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.
A Boy Called BatThird-grader Bat got his nickname because it's his initials; his full name is Bixby Alexander Tam. Like his namesake, Bat has super-sensitive hearing. Also, he sometimes flaps his hands when he's nervous or excited. Adult readers may recognize that Bat is on the autism spectrum, but this is not labeled--rather, just part of his character.
by Elana K. Arnold
illustrated by Charles Santoso
Walden Pond Press, 2017
preview book through Overdrive
Amazon / Your local library
*best new book*
Bat knows more than anyone in his class about animals. He loves reading his animal encyclopedia and wants to be a veterinarian when he grows up, just like his mom. He is observant and notices a lot of details. He is great at a lot of things, but Bat is not great at making friends.
When his mom brings home a newborn skunk, Bat immediately connects to the kit and eagerly takes care of it. Soon, he's determined to prove that he's responsible enough to keep it as a pet.
A Boy Called Bat would make a terrific read-aloud at home or school. It would lead to some heart-felt conversations about how people react to things differently. An excellent educator's guide is available to download for free. Elizabeth Bartmess, a writer and autistic advocate, reviewed this guide. I especially like the way it helps readers think about Bat's character.
|from the educator's guide for A Boy Called Bat|
©2017 Mary Ann Scheuer, Great Kid Books