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Kat Greene Comes Clean

4.44  ·  Rating details ·  191 ratings  ·  101 reviews
Eleven-year-old Kat Greene has a lot on her pre-rinsed plate, thanks to her divorced mom’s obsession with cleaning. When Mom isn’t scrubbing every inch of their Greenwich Village apartment, she’s boiling the silverware or checking Kat’s sheets for bedbugs. It's enough to drive any middle schooler crazy! Add friendship troubles to the mix, a crummy role in the class product ...more
Published August 22nd 2017 by Charlesbridge
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Melissa Thanks for asking this question (and please forgive me for not responding sooner; it got hidden at the bottom of the page!).

I’d say walking into Barne…more
Thanks for asking this question (and please forgive me for not responding sooner; it got hidden at the bottom of the page!).

I’d say walking into Barnes & Noble and seeing my book on the shelf tops the list of things I'm looking forward to. But if I had to pick one thing, it would be connecting with readers on a personal level. Not just signing their books, which I know will be amazing, but sitting down with readers and asking them what they liked – and didn’t like – about my book. That way, I can learn from what I did right, and what I did wrong, and make the next book even better.

At the end of the day, being a published author is the dream for all writers – myself included. But unless I keep improving – and, if I’m lucky, able to transport readers to a magical place along the way – I won’t feel as if I’ve done my job properly. Being a published author is a privilege, and it’s not something I plan to take lightly. I owe it to my readers, and to myself.


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Wendy MacKnight
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017-reads
Things aren't going well for Kat Greene. Her mother doesn't seem to want to do anything but clean, and it's getting so bad that now she's cleaning the tops of cans at the local grocery store! Adding insult to injury, her class is performing a play based on Harriet the Spy - Kat's favourite book - and she's gotten the completely unforgettable role of boy with purple socks. As Kat's mom's cleaning compulsions get worse and worse, she's forced to try and take care of the two of them. But she's just ...more
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The highest praise I can personally ever give a book is to compare it to Judy Blume. This is that book. Kat is right at home with Margaret, Deenie, Peter Hatcher, and Sheila. I loved the authentic tween voice, how Kat struggled realistically with her mother's condition, and the secondary story arc of repairing a friendship. Putting on my educator hat, I LOVE that there is a very positive portrayal of a school clinician and that Kat eventually seeks help for her problem, gets help, and realistic ...more
Ms. Yingling
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Above the Treeline

Kat lives with her divorced mother in Greenwich. She goes to a small, progressive school, and her class is working on a production of Harriet the Spy, and working on a project to go along with that. Kat is paired with Sam, and the two have their ups and downs of getting along. Her friend Halle is a bit obsessed with Michael, a boy in their class whom she thinks like her. Normal, everyday stuff-- except for the fact that Kat's mom is obsessed with cleaning,
Wendi Lee
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book about Kat Greene. She's eleven years old, and knows something is wrong with her mother, who cannot stop cleaning. To make things worse, her best friend recently discovered boys, and can't stop talking about them.

Sometimes stories like these (of parents unable to fully parent) can become very tragic and dark. In this case, it did not. I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, so let's just say that Kat has a good support system of relatives and teachers. With their he
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Mar 09, 2020 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Middle-grade readers/teachers
A good read about how a parent’s struggle with O.C.D. can affect a whole family.
I would recommend this to middle-grade readers and teachers.
Kate Olson
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Thanks to Charlesbridge for providing me with a review copy of this title!

This is a very well-done middle grade story about an incredibly tough topic - a parent with OCD who has is obsessed with cleaning. Roske has managed to make the topic middle-grade appropriate, which does mean that this issue is essentially tied up with a bow, making it a bit unrealistic for an older, more jaded audience such as myself. However, for grades 4 - 6, this is a nice treatment of a parent with a mental illness.
La La
Middle Grade perfection! This book is about family, divorce, friendship, puppy love, trusting adults, and mental health.

I was approved for an eARC, via Netgalley, in return for an honest review.
Diana Gallagher
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
KAT GREE mixes humor and charm while tackling mental illness, and while Kat loses a bit of her innocence as she realizes the depth of her mother's struggles, she never loses her sweetness. Couple that with the message that friendship supersedes romance, and this is a great title for the young reader! ...more
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
How could I *not* give my own book five stars? My mom would be very disappointed in me. Right mom? RIGHT? :)
Erin Varley
Nov 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kat and this cast of characters will worm their way right into your heart! I'm glad to have a book that handles OCD so brilliantly on my classroom library shelf. ...more
Anna Priemaza
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Kat's mom won't stop cleaning. She cleans so much that her skin is cracked and peeling, and she seems to have forgotten how to be a proper mom. She forgets to look at Kat's tests and lets her walk the scary way home from the supermarket all by herself. Kat knows she should tell someone, but if she does, she might have to go live with her dad--and he's nice, but his apartment is just not home.

My heart went out to Kat again and again in this book. Her mom needs help, and young Kat is put in the t
Michelle Kidwell
Mar 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Kat Greene Comes Clean

by Melissa Roske


Middle Grade, Children's Fiction

Pub Date 22 Aug 2017

I am voluntarily reviewing a copy of Kat Greene Comes Clean through the publisher and Netgalley:

Kat Greene comes to New York City and attends the very progressive Village Humanity School. Her best friend has become boy crazy. Halle is always talking about boys.

Kat' Mom suffers from OCD and is always cleaning, often throwing some of her favorite things away. Kat tries to get help for her Mother
Amanda Searcy
Feb 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is such a lovely story. Kat’s character and voice are beautifully drawn as she navigates school and friends and tries to understand her mother’s cleaning obsession. This book will be entertaining to middle grade readers (a cleaning game show, Kat’s punny dad, her boy-crazy best friend and unconventional school) but will also be of great comfort to any young person who is dealing with something that they are hesitant to discuss with an adult.
Jonathan Rosen
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book in so many way, not the least of which, was me having a daughter the same age as Kat and I saw a lot of parallels in their feelings about things. Played very true, to me, and because of all of that, made me really feel for Kat. She is an endearing main character and I enjoyed the little references to other classic books. I think any parent of a middle grader, will want to pick up this book for their children. I also think, those parents will want to read it themselves too.
I hi
Melanie Sumrow
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored Kat’s story! Told with charm and sensitivity, it explores what it’s like growing up with a parent who has mental health struggles and how it’s often difficult to know when to speak up. Also, the realistic portrayal of tween friendships was an added bonus. Five stars!
Lorie Barber
Nov 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This touching story of a 5th grade girl who lives with her mom in NYC hooked me from the first chapter. Kat’s mom is struggling with OCD, Kat is struggling with the shame and confusion, and with hiding the truth from her dad and stepmom. Kat’s also upset that her BFF Halle is not supporting her in the way she needs.

This was such a real story. The messiness of emotional disorders and how they affect the family was so poignant. Kat - and her family - were well developed, and the storyline was cri
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This charming novel is so well polished - no pun intended! Ok, maybe a little ;) - that it's almost a stretch to believe it's a debut novel.

The characters are likable (even in their misguided moments) and believable (perhaps in part because of their misguided moments) and we're gently carried through the fears, thoughts, and emotions surrounding a mental health disorder (in this case OCD) and the general highs and lows that occur in preteen relationships of all kinds.

As the mother of a preteen
B.G. Clyde
Feb 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Kat’s Mom and Dad are divorced; Kat’s best friend gets the part Kat wanted. Can Kat’s life get any worse? Of course. Kat’s Mom cleans and worries about germs until she embarrasses Kat. Kat’s best friend misreads a situation completely. Add to these complications, Kat’s Mom is a contestant on a game show and nothing goes as planned. This is a book about broken relations and trying to repair them. Kat is funny and caring but also confused about how to handle the changing relationships in her life. ...more
Feb 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very helpful for kids in situations like Kat, having a parent struggling with a mental disorder. My own mom grew up with a parent who loved her very much but had psychosis, in Queens NY, and people were a lot less understanding then. No one offered to help and instead ridiculed them. If my mom had had this book as a child, maybe she would have sought help for coping with it instead of thinking it was simply her lot in life as a child.
*I won this through a generous twitter giveaway sponsored by t
Laura Noakes
Jul 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
This was a charming story about the complexities of relationships--both with parents and friends. Kat was a fab main character--likeable and realistic and just trying to do her best by her mum. KAT GREENE COMES CLEAN was funny, heartfelt and I whipped through it.
Aug 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
The characters all shine in this story (love the kids in Kat's class) and their dialogue sizzles with realism and humor, as does Kat's voice. I was right there with her every step of the way on her journey toward coming clean, connecting with others, and coping with her mom's obsessive compulsive disorder. ...more
Dec 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book touched my heart. Kat was dealing with friend problems, boy problems, and on top of that her mom has OCD. I fell in love with Kat and actually her whole class, they’re pretty hilarious. I think the author shines a light on mental illness while keeping it kid appropriate and interesting. My students have enjoyed this book as well.
Marci Curtis
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Oh, I adored this charming, beautifully written MG about family, friendship, divorce, and mental illness. I'm a sucker for voice, and Melissa Roske has it in spades, using it to tackle difficult emotional struggles in a relatable, reassuring way. Highly recommended for libraries and classrooms. ...more
Katy Upperman
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my goodness -- this middle grade novel is so cute. Kat's grappling with her mom's mental illness, changing friendships, and her rather underwhelming role in her school's production of Harriet the Spy, yet she's still utterly delightful. This debut's got the same timeless feel as Judy Blume's middle grade books, and it relays its themes in a similarly clever and entertaining way. Along with its winsome voice, I most loved the way author Melissa Roske empowers Kat and, as a result, her tween re ...more
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Such a strong middle grade book! Many great life lessons about family, friends, and emotional issues! Highly recommend! Kat Greene is a memorable character.
Scott Vincent
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
From the first chapter, I was rooting for Kat. She's smart, funny, warm-hearted and authentic. This is an expertly written story about a girl learning to deal with circumstances she can't control, yet she persevers for herself, her family, and her friendships. It's both fun and deep on many levels. ...more
Karrie Chajkowski
Apr 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: swon-books
Without a doubt, I loved this book. Kat Greene Comes Clean is a fun book to share with independent readers and deals with mental health in a healthy and realistic way for the age level. Although the story ends with everything in a nice tidy package, it is well written and easy to read. My 3-5th grade students will love the relate-able themes such as friend and relationship drama, changing families, and the importance of communication. A fantastic breakout by Melissa Roske and I can't wait to see ...more
Beth Ann
Nov 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kat Greene is your typical 5th grader. She has a pretty normal life in NYC but then things start to get a bit complicated. Her best friend is fixated on her crush, her partner on a school project becomes totally infatuated with her and to top it all off her mom's obsession with cleaning is escalating to an unhealthy level. What's a girl to do?

Melissa Roske shares Kat with her readers and even though I am not a middle school aged reader I loved this book and her masterful way of capturing everyt
Mar 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
E-ARC provided by Edelweiss
This is a great middle grade story about a girl whose mother has OCD, a topic not often found in stories for kids. In this case, it is addressed very well-not terribly sad or wrapped up with a perfect ending, and the girl gets help from adults who care.
Rob Vlock
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
If you've ever had a crush, been embarrassed by a parent or fought with a best friend, you'll instantly identify with Kat Greene! This funny, heartfelt novel about a girl who has to navigate the minefield that is tweendom is right on target and will keep you turning pages. Melissa Roske deftly explores questions of friendship and family that would make for fantastic discussion in the classroom or during at-home readaloud. I loved this book and am keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel! I'd be t ...more
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Melissa Roske is a writer of contemporary middle-grade fiction. Before spending her days with imaginary people, Melissa interviewed real ones, as a journalist in Europe. In London, she landed a job as an advice columnist for Just Seventeen magazine, where she answered hundreds of letters from readers each week. (Her column was called “Life Sucks,” but it was Melissa’s job to insist it didn’t.) Upo ...more

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