*I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Harriet is a student at a school where she is constantly made fun of by other students and punished for things she didn't do by the Headmistress. The only reason she's there is because her father got a job working on string theory. If it weren't for Bruno, the teddy bear her dad gave her, she'd have no one to talk to. In one of her escape attempts, she is accidentally brought with Bruno to his home dimension. Unfortunately, his home dimension isn't looking so good. The Hoohahs (elites) are so wrapped up in protocol that they either don't notice or don't care about the Orliks (a race of teddy bear like creatures) and their struggles to make ends meat. Nor do they notice that some among their ranks are very close to taking over everything in a quest for all the power.
Kid Zero really is a fun book to read. You've got flying pigs, a fat queen, a race of teddy bears and an intelligent main character. Seriously, for this being a middle-grade book and Harriet being so young, I was pleasantly surprised at how intelligently and maturely she handled so much of what came her way. Daniel does not allow her youth to be an excuse for lapses in judgement or plot holes. He's also created several types of characters. Admittedly they're kinda simple characters, but it fit with the whole story so it didn't bother me.
This book was a lot more interesting than I thought it would be. There were times it was a lot darker than I expected as well. I highly recommend that you not read this to anyone younger than middle school age. There is a war and some suggestive dialogue that had me raising an eyebrow and grew my concern for Harriet.
I'll be honest, I don't often read middle-grade books (I think this is the first one in at least 5 years or longer). I may have to start reading more because this was the kind of book that made me give my teddy bear of almost 30 years a great, big hug. This book was a great reminder of how important my favorite toys were to me when I was younger and, like Harriet, not in a good situation.
Really the only thing I didn't like about this book was the cliff-hanger ending. I should've known given that it's "Part 1" but still. At the very least, this could be seen as a sign that I was so into the book that I was quite emotionally charged at the ending. So, I happy give Kid Zero 4 hoots and recommend it for anyone in middle school or anyone who wants to be reminded of why we hug our teddy bears so tightly.