Book Review: Matt the Moody Hermit Crab


Abbey McGee

Matt the Moody Hermit Crab is a book about a young neurodivergent crab

By Abbey McGee, Staff Writer

Media, as a whole, attempts to relate to various age groups and types of people; it also uses its status as a way to teach a lesson. Caroline C. McGee illustrates this perfectly in her book, Matt the Moody Hermit Crab, published on December 1st, 2002. The book is aimed at children from 8-12 years old, but many teenagers and adults may find the book satisfying as well.

Using cute and childlike illustrations, made by N. C. Hall, McGee tells the story of Matt, a young crab who starts undergoing a strange change in behavior. After many weeks of trial and error, his parents take him to a hospital where it is revealed he has bipolar disorder. Though this may seem like a strange topic to discuss in a book aimed for children, McGee did this entirely on purpose. In writing this book, she wanted to teach young children about bipolar disorder, and hoped that it would bring around more acceptance for people with the mental disorder.

McGee is a board-certified family physician, and, as of 2002, had practiced family medicine and cared for patients with bipolar disorder and depression for sixteen years. Because of this, the book takes a realistic and accurate approach to bipolar disorder, covering many of the known symptoms that come with it through the main character, Matt, as well as how it affects his family and friends over time. People who read this book are educated on these symptoms, and the neurological workings of the disorder itself, which helps them better understand what bipolar disorder entails, which really isn’t just constant mood swings.

Matt the Moody Hermit Crab is a good book for anyone of all ages and backgrounds. Whether it be to educate a young child on the workings of bipolar disorder, or to educate one’s self, this book takes a lighthearted yet realistic view on the disorder that anyone of any age can understand.