Naked Mole Rat Saves the World

Hi Friends!

No, it's not Kim Possible here with a naked mole rat, it's a just a new release by the amazing Karen Rivers through Algonquin Young Readers!

*Affliate Link

Advanced Praise:

“A warm coming-of-age story populated with a cast of memorable characters.”
Kirkus Reviews

Called  “witty and stylish” by The Horn Book

Naked Mole Rat Saves the World 

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 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?


As I read a lot of middle grade books so that I can recommend to my students and I definitely have the quirkiest kiddos sometimes and they LoOoOoVEEEE the weirdness that comes from Naked Mole Rat Saves the World, I mean they knew by the title it would be fun, and it was. I have had a few students read with me to leave reviews. 

Student A: "I did feel like I became friends with the characters so it was sad to end, but I loved it. I really enjoy stories that are magical, but feel real, and I definitely felt like this was real a lot of times." 

Student B: "Unputdownable. (That's a word, right Mrs. Thomas ;) haha)" 

Student C: "It was kind of slow at first, but I kept up with it and I am so glad I did. The end of the story makes it ALL worth it. So stick with it!!!!! The characters make you want to be friends with them so much! It was so much fun!" 

Overall, I think it's a good idea to add to your classroom library! It's a great book to book talk and get those who love magical realism into a new story. Karen's stories are all ones I have in my library and they are all very well loved every single year. 

Out: Tuesday, October 15! :)

About the author:

Karen Rivers's books have been nominated for a wide range of literary awards and have been published in multiple languages. When she's not writing, reading, or visiting schools, she can usu­ally be found hiking in the forest that flourishes behind her tiny old house in Victoria, British Columbia, where she lives with her two kids, two dogs, and two birds. Find her online at and on Twitter: @karenrivers.

Karen Rivers has been celebrated for her “darkly humorous [and] original” (New York Times Book Review) stories that “revel in life’s nuance and complexity” (School Library Journal). Her previous middle grade novels, The Girl in the Well is MeLove, Ish, and A Possibility of Whales, have been called “masterful” by the Buffalo News, “immensely relatable,” by Cleaver Magazine, and “remarkable” by School Library Journal.  Rivers now brings her signature voice, wit, and heart to an extraordinary new book for young readers. Naked Mole Rat Saves the World (Publication date: October 15, ages 8-12, $16.95) follows Kit-with-a-small-k as she deals with friendship drama and her mother’s deteriorating mental health, all while keeping a ginormous secret: when she’s anxious, she turns into a naked mole rat.

“I am an anxious person who is raising two anxious kids and two anxious dogs,” writes Rivers. “So naturally I was drawn to writing a story about a twelve-year-old girl with an anxious, single mother, a story that landed pretty close to home for me. I also wanted to write a book that explored all different types of common fears, and somehow this all gelled in my head with: a naked mole rat, a Rottweiler, a thief wearing a Batman mask, failure on a massive public stage, and also the fears we all carry that we are somehow not good enough, that we aren’t who we are meant to be.”

Hailed as a writer who “doesn’t shy away from the dark places but explores them with heart, humor, and light” (Kate Messner, author of Breakout), Karen Rivers delivers a truly hilarious and heartfelt middle great novel that tackles mental health, complicated friendships, and growing up. I hope you received this moving and quirky novel and look forward to your consideration for coverage this fall.

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