Thank you to Algonquin Young Readers for allowing me to read and review this adorable Middle Grade novel Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by Karen Rivers.
Now in retail stores online and in-store so go pick up your copy today!
About the Book
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Release Date: October 15, 2019
Kit-with-a-small-k is navigating middle school with a really big, really strange secret: When she’s stressed, she turns into a naked mole rat.
It first happened after kit watched her best friend, Clem, fall and get hurt during an acrobatic performance on TV. Since then, the transformations keep happening—whether kit wants them to or not. Kit can’t tell Clem about it, because after the fall, Clem just hasn’t been herself. She’s sad and mad and gloomy, and keeping a secret of her own: the real reason she fell.
A year after the accident, kit and Clem still haven’t figured out how to deal with all the ways they have transformed—both inside and out. When their secrets come between them, the best friends get into a big fight. Somehow, kit has to save the day, but she doesn’t believe she can be that kind of hero. Turning into a naked mole rat isn’t really a superpower. Or is it?
This adorable Middle Grade is a well written story about how mental health affects two young friends who experience the same incident in two different ways. One from the outside and one first hand.
kit (with a lowercase k) has always taken care of her mother who struggles with anxiety and rarely leaves the house. Even her mom’s hair salon is in the ground floor of their building. After kit experiences the first panic attack she realizes she may struggle with the same things her mom does, it just manifests differently. Karen Rivers did a great job at describing the feelings of anxiety and panic that kit feels along with describing her transformation into the mole rat she becomes when she gets stressed. I thought it was a good representation of mental illness and how it can affect young people kit’s age. It was well written and accurate portrayal of anxiety.
Clem experiences a traumatic event and her moods start to change. She starts to have mood swings that lean toward the negative and kit starts to wonder what is happening. What kit doesn’t know is that since Clem’s accident she’s started struggling with depression. Clem knows the accident was her fault but doesn’t want to admit it even though she believes her brother Jorge feels he’s to blame. By holding in the events of that day she starts to unravel and it eventually takes a toll on her relationship with kit.
If you’re looking for a middle grade that addresses mental illness than you’ll enjoy this one. It’s serious without being too deep which I enjoyed. The characters are well developed and the friendship so sweet all while you get to read about how each one of them learns to acknowledge their struggles and work through them.
I picked up the audio on Audible and it is really well done. I thought the narrator did a wonderful job and would definitely recommend it.
About the Author
Karen Rivers is too thrown by the “Date of Death” drop down that has appeared below her name in the editing section of this page to actually write anything about her life. When she recovers, this box will be filled with imperative biographical information and may include SECRETS and probably also a few LIES. Now she is going to sit back and anxiously track that “Date of Death” box in case a date suddenly appears, foretelling her imminent doom.