Reviewed by Nicole Panteleakos
A Boy Called Bat is a middle grade/chapter book about a third-grader who tries to convince his veterinarian mom to let him keep the baby skunk she brings home. I found this an intriguing novel, and so did my ten-year-old goddaughter Meadow, who was diagnosed on the autism spectrum as a toddler (as was her twin brother).
On the opening page, the reader meets Bat and learns he does not like to eat leftovers, sliced cheese, or most yogurt flavors. Having grown up with an abundance of highly specific food-related issues myself, I was instantly able to relate. On the next pages, the author quickly introduces a number of Bat’s other “quirks” – oversensitive hearing, flapping his hands, and being particular about the way his possessions are organized. Continue reading.
A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold
Illustrator: Charles Santoso
Published by HarperCollins on March 14th 2017
Reading Level: Grades 3-5
Review Source: Disabilities in Kid Lit
Buy at Powell's Books
The first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle grade series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum, from acclaimed author Elana K. Arnold and with illustrations by Charles Santoso.
For Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat), life tends to be full of surprises—some of them good, some not so good. Today, though, is a good-surprise day. Bat’s mom, a veterinarian, has brought home a baby skunk, which she needs to take care of until she can hand him over to a wild-animal shelter.
But the minute Bat meets the kit, he knows they belong together. And he’s got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.
"This sweet and thoughtful novel chronicles Bat’s experiences and challenges at school with friends and teachers and at home with his sister and divorced parents. Approachable for younger or reluctant readers while still delivering a powerful and thoughtful story" (from the review by Brightly.com, which named A Boy Called Bat a best book of 2017).