Blog Tour – Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by Karen Rivers

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Hi sweeties! Welcome to my Blog Tour stop for Naked Mole Rat Saves the World by Karen Rivers. This book tour is hosted by Algonquin Young Readers and for my stop, I have a fun EXCERPT to share with you.

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abouthebook2

Publication Date: October 15, 2019

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Genre(s): Children’s, Middle Grade, Fantasy

Format: Hardcover, 304 pages

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AMAZONBARNES AND NOBLEGOOGLE PLAYBOOK DEPOSITORY

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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?

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KIT’S MOM HAD A TATTOO THAT WOUND AROUND HER LEFT WRIST.

The ink was faded like something that had been washed so many times it had gotten thin and holey and was now just a blurry memory of black.

If you looked closely at the tattoo, you could see that the leafy, twining ink wound its way around three tiny, fancy letters—k and i and t—which stood for keep it together. It also spelled kit’s name, which was kit, not Kit, because when kit was a baby, her mom said she was much too small for capital letters. Back then she fit inside her mom’s two hands, a funny wrinkled thing that looked not-quite-ready to be alive, more like a hair- less baby animal than a human being.

“My little naked mole rat,” her mom would say every time she saw the first photo ever taken of kit, which had been stuck on the fridge for most of kit’s life. Then she would put her hand on her heart.

One day, kit took the picture down and slipped it into a drawer and her mom didn’t say it as much any- more, which was good because it didn’t exactly feel like a compliment.

Kit’s mom had had the tattoo for years before kit existed at all.

“Because I knew you were coming,” she said.

Kit’s mom often told people that she was searching for kit for her whole life and the tattoo was the map that she followed to find her. She said that when she found kit, she was saved.

Found made it sound to kit like she was not someone who was born, but instead someone who just appeared, maybe in a box on the doorstep. Even though kit knew this wasn’t true, she sometimes dreamed of scraping her fingernails against cardboard walls, scrabbling to get out.

She also thought that being responsible for saving her mom was an awful lot of pressure. Not that she’d ever say anything; she knew her mom loved that story and the way she told it made kit feel things she didn’t usually feel. It made her feel heroic and kit normally had a pretty hard time imagining that she’d ever be able to save anyone from anything. She was too small to be a hero.

She could still sometimes fit into clothes labeled 6x.

That’s how small.

“The size in your shirt should be the same as your age,” Clem told her once when they were shopping at the Brooklyn Flea, which was the best place in the world to find stuff you didn’t know you needed, and kit had felt worse than if Clem had reached over and punched her right in the nose.

Clem was also small, but not nearly as small as kit. She was normal-small. Like kit, Clem and her twin brother, Jorge, had been born too early. But unlike kit, the only fallout for them was that Clem had super bad allergies and Jorge had had to wear glasses since the age of two.

Small-ish and small were two  different things. That was the day kit had bought her favorite hoodie, the black one with the small rainbow star on the front and the bigger rainbow star on the back. The color was as faded as kit’s mom’s tattoo. It had cost $5, which was the exact amount their moms gave them each to spend. “That looks . . . comfortable,” Clem observed, but she meant, “That looks old.”

Kit didn’t care that Clem didn’t like it. It was big and soft and as soon as she saw it, it looked like it belonged to her. It was already familiar. The fact that it was way too big only meant she wouldn’t grow out of it anytime soon. Clem had spent her $5 on a small glass turtle. “It’s not a very turtle-y turtle,” she said. “Don’t be such a turtle!” she told it.

A lot of what Clem said didn’t make sense, but it was funny anyway or maybe it was just funny because it didn’t make sense. They had both laughed so hard that they had to sit down, right there on the pavement, the crowd parting around them. Clem clutched the non- turtle-y turtle, tears running down their cheeks, while Jorge looked dreamily off into the distance, not quite paying attention to what was so funny. Jorge was like that. There, but not always entirely there.

“He has a rich inner life,” Clem said, which made kit picture a whole miniature world existing inside Jorge. “But his outer life needs work.”

Then she laughed.

Clem was someone who was almost always laugh- ing, at least back then. At first, kit had been friends with Jorge because she was friends with Jackson and Jackson was friends with Jorge. It had been the three of them. Clem had bugged her, with her always-laughing thing. But after not very long, kit started to find the same things funny that Clem did, and soon kit and Clem were the closest friends. Their friendship grew to be the biggest and the best. So even when Jackson and Jorge were busy—Jackson with his sports and Jorge with his “rich inner life”—Clem and kit were either together or talking on the phone.

Clem was the most important person in kit’s life, other than her mom.

And Clem got it. She understood what kit’s mom was like. She knew what kit’s life was like and that kit had to look out for her mom because her mom had issues.

Kit’s mom’s main issue was that she was afraid. She was scared of cancer and bad guys and fire. She was ter- rified of traffic and heights and crowds. She was afraid of spiders and germs and blood. The list was pretty long and always growing.

“K.i.t., keep it together,” kit would say, and her mom would put on her brave smile and hold up her wrist so that kit could see she was trying.

Sometimes, kit and her mom would go in the bath- room and perform magic over the tub or sink so the oils and “potions” didn’t spill anywhere that couldn’t be eas- ily cleaned up. They had a whole glass shelf of bottles and jars, labeled with things like bravery and truth or rosemary and sage.

Kit’s mom owned a hair salon. She was a hairdresser, not a witch, but kit thought her only employee (and her best friend), Samara, might be both. If you didn’t know Samara, you’d think she was just a nice, funny person— she loved riddles—but once you got to know her, you’d find out that she also believed in magic the same way kit did. She believed in spells, believed they could give them courage or love or money or luck, believed in the possibility that herbs and oils and words could really and truly fix any problem.

Mostly it seemed to be luck that kit’s mom was con- juring, but kit thought she should specify whether she wanted good luck or bad. Everything was either one or the other, if you thought about it.

And anyway, details mattered.

“You’re as small as a detail and the details tell the story. You are the best story of all,” kit’s mom liked to say. “I’m not a story!” kit used to always say back, but now that everything had happened, she wasn’t sure this was true anymore.

After all, everybody has a story, even if the story doesn’t feel like a story when you are the one who is living it.

It’s only afterward, in the telling, that it becomes the thing it was meant to be all along.

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abouttheauthor

(Author Bio taken from her Website)

karenrivers

I was born, grew up, and currently live in British Columbia, where I take a lot of photos, walk a lot of paths, and write books for children, teens and adults.

The stories I tell are emotionally honest, but they aren’t about real people.   Fiction has a way of telling the truth though, don’t you think?

I believe that readers are always asking the question, “Am I OK?”  I write characters who suspect that they are not OK, but who eventually find inside themselves the strength to change that belief.

Growing up is harder than ever.  The world is often egregiously unfair.  Things can seem impossible.

How do we go on?

I believe in the power of stories.  I think that stories will save us.  They can show us the way.

Novels are magical.  Books can be mirrors or windows.  We sometimes need to see ourselves.  We always need to understand others.

Stories are all secret passages to alternate worlds where we can be safe to explore the unsafe, the unsettling or the unfair hands some people have been dealt.

In the pages of a book, we can be braver than we are, we can go further than we’d normally dare, we can understand more than we know.

Books make us better, period.

I believe in magic.  Do you?

Be brave.   Be kind.   And believe this:  You are OK.

I believe in you.

authorlinks

WEBSITE – TWITTER – INSTAGRAM – GOODREADS

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Thanks for stopping by and reading lovelies. I hope you enjoyed this post.

As always, take care and have a wonderful day!!!

sincerelykjologo

Review

Kalifus Rising

(Legends of Orkney #2)

Alane Adams

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5 ★ – A Marvelous and Magical Adventure
PUBLISHED BY SPARKPRESS SEPTEMBER 6, 2016
GENRE(S) MIDDLE GRADE, FANTASY, MYTHOLOGY
PAGES: PAPERBACK 384
BUY BARNES AND NOBLEAMAZON, BOOK DEPOSITORY

Sam Baron just freed Orkney from the ravages of the Red Sun–but now, imprisoned by Catriona, leader of the Volgrim Witches, Sam finds the darker side of his half-god, half-witch heritage released, and he fears he might destroy what he saved. Unable to resist the witches’ enchantments, Sam has become their most potent weapon, and is leading an army of monstrous men against Skara Brae. Sam’s only hope for salvation lies with his three best friends and a mystical artifact known as the Moon Pearl. Keely travels north in search of the pearl, while Howie prepares for the gathering onslaught. Leo seeks a powerful artifact in the underworld, and faces an ancient evil that could be an even greater threat than Catriona and her cronies. As Sam’s friends rush to save him, other forces are at work in Orkney’s shadows–forces that could help free Sam, or condemn him to the darkness forever.

It is sooo good to be back in Orkney! I’ve forgotten how much I miss this place and the super lovable characters!

Kalifus Rising follows Keely, Howie and Leo as they try to save Sam and ultimately all of Orkney. Alane Adams definitely amps up the adventure, the thrills, the twists, the humor and really everything else. Her writing is beautiful, vivid, and incredibly imaginative. Once again, I found myself being carried away into this magical world. The plot is engaging and full of surprises that I never really knew what was going to happen. Just when I thought I figured something out, Adams would throw another curve ball and I absolutely loved it! The mythological aspect was utterly captivating and creative. The characters are just the best and I honestly have mad love for all of them. This book is just full of so much awesome and excitement that you’ll be reading way past your bedtime and dreaming about Orkney.

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The character development in this installment is amazing. Adams writes with a tremendous heart and you can feel how much she cares about the characters that you can’t help but care about them too. You’ll cheer them on, feel for them and the whole nine yards. I truly enjoyed watching Sam, Keely, Howie, and Leo go on fun adventures, deal with impossible situations, figure out and solve problems, and grow into their roles. I don’t want to reveal too much, but this quirky group of kid heroes… well they are absolutely charming and so fun and I seriously love them! I do have to mention that Keely is definitely my favorite throughout the story. She’s determined and so badass and I adored her with all my heart. Oh and I also really liked the side characters like Mavery (gosh I miss that little imp so much), Rego, and Teren… the old and new and yes even the villains like Catriona and Endera. They’re  unique, interesting and delightful in their own ways.

IMG_6911Kalifus Rising is without a doubt one of the best sequels I’ve ever read. I love the characters, the mystery, the adventure, and everything else in between. I love the themes Adams weaves into this crazy FUNTASTIC tale (self-discovery, courage, loyalty, family, friendship, forgiveness and so much more). You’ll definitely be walking away with a smile on your face, a happy heart, and a chest full of life lessons. Definitely go check this out right now and add it to your TBR.

 As I’m writing this review, I’m more than 70% done with the third and final book. I’m totally dreading the end, but I can’t wait to see how Adams concludes this series.

Huge thanks to Alane Adams for sending me all three copies (and they’re signed too) of this marvelous series. I will treasure them and Orkney forever.

 

Follow and Connect with Alane Adams: Website / Instagram / Twitter / Facebook
Hope you enjoyed this review!
Sincerely Karen Jo