of kids like her will be told, increasing empathy and the discussion with them.

The octopuses (thank you for not forcing me to read octopi over and over it’s not as fun) are a really fun and heartbreaking way to convey Zoey’s emotions and thoughts going through things. I appreciated all the facts, being a nerd, and the method of process it brought her. Something that confused me was reading Zoey’s thoughts and trying to match them with the reflective opinions and conclusions she draws. She noticed things that the other classmates don’t, like Silas stopping talking and why, and has suddenly can debate gun reform from both views. And that’s not major things, but I got this feeling that I never saw the process behind developments like that.

Debates at school is tough when you’re more invested in it personally and sits on more “insider” details than others who are debating for the sake of it, because that’s basically the task. I thought it was relatable the way Zoey’s hands were shaking and she had to find her courage. It was pretty obvious that the author chose the gun reform subject because of own interest, it did not quite match with the rest of the book.

What I was feeling reading this book: sad, but mostly proud, for kids like Zoey and thinking back on other now nearly adults I know raising their siblings and having those invisible struggles

Thank you to the publisher for receiving this copy through NetGalley in exhange of an honest review. ( )
  aquapages | Jul 8, 2020 |
Zoey is one of those girls who tries to blend in at school and go unnoticed. She doesn't have time for regular 7th-grade stuff likes clubs and stuff like that. She barely has time for homework as she takes care of her three younger siblings while her Mom works. They live in a trailer with her Mom's current boyfriend and his Dad. It's actually a step up for them.

I read this book in one sitting and then had to wait a couple days before writing a review. Zoey's lifestyle(in rural Vermont) is one shared by (probably) millions of US kids today and that in itself is heartbreaking. Let's put it this way if you placed these characters on the South Side of Chicago or any other urban area it all plays out the same. I think this paired with anything by Jason Reynolds or Angie Thomas would make for some interesting discussions on social justice in the US and or how we can help those around us who are struggling. It's books like this that can change how this generation of kids think about wealth and poverty and hopefully will encourage them to be kind to their peers.

Highly Recommend for ages 10 and up.

Please note that I received a free advance ARC of this book from the Kid Lit Exchange without a review requirement or any influence regarding review content should I choose to post a review. Apart from that, I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.

The Benefits of Being An Octopus By Ann Braden

September 4, 2018 ( )
  JennyNau10 | Dec 7, 2019 |
It is a rare book indeed that ever gets a 5 from me, but The Benefits of Being an Octopus deserves nothing less than top marks. It’s heart wrenching and believable and thought provoking and brutally honest. I absolutely love Zoey and at multiple points in the story wanted to applaud her courage and resilience and how she absolutely became her own hero. I could not put this book down and you won’t be able to either. Get yourself a copy asap; you can thank me later. ( )
  JRlibrary | Jul 26, 2019 |
I received an ARC through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is a scary, brave, complicated, important book. It's a book about getting out of abusive relationships, about the gun control debate, about things not being black-and-white, about bullying, about speaking up, about a girl with the weight of the world on her soldiers, and yes, about octopuses, too.

That's one of the things about people on that beautiful tropical island: they can't see who's floating about in the ocean around them. Or maybe they can and they just choose not to look. I don't know.

The Benefits of Being an Octopus is about a 13-year-old girl Zoey who lives with her mother and her three small siblings in her mother's boyfriend's trailer. There is a lot of focus on surviving and supporting your family while poor, including the power being cut off, applying for benefits, not being able to wash your clothes, and the other kids at school laughing at you. It's about the bitter feeling when it seems like the other kids are allowed to have Valentine's Day gifts as their biggest problem, but you aren't.

This book was really difficult to read at times, with many parent figures and adults who have failed these children. Some of them were trying their best and ended up doing better, while others were toxic and people you needed to get away from.

I remember thinking several times that these kids (both Zoey and some of her classmates) sound older than they are, that their debate club sounds like something we'd have at college, but then I realised that I have the wrong view on 13-year-olds and they are more mature than I'd think. I'm glad that they are, but it's sad to feel like they have to be. There were so many things in this book that in an ideal world kids Zoey's age shouldn't have to deal with.

Overall, this was a difficult that very important book that deals with many different issues that some real kids have to deal with every day.

Also, shout out to teachers who notice when something is wrong and go out of their way to help. ( )
  runtimeregan | Jun 12, 2019 |
This book was SO amazing! It covers some really tough topics in a really great way for the age group it is written towards. It touches on gun control, domestic abuse, bullying and teaching that even though you might be young you still have a voice and need to use it. Zoey is such a strong, intelligent main character and I instantly felt for her and her situation. She learns to stand up not only for herself but for her mother and her friends. I also really loved her teacher and hope there are some out there in real life like her. I would love to see all middle and even high school students reading this book. There is so much to learn from it!

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you Skyhorse Publishing and Netgalley! ( )
  KeriLynneD | Mar 23, 2019 |
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NPR Best Book of 2018, Bank Street List for Best Children's Books of 2019, Named to the Vermont Dorothy Canfield Fisher List, Maine's Student Book Award List, Louisiana Young Reader's Choice Award List, Rhode Island Middle School Book Award 2020 List, 2020 Oklahoma Sequoyah Book Award Nominee, 2021 South Carolina Junior Book Award Nominee, 2020-2021 Truman Award​ (Missouri) Nominee, Middle School Virginia Readers' Choice Titles for 2020-2021​. Some people can do their homework. Some people get to have crushes on boys. Some people have other things they've got to do. Seventh-grader Zoey has her hands full as she takes care of her much younger siblings after school every day while her mom works her shift at the pizza parlor. Not that her mom seems to appreciate it. At least there's Lenny, her mom's boyfriend--they all get to live in his nice, clean trailer. At school, Zoey tries to stay under the radar. Her only friend Fuchsia has her own issues, and since they're in an entirely different world than the rich kids, it's best if no one notices them. Zoey thinks how much easier everything would be if she were an octopus: eight arms to do eight things at once. Incredible camouflage ability and steady, unblinking vision. Powerful protective defenses. Unfortunately, she's not totally invisible, and one of her teachers forces her to join the debate club. Even though Zoey resists participating, debate ultimately leads her to see things in a new way: her mom's relationship with Lenny, Fuchsia's situation, and her own place in this town of people who think they're better than her. Can Zoey find the courage to speak up, even if it means risking the most stable home she's ever had? This moving debut novel explores the cultural divides around class and the gun debate through the eyes of one girl, living on the edges of society, trying to find her way forward.

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