Bound To Stay Bound

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 Boy called Bat (Bat Series)
 Author: Arnold, Elana K.

 Publisher:  Walden Pond Press (2017)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 198 p., ill., 20 cm

 BTSB No: 069886 ISBN: 9780062445827
 Ages: 8-12 Grades: 3-7

 Autism -- Fiction
 Skunks as pets -- Fiction
 Wildlife rehabilitation -- Fiction

Price: $21.88

Book 1--Bat has been a bit too busy in his autism-focused classroom at school to find a real friend. And he's got one month to show his mom that a baby skunk might just make a pretty terrific pet.

 Illustrator: Santoso, Charles

Download a Teacher's Guide

Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: LG
   Reading Level: 4.60
   Points: 3.0   Quiz: 188149
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 3-5
   Reading Level: 4.60
   Points: 6.0   Quiz: 70597

   Kirkus Reviews (12/15/16)
   School Library Journal (11/01/16)
   Booklist (02/15/17)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/02/17)

Full Text Reviews:

School Library Journal - 11/01/2016 Gr 3–6—Bixby Alexander Tam, or Bat, has autism. He has a high need for structure; anything out of the ordinary causes him anxiety. When his mother, a vet, is late coming home from work one day, Bat is panicked. His mother explains she has a good reason, and tells him about the baby skunk she has brought home. The mother skunk did not survive a car accident, but Bat's mom was able to save the kit, and they will raise him at home for a month until he is old enough to be released to a wild animal shelter. Bat, who wants to be a vet himself someday, is fascinated by the kit, named Thor by his sister. Feeling that no one will be able to care for Thor as well as he can, Bat tries to find a way to convince his mother to keep the kit as a pet. This tender novel starts out slowly, focusing on Bat's frequent frustration. Arnold shows more than tells, crafting a nuanced character. Readers learn that Bat goes to a school that values his uniqueness and works with him on interpersonal dynamics like developing an awareness of other people's feelings, empathy, and friendship. Midway through the book, the pacing picks up. Bat's relationships with his teacher and a vet at his mother's clinic are particularly enjoyable and add humor to the novel. Santoso's illustrations, appearing about once a chapter, add warmth. Short chapters and a straightforward plot make this a good candidate for reluctant readers. VERDICT The challenges facedby kids like Bat are often underrepresented in children's literature; this is a refreshing depiction. Readers will appreciate this funny and thoughtful novel.—Juliet Morefield, Multnomah CountyLibrary, OR - Copyright 2016 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.

Booklist - 02/15/2017 This charming tale of newfound friendship in a pint-size package introduces third-grader Bixby Alexander Tam. Bat, nicknamed for his sensitivity to sound, sometimes fluttery hands, and, of course, initials, covets two things above all else: order (crustless sandwiches, freshly stocked vanilla yogurts, expertly organized dresser drawers) and animals. So when Bat’s veterinarian mom returns home with an orphaned skunk kit, it becomes Bat’s mission to not only meticulously care for it but also keep it—for good. With a rescue center willing to rehabilitate the skunk in four weeks’ time, Bat must hustle to prove himself a worthy caretaker. Brimming with quietly tender moments (Bat braiding his sister’s hair or examining the kit’s black eyes), subtle humor, and authentically rendered family dynamics, Arnold’s story, the first in a new series, offers a nonprescriptive and deeply heartfelt glimpse into the life of a boy on the autism spectrum. Youngsters will empathize with Bat’s adventures and revel in the endearing illustrations that accompany them. As Bat would say, this one’s “all the way great.” Final art not seen. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.

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