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Batman's Dark Secret

3.18  ·  Rating Details ·  158 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Batman's Dark Secret is an inspiring story of how a young child overcame his fear of the dark and became a crime-fighting superhero.

One day, a lonely orphan named Bruce Wayne finds himself in a dangerous situation. He defends himself against a monster bat--and he wins. From that time on, he is determined to fight evil. He becomes ... Batman!

In advance of the new Batman m
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published December 29th 2015 by Scholastic Press (first published 2000)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Nov 20, 2015 Emma rated it it was ok
The story starts with young Bruce Wayne out with his parents after watching a movie. Bruce, brave and inspired by the movie's hero, walks with his parents down a terribly dark alley. In the darkness, Bruce hears two bangs and sees flashes of light before he smells smoke. When Bruce walks out of the alley, he does so alone. His parents are gone.

When Bruce returns to the Wayne mansion, he is terrified of the dark. With Alfred's help he sets about lighting up the entire house to keep the shadows at
Mary Ann
Dec 31, 2015 Mary Ann rated it liked it
Great cover will attract a lot of our young readers. But the story feels slight -- wish it went beyond his childhood.
Mar 27, 2016 Samantha rated it liked it
Batman's origin story in picture book format with an emphasis on conquering fear.

Watercolor artwork is well worth the look. PreK-2.
Brenda Kahn
Again, great illustrations but weak on story.
Cindy Mitchell
Nov 27, 2016 Cindy Mitchell rated it did not like it
Shelves: not-recommended
Puckett, Kelley Batman’s Dark Secret 32 pgs. Scholastic, 2016. $17.99 G PICTURE BOOK

This is the story of Bruce Wayne’s childhood. Starting from when his parents “disappear” in a dark alley after a movie, and that leads him to be afraid of the dark. Then Alfred the Butler making the whole house light for him. Finally Bruce ends up outside at night and must face his fears.
This is a dark grim book with grainy creepy illustrations. I almost think it could just be the start (minus the G rating thing
Ms. Yingling
Mar 03, 2016 Ms. Yingling rated it liked it
Young Bruce Wayne suffers a tragic accident in a dark alley in Gotham City after a fun movie night out with his parents. When he returns to his family mansion, he is afraid of the dark. Alfred, the butler, makes sure that the house is always lit, but after spending the day in the countryside, Bruce doesn't make it home before dark. A misstep lands him in a dark hole where he is surrounded by bats. When he stands up to the bats and yells at them to back away, he feels a sense of power and decides ...more
Dione Basseri
This book walks a very fine line, and thus it wobbles sometimes. On one hand, you want to be true to the Batman origin story. Kids know it. They're going to point it out when something is wrong. On the other, you can't show someone's parents being killed in cold blood in a picture book. Which leads to the weird moment where the book says that Bruce's parents are gone, and it looks like they were just abducted by aliens, rather than murdered.

Similarly, there's this odd moment for me when Bruce is
With moody watercolor illustrations, this picture book describes the background of Bruce Wayne, the man who became Batman. Some readers will find his facing darkness and his own fears of the dark reassuring, especially since those fears resulted from his parents' deaths when they're walking home from a movie. Some readers may still be unsure, though, about how exactly he summoned the courage to face his fears as he tumbles into a bat cave. I liked the idea of fighting evil and winning, and as ...more
Jun 17, 2016 Teri rated it it was ok
Shelves: children
This is more "Gotham" than "Batman" as it really has to do with everything about Bruce Wayne and next to nothing about Batman. Even then the story line is choppy and would be hard for a child to follow if they didn't already know the story of Batman. Even my 8 year old son who is an avid Batman fan and gives non-objective reviews said this is one is in the middle, a 3 (as in stars).

For teachers, I wouldn't use this book at all - unless you were going to have them fill in the blanks on what the
Jan 09, 2016 Mary rated it liked it
It's called Batman's Dark Secret, but don't that let that fool you. It's mostly about Bruce Wayne as a child. His alter-ego only appears on the first and last pages of the book. The book shows how Bruce overcomes his fear of the dark, fights a giant monster bat and becomes a superhero. The youngest of Batman fans looking for an accessible book for their age will most likely be disappointed that Batman is not in it much.
May 03, 2016 Steven rated it really liked it
Takes the tragic story of Bruce Wayne being left an orphan after witnessing his parents being gunned down right before his eyes and turns it into an easy-reader kid's book about Bruce overcoming his fear of the dark by poking at a giant bat with a stick. IT'S AMAZING! Seriously, I have no idea what I would have thought of this book as a tiny toddler, but as a comic book reading adult with a love for the hobby's more ridiculous iterations I was thrilled to see this on the shelf!
Mar 30, 2016 Lizzie rated it liked it
While I like that there exists another Batman picture book, I wish the lesson had been that having fears and being scared is okay, but brave/courageous people do good things in spite of those fears. Isn't that the Batman narrative really anyways? Points though for the vagueness of the Waynes' death- kids/parents are free to interpret that scene at their comfort level and understanding.
Feb 23, 2016 Kifflie rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed Jon Muth's work in "Zen Shorts" and "Zen Ties," and he does a wonderful job here as well. The murder of Bruce Wayne's parents is done off stage. Bruce's fall down the hole, and being surrounded by bats, is only mildly scary. It's an effective way of telling the story for younger kids, and I think it works very well.
May 23, 2016 Jason rated it liked it
I like how they illustrated this in a more tradition picture book style. It gives the whole story a different tone. Not sure what to make of the whole "his parents were gone" part. I can't imagine kids not asking questions about that...That said, this is a great book to give to younger kids who are interested in the character.
Kara Laidig
Sep 14, 2016 Kara Laidig rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-lit
In high school, one class I took was Mythology and we studied super heroes. Batman was my favorite and now after reading this, I wish I had this when I was in that class because it was a great summary of the movie. I think its a great kids book especially if the kids are into superheroes and want to know how they aren't afraid of anything!
Mike Tursi
Mar 24, 2016 Mike Tursi rated it it was amazing
A children's picture storybook, but a damned good one at that. And surprisingly very dark too. A bit light on the dead parents part of the ol' Batman origin but it does it justice. Keepsaking it on my shelf until I have a wee one of my own.

I wouldn't read this as a bedtime story to a toddler. Wait until they're just a little older.
Lindsay Beckman
A Batman story book. Huh.

You know, why would the most influential family think it's a good idea to walk down a dark, scary alley in the middle of the night in Gotham? Really, poor judgement on their part.

Also, how does Bruce survive a long fall into a cave and survive unscathed? Why haven't I thought of these questions before?
Carter and Harrison
Wow... sorta dark for a children's book...

That said, it helped my 6 year old with his fear of the dark- knowing that Batman used to be afraid of the dark gave him more courage.


My children have seen none of the Batman movies, and this wrote about Batman's parents' death. Touchy subject for a first reader book, I think.
It's hard to make a batman book this young given batman's background. Subject/words/images don't line up well. This might be good for older children who like superheroes and are afraid of the dark, but may scare younger ones while disappointing those who want BATMAN instead of young Bruce.
Marissa García
Mar 09, 2016 Marissa García rated it really liked it
Shelves: superhero
A tender, more detailed account of the Batman origin story beautifully illustrated and properly suited for the youngest Batman fans. This will be a godsend to have when young patrons come in looking for this type of book.
You know why this book is good? Jon Muth did the illustrations. He does those zen panda books. Also, the story is pretty decent, but when you open to the first page of the story and see the watercolors, you are wowed at Batman looking so good.
The orphan boy Bruce Wayne conquers his fear of the dark, making it possible for him to grow up and become the crime-fighting hero Batman.
Apr 28, 2016 Brittany rated it liked it
A simplified version of Batman's origin. I loved the illustrations (Muth is great) but was disappointed in the wasted opportunity to bring some diversity to Batman.
Tim Vandenberg
Apr 11, 2016 Tim Vandenberg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jon J Muth's art is always stellar, raising a solid children's picture book to a work of art.

Great read for kids....Deep thoughts for grown-ups.

Recommended to all imaginative reading fans.
Jan 23, 2016 Rachel rated it really liked it
A very simple story of a young Bruce Wayne losing his parents and facing his fear of the dark. I thought the best part was Muth's beautiful water color illustrations.
Mar 24, 2016 Becca rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
I think the boys will like this, although they may prefer a more comic book layout. OK for a Batman story, but. . .
Mar 25, 2016 Marcie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Marcie by: broomfield New Books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Zyler rated it it was amazing
Sep 13, 2015
Vanna Bells
Vanna Bells rated it really liked it
Jan 22, 2016
Regina Reads
Regina Reads rated it really liked it
Jan 28, 2016
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Kelley Puckett is a comic book writer. He is the creator of the character Cassandra Cain, the Batgirl who succeeded Barbara Gordon and who was succeeded herself by Stephanie Brown, as well as the second Green Arrow, Connor Hawke.
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