Blog Tour - A Boy Called Bat by Elana K Arnold

I am always happy to jump in and help spread the love of great books. Walden Pond Press puts out some amazing titles, and this is no exception. Read on for my thoughts about the book, some information about the author, and a chance to win a signed copy!

This post is also going up on International Women's Day. I'm always thrilled to support books written by amazing authors who also happen to be women. Thank you, Elana K. Arnold, for your work! 

A Boy Called Bat
by Elana K. Arnold
illustrated by Charles Santoso
On Sale: 03/14/2017
ISBN: 9780062445827
ISBN 10: 0062445820
(information from the publisher)
From acclaimed author Elana K. Arnold and with illustrations by Charles Santoso, A Boy Called Bat is the first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle grade series starring an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum.
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.

**** Want a signed copy?? Comment on this post with why you want to read this book - or who you'll read it to! Leave your email address so I can contact the winner. (I'll only use the email address for this purpose) I'll choose one commenter at random by March 15th! ****

My thoughts:

Helping students connect with others is such an important topic in our schools today. We need to teach them to see how we are all the same, which helps us learn to understand and accept our differences. Empathy. Empathy. Empathy. A Boy Called Bat will help you meet this goal.

Bat is a sweet, curious, unique child who happens to also have autism. Children who read this book will easily be able to find things they have in common with him. Maybe they also have an older sibling who doesn’t quite understand them. Maybe they have a mom who has to work late some nights. Maybe they have divorced parents and aren’t quite as comfortable in one of their parent’s homes. Maybe they just also really love animals!

Whatever connection they find with Bat, this book will give them an easy way to learn about a child who is a LOT like them – but also a bit different. Getting to know Bat will also help them be more understanding of kids who may be sensitive to lights or sounds. Maybe they even have a classmate who needs to wear headphones in the cafeteria!

Even if you aren't looking to build empathy, but you are just looking for a fun, interesting realistic fiction novel for middle graders -- this is a great choice. 

Use this book for:

Read Aloud – I think it would be great for grades 2-4.

Empathy Building Activities -  Does your class have students with autism? Are there kids who have sensory concerns? Everyone has something that bugs them (I know I can’t stand itchy tags to this day!). Discuss the things that bother Bat and have students talk about things that bother them. Maybe you’ll even learn something that will help you build a more welcoming environment for your students!

Fun Connections:

Have a local veterinarian visit your class – or maybe just Skype. So may community members would love a chance to connect with classrooms! You could even see if you have a local technical high school that includes vet tech sciences. Maybe they have students there who could talk to your class! If not- take a virtual tour or watch a video about zoo keepers. Here's one to get you started...

Dr. Jerry Dragoo! In the back of the book, Elana Arnold talks about how Dr. Dragoo is a real person. You can have students check out his website about skunks ( )

Unlikely pets? I bet there are other pets students could talk about or research! Here is a link to an Animal Planet piece on unusual pets…

About Elana K. Arnold

Elana K. Arnold grew up in Southern California, where she was lucky enough to have her own perfect pet—a gorgeous mare named Rainbow—and a family who let her read as many books as she wanted. She is the author of picture books, middle grade novels, and books for teens. She lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. You can find her online at

Educator's Guide Link - with support including activities that help build awareness of Autism, other suggested books (informational and literature), writing prompts, and other resources.

March 1 Read, Write Reflect
March 2 A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust - Beth Shaum
March 3 Bluestocking Thinking
March 6 The Official Tumblr of Walden Media
March 7 For Those About to Mock
March 8 Maria’s Melange
March 9 Novel Novice
March 10 Unleashing Readers
March 13 The Haunting of Orchid Forsythia
March 14 All the Wonders
March 15 Teach Mentor Texts
March 19 Nerdy Book Club
March 20 LibLaura5
March 22 Book Monsters
March 27 Librarian’s Quest
March 29 Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

(I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher, but it did not influence my thoughts or my post) 


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