Book Review: A Boy Called Bat

Book Review: A Boy Called Bat

Book Review: A Boy Called BatA Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold, Charles Santoso
Published by Walden Pond Press on March 14th 2017
Pages: 208

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.


Bat is a little different than regular third graders. He’s on the autism spectrum and we get a glimpse of what that is like from his perspective in this book. He does not read people very well, but is a bit aware of that. Bat really loves animals and learning about them. His mother is a vet who brings home a baby skunk whose mother was killed by a car. Bat instantly takes a liking to the little kit and sets out to find a way to keep the baby skunk until he is grown and ready to be released to the wild.

I love that this book is from Bat’s perspective, we get a wide view into his world. When another boy in his class is trying to be friendly, he doesn’t understand what he wants. His teacher has to intervene and tell Bat that maybe he wants to be his friend. Bat doesn’t always notice what the average person does – hints of emotions and body language don’t translate well. He needs things more straight forward.

I really enjoyed this book, working with students of all types as a school librarian, I recognize Bat in quite a few of my students.


A sweet story from a different perspective, definitely one to share with my students.


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


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