Book Review: A Boy Called Bat by Elana Arnold

 

Rating:4/5

Notable:

  • Female Author:¬†Elana Arnold
  • Neurodiverse Characters

Mood:

Gentle, thoughtful, kind, matter-of-fact

tl;dr Summary:

A young neuro-diverse boy comes to make friends with a baby skunk and other students in his class.

Best Elements:

  • While the young boy in this book reacts to the world differently than his older sister, the book never explicitly puts the main character, Bat, in a box. Instead, the neurodiverse character is treated wonderfully complexly.
  • The connection between Bat and his skunk is strangely compelling, particularly for a reader who lives in a skunk-rife environment.
  • Ideal for young readers who go to school with neurodiverse students; for even for those who don’t. School is depicted as a positive space.

Worst Elements:

  • None.

 

This is a nice elementary read. It isn’t one of those books that work for adults as well as kids.

If you would like to find a book that expresses neurodiversity well, this is a good one. Some books about neurodiversity are like afterschool specials and point out neurodiversity as a sort of badge. This book doesn’t do that. Instead, neurodiversity is one element to a complex main character, just as being cranky is another part of his older sister’s self.

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