Why you should read BAT and the End of Everything, by Elana K. Arnold


"I thought she was getting a ride home with Ezra," Bat said. He knew his voice sounded whiny, but he couldn't make it sound different.

A BOY CALLED BAT and BAT AND THE WAITING GAME, are two of my favorite recent chapter books. BAT AND THE END OF EVERYTHING is the perfect end to the trilogy. It masterfully shows the inner life of an autistic boy. Well written and beautifully illustrated, this book is fun to read and will resonate with kids and adults alike. The friend and family relationships and portrayal of autism and it's challenges are authentic and compelling.

BAT is quirky, likable and genuine. His reactions to the world and to other people show how he misunderstands people's cues, yet it is obvious that his intentions are always good. Throughout the book, people misunderstand BAT'S good intentions, particularly when he speaks very literally without realizing how it will make others feel. 

In this third book, BAT has a better understanding of how other people might misunderstand him and keeps some of his thoughts to himself in a way he wouldn't have earlier. His sibling relationship has changed also. Janie, his older sister seems to understand BAT better and voluntarily spends time with him. She also has hard days in this book which helps BAT realize that he's not the only one who struggles. 

I love how well BAT cares for Thor, his skunk, how much he worries about releasing Thor into the wild, and how both Thor and BAT calm down when they are together. The book covers themes of loss, autism, divorce, diversity, pet care, parents dating new people, friendship, siblings, and connection.

I highly recommend all three books! Both my 8 year old son and I found each one compelling and thought provoking.


BAT AND THE END OF EVERYTHNG
By Elana K. Arnold
Published by Walden Pond Press, an Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
ISBN: 9780062798442

About the Book
Bixby Alexander Tam (nicknamed Bat) ahs been the caretaker for Thor, the best skunk kit in the world…but the last day of third grade is quickly approaching, and Thor is almost ready to be released into the wild. The end of school also means that Bat has to say good-bye to his favorite teacher, and he worries about the summer care of Babycakes, their adorable class pet. Not only that, but his best friend is leaving for a long vacation in Canada.
Summer promises good things, too, like working with his mom at the vet clinic and hanging out with his sister, Janie, but Bat can’t help but feel that everything is coming to an end.
National Book Award finalist Elana K. Arnold returns with the third story starring an unforgettable boy on the autism spectrum.



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, including Damsel a Michael Prinz Honor Book, and What Girls are Made of, a finalist for the National Book Award. She lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. You can find her online at www.elanakarnold.com


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Must Read March Releases!

The universe poured into me.
My brain was overloaded.
It smoke and glowed red-hot. And then
it actually exploded.

My 8 year old son and I read THE DAY THE UNIVERSE EXPLODED MY HEAD  in one sitting. We both loved the playful language, humor, and interesting facts embedded in each poem. Anyone interested in astronomy will find this a delightful read. Whimsical illustrations enhance the well chosen words to create a true work of art.









Birds are like thoughts. They come, stay awhile...and then fly away. They fly where their hearts call them. Birds are free. They make our imaginations soar.
I adore bird books! BIRDS's lovely lyrical text combines with whimsical illustrations to produce the perfect read-aloud. I love how it starts with different types of birds and what they do and then ends with how birds are metaphors for life! Kids will enjoy the colorful illustrations and the variety of birds on each page. This book is truly a work of art.







It all started yesterday when my roommate, Barbra, got out her new recorder. She only knows this one terrible song and keeps playing it over and over again. I hate the recorder! And you're not even allowed to use the word hate. But I just did, so there.

Reminiscent of THERE'S A MONSTER AT THE END OF THIS BOOK, this hilarious and interactive book will joke your child right out of a bad mood. The idea of an angry cookie is comical and Cookie's strong personality shows kids that feelings aren't permanent and it's okay to feel mad sometimes. This is a great book to evoke discussion around how thoughts leads to feelings and how to deal frustration. ANGRY COOKIE is a super fun read aloud!




Circle closed her eyes. "I wonder," Circle said. "What kind of shape was it?"

CIRCLE is an interesting book about friendship, overcoming fears and imagination. I love all the Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen books--the illustrations perfectly compliment the sparse text. Although I found the ending intriguing, I felt I was left hanging in the end. Perhaps this is another thing we can learn from this book--not all mysteries will be unshrouded!






What new releases have you read recently?

The Fairest Kind of Love, by Crystal Cestari

"Out of wishes, and out of time, I decide to make what I'm sure will be an Amber Sand Top Five Worst Choice Ever..."

Happy Book Birthday to THE FAIREST KIND OF LOVE, by Crystal Cestari!


Although I never read the first two books, in this series, I ADORED this book. This story is filled with mystery, complex characters and magical teens who never do what their parents want them to do. I love Crystal Cestari's story voice and can't wait to read the first two books in the series.

This is the perfect entertaining romance--all about a matchmaker whose skills are on the fritz, who only wants to see matches again and help people find their true loves. So. Much. Fun. 




"Sharp wit makes [Cestari's heroine, Amber Sand] an authentic and relatable narrator as she's forced to learn how to see the magic in everyday."--Publishers Weekly

"This cute take on paranormal romance is stuffed full of entertaining supernatural creatures: a nightclub-owning vampire, a high school siren, a gold-digging leprechaun...more adventures to come."--Booklist

More about the book: 

Amber Sand has spent half her life solidifying other people's happily-ever-afters. As a matchmaker, she has the ability to look into anyone's eyes and see their perfect match. But lately, her powers have been on the fritz, and not only is she totally unsure whether her matches are true, she can't see anyone in the eyes of her boyfriend Charlie Blitzman. With Amber and her friends graduating high school and about to take off for various colleges, Amber is hoping to have one last carefree summer-but she's also dying to find a way to fix her powers, and learn, for better or worse, if she and Charlie are truly meant to be.

So when an online matchmaker named Madame Lamour comes to Chicago, Amber sets out to talk to her and find out who her match is once and for all. Of course, when it comes to the magical community, nothing's ever that easy, and Amber soon finds herself caught up in a breathless showdown that involves a fairy family feud and a magical-creature auction--and requires teaming up with a certain siren nemesis. Can Amber and her friends save the day one more time before setting off for their new lives? And will Amber ever learn whether Charlie is her one true love?

With tons of laugh-out-loud moments, appearances by all your favorite characters, and one totally tearful reveal, you won't want to miss a single swoony moment of this romantic conclusion to the Windy City Magic trilogy.

More about the author:  

Crystal Cestari lives just outside Chicago with her daughter.  Her hobbies include avoiding broccoli and wanders the aisles at Target.  She holds a master's degree in mass communications, and writes all her stories longhand.  She is also the author of the first two books in the Windy City Magic series, THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC and THE SWEETEST KIND OF FATE.  Visit Crystal at www.crystalcestari.com and on Twitter @crystalcestari