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The Naked Mole-Rat Letters Hardcover – May 1, 2005
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From School Library Journal
Grade 5-7–Frankie Wallop is shocked when she reads an e-mail sent to her widowed father by a woman he met recently. Not only does it sound as though the two have spent time together, but also that there was a kiss involved. Immediately taking the situation in hand, the 12-year-old responds to Ayanna with the sound advice to never write her dad again–he is much too busy with his family, especially Frankie's two younger brothers who have some sort of horrible disease. Now that she has sorted that out, she can turn her attention to the upcoming audition for the school play, convinced that the lead will be hers. Frankie is about to find out that life does not always follow one's plans. Not only does Ayanna keep writing back, asking Frankie about her life and describing her own job as the keeper of the naked mole-rats at the National Zoo, but unhappy thoughts that her father might remarry also keep creeping into her mind. Not getting the part in the play is also a deep blow, and she does not know how to cope. The straight-A student finds herself ditching school, lying to her teachers, shutting out her best friend, and ignoring the needs of her younger brothers. Through the e-mails to Ayanna and her own diary entries, readers follow Frankie's struggles with disappointment, anger, loss, and growing up. Only after a family crisis does she finally talk with her father and begin to work things out. A fairly predictable story, but one with solid relationships and refreshing characterizations.–Terrie Dorio, Santa Monica Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Gr. 4-7. Frankie is shocked when she intercepts an e-mail from a woman, Ayanna (nicknamed Ratlady), who apparently met and kissed Frankie's widowed father during a recent business trip. She begins an e-mail exchange with Ayanna in an attempt to discourage the budding romantic relationship. Ayanna, keeper of the naked mole rats at the Washington, D.C., National Zoo, attempts to maintain an honest dialogue, but Frankie's desperate and comic replies escalate out of control. In a believable way, Frankie begins to act out of character in reaction to the changes in her life, unsettling her best friend, her teachers, and also her father. Ayanna's supportive e-mails (including analogies to the behavior of her small mammals) eventually help Frankie deal with her disappointment at not getting the lead in the school's play and prompt her to talk to her father about their latent grief over the death of Frankie's mother. Told in e-mails and diary entries, this is a humorous look at honesty and privacy that will have special relevance for readers whose parents are back in the dating pool. Cindy Dobrez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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So there is my review. good bye. I hope you like my review, Mary Amato! ;)
The audience for The Naked Mole Rat Letters is kids that have a single parent and the parent likes someone. This happens in the story when the woman and Frankie's dad are emailing each other, and Frankie thinks that her dad is replacing the mom with this new woman. The genre is realistic fiction because things like this can happen but it's not based on a true family or events. The book Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer is the most similar and different to The Naked Mole Rat Letters. In both book the main characters both have to lose their best friends. But in Eclipse its fantasy, it has vampires and werewolves, then the The Naked Mole Rat Letters, it has normal people. But they're both similar because Bella and Frankie are choosing between sanity and going insane. A strength this book has is that the author describes the supporting characters feeling. Like not always focusing on the main characters feelings. When Frankie got mad at her brother, Nutter, The author concentrated on his feelings. Also the author used her writing in e-mail form which is very cool to read. But it lacked some information. It never said how the mom die or when did see die. In conclusion, I thought the book was overall good. People that like suspenseful, love/hate stories should read The Naked Mole Rat Letters.
GreenBeanTeenQueen Says: I read this book a few years ago when it was nominated for the Mark Twain Award (Missouri's grades 4-6 book award) and it became my favorite nominee. I recommended to every reader who was working through the Mark Twain list and I still find myself asking reader's if they've read this one.
I love Frankie's voice! She's fresh and funny and made me laugh out loud. The book is told through Frankie's diary entries and e-mails which makes for a fast read. Not only does Frankie deal with her feelings about her father entering a new relationship, but she's also having some problems with the school play and a boy named Johnny.
The Naked Mole Rat Letters introduced me to Mary Amato's books and I've enjoyed all that I've read from her. She's a tween author worth checking out! Give The Naked Mole Rat Letters to readers looking for a heartfelt humorous read.
Full Disclosure: Originally read as a library book, I now own my own copy.