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Naked Mole Rat Saves the World

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  72 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Can Kit’s super-weird superpower save her world?

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 th
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Algonquin Young Readers
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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Sherwood Smith
Oct 14, 2019 added it
Shelves: fantasy
This is a quirky middle grade fantasy set in Brooklyn. The fantasy is lightly touched on and unexplained, but it intersects beautifully with the inward life of an anxious child of a very anxious mother.

At the heart are four friends, age twelve, verging on thirteen. We switch between the points-of-view of kit (small k, as she is so small; she was also born with no body hair, so her mom called her her little naked mole rat) and Clem. Filling the corners of this friendship are Clem's twin brother,
chloe ♡
:(( this was such a strange story - i had a difficult time trying to figure out what everything meant.

You can also read this review on my blog illbefinealonereads.

A huge thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for the chance to be a part of this blog tour.

Naked Mole Rat Saves the World is definitely a quirky book. It’s fun, but it also has its serious moments, which makes it feel dynamic and entertaining. The book is about friendship, but it also touches on the subject of mental illness in an beautiful way.
The story jumps off the page. It’s beautifully written and it’s well paced. It captured my atten
Sara (A Gingerly Review)
Jul 21, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2020, physical-2020
Magical Realism is usually a MISS for me, this story was no different. I probably just was not the right audience for this one. I can see a lot of other readers... other younger readers loving this one. The story spent too much time on Kit's superpower and ability to turn into a naked mole rat. Of all the animals... a naked mole rat?? I digress. The story spent too much time on this one thing and not on why. Why is Kit able to do this? Why this particular animal? Why her?

There is not much else I
Cheriee Weichel
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It will be released October 15, 2019, by Algonquin Young Readers.

kit, deliberately spelled with a lower case k, for numerous reasons, lives with her agoraphobic mother. K.I.T. stands for keep it together, her mother’s mantra before kit was born. When kit arrived her mom thought she was too tiny for a capital letter. Her mom was once a famous singer, but her mental illness has become so debilitating that kit has to take care of
The Clever Reader
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review was originally posted on my review blog Deanna Reads Books
I really tried to like this book, honestly I did, but I just don't think it was my cup of tea. First of all, I definitely am not the audience since this is kidlit, but I do think kids will really enjoy this very weird book. Second, I just didn't really GET it. I feel like magical realism can be really hard to pull off and it just didn't work for me here.

The magical realism in this book pertains a lot to Kit's superpower that
Alyson Stone
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Book: Naked Mole Rat Saves the World
Author: Karen Rivers
Rating: 2 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank Algonquin Young Readers for providing me with this ARC.

This is probably the strangest book I’ve read in a long time. I honestly have never read anything like this or so far out there. Now, this does not mean that this is a bad book, but it does take some getting used to. I also didn’t know that this was magical realism when I started. I’m honestly not a fan of magical realism; it’s really hard
Paige Green
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I recieved this book from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Author: Karen Rivers

Book Series: Standalone

Rating: 4/5

Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Genre: MG Fantasy

Recommended Age: 10+ (little violence and a little bit of being a hero)

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Pages: 304

Amazon Link

Synopsis: Can Kit’s super-weird superpower save her world?

Kit-with-a-small-k is navigating middle school with a really big, really strange secret: When she’s stressed, she turns into a
Tasha Leigh
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc, ebook
So Kit (with a small k) has the power to turn into a tiny naked mole rat when the need arises. Her best friend Clem and her have been undergoing some major changes in the past months since Clem was hurt while performing for a tv talent show. They have fallen apart, previously best friends but now estranged as their lives have diverted off course.

I found myself really enjoying the character of kit. Although she is a young girl who has lost most of her friends, she was extremely resilient, helping
Nov 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Karen Rivers, I've found, has a very distinct and divisive writing style. Her books always have this vibe; it's kind of experimental and marked with a lot of risky stylistic choices, and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, but I can always tell that I'm reading a Karen Rivers book shortly after opening it. So, if you've read other Karen Rivers books and didn't like them, you probably won't like this one either. That said, if you were to give any of her books a try, I think it should be ...more
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I never really got into this book until the last 100 pages. I felt like the beginning was slow and confusing with the whole magical realism thing. That being said, I can think of some students who would probably like the motifs of magical realism, changing friend relationships, depression, and mental illness. That’s was an awful lot for one book to cover (and I didn’t even mention all of them) and I don’t feel like they are particularly well done because of that.
I took part in the blog tour for Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by Karen Rivers.!

See my blog tour post and read an excerpt from Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by Karen Rivers here.!
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
I am always on the lookout for middle-grade books. I have a tween who devours books left and right. My son can’t read them fast enough. So, when I read the blurb for Naked Mole Rat Saves the World, I thought of him. From the blurb, I thought that this would be an excellent book to read. But, after reading the book, I do have some doubts about letting him read it.

The storyline for Naked Mole Rat Saves the World centers around two friends, kit and Clem. kit (always spelled with a lowercase k) live
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
First of all, thanks to NetGalley and Brittani and Kristen from Algonquin Books for sending me an eARC in exchange for a honest review.
You have to know English isn’t my first language, so feel free to correct me if I make some mistakes while writing this review.

Magical realism isn't really my thing, if I have to be honest - so getting the whole idea of someone turning into a naked mole rat was something it took time to adjust to.

One of the main characters is kit - kit written in lower case beca
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
See my full review here:

NAKED MOLE RAT SAVES THE WORLD tells the story of kit, whose name is lowercase because she was too small for an uppercase letter. Her mother was a famous singer whose anxiety now keeps her indoors, and her mother named kit after the tattoo she has that is keep it together (k.i.t.), a mantra which kit frequently repeats. Kit has a rare condition where she doesn't have any body hair, and her mother has fondly called her a naked mole
Kate Waggoner
Oct 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019-read
@kidlitexchange #partner

Thank you to @Algonquinyr and #karenrivers for sharing an advance copy of Naked Mole Rat Saves the World with the #kidlitexchange network. This book will be released on October 15, 2019. All opinions are my own.

At first, kit's* life seems pretty normal. She enjoys eating cookies, roller skating, volunteering at the animal shelter, and hanging out with her best friend, Clem. She lives with her mother who is a former one-hit-wonder and has severe anxiety, so severe that sh
Kelsey Abney
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Naked Mole Rat Saves the World is just what readers expect of a Karen Rivers' book: quirky, funny, and heartbreaking. kit (spelled with a lower case "k" because she's so small) is dealing with more than just "normal" middle school problems. Her mother struggles with mental illness issues. Her mom used to be a famous singer, but now she's so anxious, she can't leave the house. In fact, she's so anxious that kit is named after her mom's tattoo: k.i.t. which means "keep it together," and kit turns ...more
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Kit ‘s name is suppose to be in all small letters but after reading the story I don’t agree therefore I will use Kit in my writing. Kit is twelve years old. Her mother owns/works in the salon below their home. Kit has alopecia and her single mother has an acute anxiety disorder. Kit’s illness keeps her hairless which makes everyone think she is having chemotherapy as she doesn’t wear wigs. Kit hangs out with Clem and her brother. Clem is her best friend. She is going to watch Clem and her family ...more
Kasey Giard
Oct 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Okay, so you’re probably thinking this book sounds weird. And it is a bit weird. But oh. My. Gosh. It’s layered. And complex. The characters face incredibly challenging things and have these really complicated, very believable (okay except for the changing into a naked mole rat part!) responses to those situations. I love both kit and Clem. Their friendship felt so real. So did kit’s troubling relationship with her mom.

One thing that was tough for me is that though the book has some characters d
Aug 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an odd book, but no disrespect intended, Karen Rivers' last four or five books are quirky and odd. Kind of like A.S. King, they are not for everyone, and may be an acquired taste. At worst, you could say it is a weird book, but its my kind of weird and I know students who would agree. They are also fans of Karen Rivers books such as The Girl in the Well is Me, A Possibility of Whales and Love Ish.

This particular book deals with themes familiar to those of us that read MG like friendship,
Stephanie Tournas
Mar 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s-books
Kit, whose name is spelled with a lower case k, was born with alopecia universalis. Her lack of hair does not figure prominently in the story, but it may have something to do with the anxiety that both she and her mother have about the world. In fact, kit’s name is also the acronym for their mantra: keep it together. Kit has panic attacks, during which she thinks she changes into a naked mole rat. Kit’s best friend Clem has a terrible accident when her family of gymnasts is performing, and she f ...more
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
@kidlitexchange #partner

Thank you to @algonquinyr and #karenrivers for sharing this advance copy with #kidlitexchange for review. Release date: 10/15/19; ages 8-12, grades 3-7
This is a fun book about friendship and takes on so many different themes around differences, mental health, trauma, families, friendships, and more- yet all with a light-hearted inquisitive language.
The character development is wonderful, leaving you feeling like you've said goodbye to friends at the end of the book.
Faith Hurst-Bilinski
Oct 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is one of those books I read with two mindsets-myself and my students. As an adult it was pretty good. We always try to tell ourselves in education that we want to know what is going on in the lives of our students so we can understand and help them grow. We know we really will never know all of it. Here, even best friends don't tell each other what is really happening to them; for fear of not being believed, fear of being considered crazy, fear of losing them, fear of breaking down. These ...more
Kit (with a small k) and Clem have been best friends for years, but now things are weird. When kit watched Clem fall during an acrobatic performance with her family, she suddenly transformed into a naked mole rat. It’s happened several more times and she wishes she could talk to Clem about it, but Clem’s been strange since the accident too—moody and angry all the time. Then there’s Jackson, who used to be friends with them too, until he said that thing to kit that made her so mad, she quit speak ...more
Jill Jemmett
Dec 10, 2019 rated it liked it
This book had a lot of mental health representation that isn’t common in children’s books. Kit’s mom has anxiety and doesn’t like to leave the house. Clem is depressed as a result of an injury in a talent show. Kit has alopecia universalis, which means that she doesn’t have any hair. I would have liked to see kit’s bald head accurately represented on the book cover, because that was an important part of her character.

There were some strange magical realism aspects to the story. When kit would ge
Jul 20, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting story about four friends who, due to various factors, stop hanging out with each other. As the year progresses and different family and school issues occur, they learn to cope, but wish they could reconnect. Each has their own issues - and kit has the biggest one. One she can't share because it is too weird. Everything comes to a head on the night of the talent show and they learn that saying sorry and becoming friends again is actually pretty easy.
Themes include depression, mental i
Adriana (SaltyBadgerBooks)
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, ebook
I really thought I would like this book more! It sounded so adorable and cute but it was kind of flat. The pacing was off and then it felt unfinished! Like we didn't get an explanation about kit's ability to turn into a naked mole rat. And then you sort of find out one of her other friends can maybe also do it to. But there was no confirmation or explanation! I also felt like there was a lot going on too and some of it distracted from what felt like was the main issue/plot? I'm not sure. The boo ...more
Sarai Henderson
I have to admit, I was lost for the first half of the book. The story was a little slow and lacking enthusiasm, but once I passed the half way mark, I really felt involved in the characters. I wish I would have felt that from the beginning. There was a lot going on with the story. Friendship, depression, mental illness. These thing are very relatable to kids these days and I think my 11 year old would love to dive into this book.

Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.

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