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A Boy Called Bat (A Boy Called Bat, #1)
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A Boy Called Bat

(A Boy Called Bat #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  1,830 Ratings  ·  391 Reviews
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 on
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by Walden Pond Press
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Tj Shay
Mar 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have been a teacher for thirty years. Bat, the main character in this book, is the most realistic depiction of a child on the Autism spectrum that I have read. The glorious thing to me, however, is that it doesn't feel like a lecture or a how-not-to, but just sweetly tells the story of a boy, his family, his teacher, and a most unlikely pet.

Wonderful story, real characters...a must have for every library.
Rebecca McNutt
Jul 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is about as unique as they come, especially since one of the main characters isn't exactly a conventional family pet...
Bat's childhood has always been surrounded by animals since his mom is a veterinarian, and at times it can seem like she prioritizes them more than her son. When Bat's mom brings home a skunk in the process of being rehabilitated, he discovers a newfound friend and is able to appreciate the work his mother does. It's an extremely simple story but a memorable one for re
Aug 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really well done story about an autistic boy. We've got supportive family and teachers, a main character who isn't punished or mocked by the narrative for doing things differently, an acknowledgement that it can be difficult for people to communicate with someone who's mind works differently, and it isn't ABOUT autism. It's just a story about discovering what you want and proving you can go after it, about working things out with family and making friends.

On a personal note, it was pretty painf
Reread in preparation to read the sequel. I adore Bat and Thor!
Mar 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
During the tenure of your career thousands of children will walk into your classroom, the school library. If you are fortunate you will be able to offer opportunities to students in grades kindergarten through graduation from high school. You will learn all their names. You will learn to support all their learning needs with access to materials inside and outside the walls of your facility. You will give the right book to the right reader at the right time. And just like snowflakes no two of the ...more
Blurbed this one! I said:

"A Boy Called Bat is sensitive, sweet, and super fun. I read this book with the biggest smile on my face."

I was also a sensitivity reader for the book's portrayal of its autistic protagonist. I thought it was excellent and absolutely feel comfortable recommending it.
Niki (Daydream Reader)
A must read! A great read aloud! Uplifting!
Paula M. of Her Book Thoughts!
When I read the blurb of ABCB, I instantly remembered my younger brother and I want to admit that that’s one of the reasons why I want to read and review Elana’s book. Not only that, I’m an animal lover myself and even though Bat is way younger than me, it was not hard to feel for him while reading. But don’t let Bat’s age hinder you from reading ABCB. This book is genuine and very easy to read. That’s what I like the most. Arnolds writing was not hard to get in to and Bat’s story will make you ...more
Mary Ann
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Our students have been eagerly reading A Boy Called Bat, drawn in by the adorable cover. Many students relate to the bond that Bat feels for the baby skunk, but it is about much more.

I love how this quiet book shows how a pet can help children form relationships, take responsibility and feel a sense of empathy. Even more so, I love how it shares the story of an autistic boy whose neurodiversity is just part of who he is.
Joanna Marie
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
so innocent and full of character for the young ones. now i get it why my 10 y/o brother loved this book.
Kara Lauren
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the sweetest children's books I have ever read. I think everyone will appreciate this story. You learn about skunks, but also you can learn what a child with autism has to deal with on a regular basis. The descriptions were well thought out and easy for a child to understand. I think every child should read this book, and will understand autistic children better and want to become their friends!

I also loved the illustrations, they were simple but were a perfect addition to the s
Michele Knott
I really enjoyed Arnold's upcoming book. I think it will be a hit with young readers, especially those who have a soft spot for animals.
I like that this book includes some diversity with the main character coming from a divorced family and is most likely on the autism spectrum, without the book being about that.
Erin Kelly
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What a great book! I loved Bat. He was such a well-developed character and the tone and voice of the novel is perfectly pitched for its audience. The illustrations were wonderful too. I really wanted to hold a skunk after reading this and I never thought I'd ever be in a position where I wished I knew more skunks.
Scott Fillner
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A Boy Called Bat is such a wonderful story Elana K Arnold. The book just blew me away. Not only is the writing outstanding...but the illustrations really enhance the story. I cannot wait for it to become a book in the wild for others to read.

The book is ideal for any students entering 4th grade or any students B or above 4th grade.
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so completely adorable, my heart almost exploded with feels!

Bat (Bixby Alexander Tam) struggles with seeing the world the same way other people do (you can infer he’s on the spectrum), and one of his fascinations is animals. Serendipitously, his mom is a vet.

One day, she saves a baby skunk and Bat learns to care for it and falls in love. What follows is an endearing story that meshes Bat dealing with his social and emotional challenges while also learning to put something else’s needs
Bernadette Kearns
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book would be an excellent read aloud in elementary classrooms. The character Bat could teach so many children what autism looks/feels like and would be a great way for our autistic students to see themselves in the literature that we share. As a mom of an animal loving 3rd grader this also hits the sweet spot for those kids. For my middle school students, this is another book to teach us about our diverse learning community. ❤ ...more
Such a sweet, engaging read. I just adore Bat and can't wait to read the sequel!
A friend of mine has a Down's Syndrome/Autistic dual diagnosed boy, who is not even close to being this highly functioning, but I thought the book presented his autism, and the "every-other Friday" situation of children of divorced parents with shared parenting, extremely well. The book is a real delight to read for any age.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great story! I think lots of elementary age kids will enjoy this book. It will appeal to animal lovers and kids who like to read about children with special needs. The main character, Bat, was very realistically portrayed as a young boy with autism. I liked it!
Heather Taake
Jun 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Short and sweet!
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This was so cute! I cannot wait for the sequel!
May 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book and the character of Bat. I hope there are plans for future books featuring this wonderful character. Plus, I would also like to know how things work out for the skunk, Thor.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fabulous elementary chapter book about a young boy with autism, and the baby skunk who helps him to look at life in the eyes.
Mar 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Boy Called Bat was a very quick and cute read. It can easily be read in one setting, but it is also a perfect book for reading a few chapters here and there, and not needing a refresher of what just happened. I think that this book is perfect for young children who love animals. I love the skunk and I really enjoyed how some facts about skunks were shared through this book. I really liked the illustrations throughout the story. They really added to the story.

One of the things I loved most abou
Jordan Henrichs
Jun 25, 2017 rated it liked it
A cute story told from an interesting perspective. The focus on Bat is sincere and compassionate and the information about the skunk kit is well presented. I also liked the way Bat's life with his mom and Bat's every-other-weekend life with his dad were different. This was told in a simple, straight-forward way, but I think many kids would be able to relate to Bat and his sister Janie's feelings.

I was a little bothered by the fact that Bat's nickname (his real name is Bixby Alexander Tam) came
Sarah Levy
Oct 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
A cute story about a boy (most likely on the autism spectrum) and a baby skunk. I imagine many of my 3rd graders enjoying this story.
May 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: chapter-books
A Boy Called Bat, the book and the character, are delightful! (Shout out to the well-drawn sibling and parent characters in this, too.) Loved it.
Jul 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. Knowing the protagonist was a boy on the autistic spectrum, I expected the entire book to be about him and his struggles fitting in and coping with everyday life, which seems to be the focus of many books with similar characters. However, the fact that Bat is on the autistic spectrum was never even mentioned in the book, though readers who have worked with children on the spectrum will recognize particular characteristics in Bat: his love of routine, his ...more
Mrs. Krajewski
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Bixby Alexander Tam, or Bat for short, is thrilled when his veterinarian mother brings home a skunk kit one day. The very moment Bat meets this young kit—who he names Thor—he knows that he was meant to care for it. Thor gives Bat a chance to concentrate on something he loves, instead of worrying about tough situations at school, or “every other Fridays” with his father. He decides to prove to his mother that Thor belongs with him by aiming to be the best caretaker possible. His sister Janie sees ...more
Apr 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
I really enjoyed this story about a boy nicknamed Bat, whose veterinarian mother brings home an orphaned baby skunk. Bat, who loves animals, immediately falls in love. Bat has a hard time relating to the other kids around him (it isn't explicitly stated, but it sounds as if Bat is on the autism spectrum). Caring for the skunk gives him a common interest to finally make a friend in his classmate, Israel. Complicating life for him is the fact that his parents are divorced and he has to spend every ...more
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Play Book Tag: A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold - 4 stars 2 12 Jun 29, 2018 08:57AM  
Goodreads Librari...: Adding illustrator's name 3 14 Feb 22, 2017 02:40PM  

ELANA K. ARNOLD writes books for and about children and teens. She holds a master’s degree in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis where she has taught Creative Writing and Adolescent Literature. Her most recent YA novel, WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and her middle grade novel, A BOY CALLED BAT, is a Junior Library Guild Selection

Other books in the series

A Boy Called Bat (3 books)
  • Bat and the Waiting Game (A Boy Called Bat, #2)
  • Bat and the End of Everything (A Boy Called Bat, #3)