No Ordinary Lizard

Children - Grade 4th-6th
170 Pages
Reviewed on 10/21/2018
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Diane Owens manages the Middle School Library in Orion, IL where she gets to hang out with two of her favorite things: middle grade books and the people who read them. She also helps young writers at the school through her participation in the Writers’ Workshop class.

Online, Diane helps kids write their own stories at Diane created this online writing community to assist and encourage young writers. It also provides a safe environment for young writers to showcase their writing.

Diane’s second book, Swept Up, is a middle grade fantasy about a sixth-grade field trip that goes horribly wrong. Her third middle grade novel, How I Broke My School, is scheduled for release in February, 2019.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Gail Kamer for Readers' Favorite

Whoever heard of a lizard hatching from a stone? No Ordinary Lizard by Diane Owens is not just a simple tale of having a pet and then having to let go. It’s the story of an extraordinary lizard who is like no other lizard on Earth. Of course, being unusual it doesn’t eat normal lizard food. It eats cat food. And it’s not even nice to the cat. Poor kitty. The lizard ties silverware to the cat’s tail! This lizard changes colors with his moods and changing emotions. He learns to draw, read, and write. But since he’s no ordinary lizard, he is hunted. Who wants him and how does he escape? You’ll find out in this funny story about friendship.

I fell in love with Benson, the lizard in No Ordinary Lizard by Diane Owens. Written with children aged 8 to 10 in mind, the story is just like the title; no ordinary story. Diane Owens’ creativity with the idea and the many twists and turns in the book will keep all readers interested, even those who have a hard time conquering reading. I would also recommend it to younger children as a “listen to” book. In addition to imagining such a wonderful story, Ms. Owens has created a website which offers reading and writing connections for several grade levels but mainly third through fifth. The site offers content matched to common core for informative, opinion, and narrative writing. It also offers writing material for each chapter of No Ordinary Lizard. As a retired educator, I highly recommend both the book and the educational materials to teachers and parents. Both the book and the site are high quality. I fully expect No Ordinary Lizard will become as beloved a children's story as Charlotte's Web!


No Ordinary Lizard was a fun book to read with many unexpected twists and turns that helped maintain the story tension. This whimsical lizard, who becomes known as Benson, is capricious and endearing. He creates many humorous and/or tense happenings in the life of Ruth Patterson, the girl who attempts to take care of him as a pet. He is no ordinary lizard. I read this aloud with my granddaughter, who is six, and we both enjoyed it very much.

D. Ray

You gotta love this little guy!

Ruth isn't too good about doing what she should. When she accidentally becomes the owner of a mind boggling critter, it takes a while to figure out how to handle an awkward situation.

Her strange new friend she names Benson teaches her about caring for others as he leads her on a series of misadventures.

Ruth learns various ways to get out of trouble Benson creates more than once.She involves her braniac friend to help at times.

In the end, Benson reveals a surprise Ruth can't believe. It means that she must make a life-changing, mature decision.

No Ordinary Lizard lives up to its title. The little book is a fun read that kids will relate to and very likely take to heart. It offers suspense, laughs and a dash of "what if" that makes it hard to put down.

David White

Great Read! Loved the story!! Great book for readers(and listeners) of all ages.


A lizard you grow to love! OK! I'll admit it! These lizards made me cry! I hope someday I can read "No Ordinary Lizard" to my grandchildren!! Great story, Diane Owens!!


Awesome! I enjoyed this book! It was a quick read, but kept my attention the entire time.