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The Naked Mole-Rat Letters

The Naked Mole-Rat Letters

4.5 14
by Mary Amato

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When her father begins a long-distance romance with a Washington, D.C. zookeeper, twelve-year-old Frankie sends fabricated email letters to the zookeeper in an attempt to end the relationship, in this story about family, friendship, and growing up.


When her father begins a long-distance romance with a Washington, D.C. zookeeper, twelve-year-old Frankie sends fabricated email letters to the zookeeper in an attempt to end the relationship, in this story about family, friendship, and growing up.

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 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 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Seventh-grader Frankie Wallop has enough problems: No mother, two wild younger brothers and a perfect reputation to uphold. She certainly does not need a father who is dating, especially if he's distance dating a naked mole-rat expert who lives in Washington D.C. From their home computer in Pepper Blossom, Ind., Frankie tries to nip the relationship in the bud by intercepting e-mails and sending false responses. One lie leads to another and soon her life is in shambles. Her grades slip; a pizza fire that's her fault blackens their kitchen; one brother is spying incessantly and the other is missing. Help comes from an unexpected source: Ratlady-and all ends well. Shifting between e-mails and diary entries, Amato does a good job of portraying Frankie's inner turmoil and creating the atmosphere of a very small town. At times, the convention of the diary entry seems forced; there is length and detail a bit out of proportion with Frankie's age and free time. However, middle-graders looking for a realistic summer read with laughs and a few misty-eyed moments won't be disappointed. (Fiction. 8-12)
From the Publisher
"A humdinger of a story."

"This is a humorous look at honesty and privacy that will have special relevance for readers whose parents are back in the dating pool."

Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
File size:
491 KB
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Mary Amato is known for her comic middle-grade novels. She is the author of the popular seller "The Word Eater", which appeared on many state lists, and the recent "Snarf Attack", "Underfoodle", and the "Secret of Life", which Library School Journal called "hilarious". She is also a storyteller, poet, puppeteer, mask-maker, and quilt-maker. Ms. Amato makes her home just outside of Washington, D.C. This is her third novel.

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The Naked Mole-Rat Letters 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The Naked Mole Rat Letters By Mary Amato Illustrated By Heather Saunders Published By Holiday House Inc. Copyright 2005 When straight A, twelve-year-old Frankie's dad begins a long distance relationship Frankie decides that that's it! She sends fabricated e-mails, ditches school, loses her brother, cheats in school and sets part of the house on fire! Even though Ayanna responds with witty letters about naked mole rats and growing up, things get worse. Frankie pretends to be her dad, lies, hangs out with a troublemaker and gets into more trouble herself. Then someone else gets into Frankie's life and gets buddy-buddy with her dad. Who is it but Frankie's school guidance counselor Doris Trolly a.k.a. The Troll. Frankie feels like she has become a spec, especially since she hasn't gotten the lead role in the play and every other time she has! But then for the first time, she notices how wise Ayanna's letters really are. Ayanna writes about growing up and fitting in. Will this help Frankie or will Frankie's life keep falling apart? I recommend this book for children 8-13.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i love your book it shows the opinions of a thirteen year old and even though im only 11 it inspires me to talk to my parents about everything and not care about what other people think about me and that it is ok if im different! thankyou for inspiring me to just be a kid and have fun!
Guest More than 1 year ago
excellent outstanding wonderful terrific superb book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved it it was so good i sure wish Mary Ammato makes a sequel to it
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful book!! I loved it I couldn't put it down! I picked it up as sort of a joke because my friend thought it look funny(because of the nake mole rat) but when I started to read it I couldn't put it down! I think every one should read this book! I love everything about this book. I almost cried when I got to the last page. And I did cry when her father and her finaly talk!! well I hope you check this out and read it for yourself because it a GREAT BOOK!!! -Nicole Boggs
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is this girl and her name is franky wallop and she is going through a hard time with her mother gone and she is living with her father now and she has two brothers and they are both younger than her and so she is in seventh grade and she is trying out for this play and it is going to be kind of hard because she is going against 8th graders and she would be suprised if she got the part becouse no seventh grader has gotten the part yet. then she starts skipping school and telling lies and she has never done that before and so everybody believes her. then she is trying to hack into her fathers e-mail adress because he is secretly typing to this woman named Ayanna Bayo who lives in washington and she is a she works at a zoo and takes care of mole-rats. then frankie is telling her all of these lies so she would not fall in love with her father but she knows what frankie is trying to do. but this is a really good book.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
The Naked Mole Rat Letters By Mary Amato Reviewed by Claire Hasler Sitting by the computer checking e-mails and trying to chase away unwanted love. This is normal for Frankie Wallop, after her dad comes back from Washington, D.C.. The Naked Mole Rat Letters is another great book by Mary Amato. If you like heartwarming comedies you should read this. In the small town of Pepperblossom, Frankie Wallop is going through a shocking change. Her dad is going gaga over some lady he just met! Now Frankie is determined to chase her away with the power of e-mails. But after awhile everything gets bottled up inside until she can¿t hold her feelings in anymore. Will this stranger go away or come and take the place of her beloved mother that had passed away? This book has a fun format for kids. It goes from Frankie¿s journal, to her e-mails between the stranger and some of her dad¿s emails. If you don¿t like this type of format this book is not for you. Additionally Frankie is a very realistic character. She really acts like her age. Mary Amato really makes you feel like you are in Pepperblossom. But other characters like Mrs. Holmes are not so realistic. The characters are too involved with the community. They know way too much and are too noisy to be realistic. After you read The Naked Mole Rat Letters you should make sure to check out The Word Eater, another great book by Mary Amato. The Naked Mole Rat Letters is great for readers 10 and up. You will gain a sense of knowing to always be grateful for the family you have and the love you get.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dont buy the book. I mean the title badically is saying thete is going to be nudity in a chilrens book. Thats just wrong. 1 STAR BC THE GIRL ON THE COVER IS PRETTY
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
They wont stop sayind ratlady
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this book Frankie¿s dad falls in love with a zoo keeper in Washington D.C. Frankie is not happy. She interferers with phone calls and emails. Will the zoo keeper become Frankie¿s step mom? You should read this book if you are 8 or older. This exiting drama will keep you from putting the book down. If you have to read a Mark Twain nominee for 2007-2008 read this!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a sixth grade student in Glendale, AZ and I read this book by Mary Amato called The Naked Mole-Rat Letters. In this story, one of the main characters is Francine Wallop, or as everybody calls her Frankie. Frankie's mom and dad are divorced and she mostly lives with her dad. Her dad is dating a woman by the name of Ayanna Bayo and Frankie is not happy at all! Frankie is the kind of girl who takes action and is protective of her family. Another main character is Ayanna Bayo who I mentioned earlier. She is dating Frankie's father. She lives in Washington D.C and is high strung. Whatever she wants, she gets. Those are the two main characters in this story. The plot in this story is that Frankie's dad went to Washington D.C for his work and he met a girl named Ayanna. Her dad said that he was in love with her at first sight, and so was she. Ayanna asked her dad out on a date and he accepted it. The date was going well so Frankie's dad kissed her! After that, he had to go back to his hometown and they kept in touch with each other. Then Frankie looked through her dad's e-mail and saw all of the e-mails they sent to each other. Now Ayanna is in big trouble because Frankie is e-mailing her with some nasty responses. That is the plot of The Naked Mole-Rat letters. By the words and places of this story, I think that the time is right about now. The story never says what Frankie's hometown is, but if I was to pick I would say Tennessee. I said this because Frankie's dad said that he was about two states away from coming back to his loving children. The theme of this story is that it is say don't judge someone just by an e-mail (or anything else) because in the end, you might end up liking that person. That is the Theme of this story. I liked The Naked Mole-Rat Letters because I love comedy books and this book was hilarious. When I read the cover of this book, I thought it was going to be a story about a scientist doing an experiment on a naked mole-rat, so I almost didn't get it. Then I read the first couple of pages and I loved it and I just had to get it! That's why I liked this book. I think that I connected to this book by text to self because just like Frankie judging Ayanna, I personally have judged my new dance teacher. I thought that she was going to be strict and if we did something wrong, she would make us do it ten more times! When I finally met her, she was really nice and just a tad bit strict. I also think that I have connected to this story by text to world. I say this because Frankie's mom and dad are divorced and her dad is dating some other girl that she doesn't really like. Well my mom and dad are divorced and my dad is dating a girl that I don't really like. That's how I connect to the book to self and world.