Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold

How I Heard About It:  This book has actually been in my pile to be read since #NCTE16 back in November.  I attended a special publisher's party and there were ARC's of this title.  They even had cocktails named after the book.  Once I got back to "reality", the book got buried.  I'm so glad it is summer and have now have time to read all the titles I've been dying to read.  

What It Is About:  Bixby Alexander Tam is a young boy who happens to be on the autism spectrum.  He prefers to go by the name Bat (Bixby Alexander Tam).  Bat enjoys his life, but doesn't enjoy some of the surprises that come along his way.  His mother is a veterinarian.  One day she comes home from the "office" and surprises Bat with a house guest.  It isn't a puppy.  It isn't a kitten.  It isn't even a fish.  Bat's mother has brought home a baby skunk which is called a Kit.  Bat is overcome with joy and love toward this little "wild" animal.  He even names the baby skunk Thor.  He tries to convince his mother that the skunk must become his pet.  She tries to tell him that this type of animal must live in the wild.  Bat disagrees.  He sets out to find a way to keep this animal as part of their family.  

What I Thought Of It:  When I first got the ARC last November I was intrigued by the cover and the title.  I had also read Far From Fair and loved that story.  This story did not disappoint.  I read it in about one sitting and enjoyed everything about it.  I enjoyed getting to know Bat and found him to be a delightful character.  It was fun and interesting to read about a pet skunk.  The characters that surrounded Bat were fun, lively, and important to the story.  This is definitely a book/series that will be appealing to young readers.  

Who Should Read It:  As I said on Twitter earlier today, this is the perfect novel for third and fourth graders.  The chapters are short and would be perfect for readers in these grades.  The book includes illustrations which I believe is important to young readers.  The novel could be used for independent reading and/or would make for a terrific read aloud in grades two, three, five, and even five.  I loved it and will be using it with my fourth graders in the coming school year.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  4+ STARS out of 5 Stars

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