Young People's Pavilion: Elana K. Arnold's Groundbreaking Book will Help Children Understand Autism

I love reading books that reach out to, speak about, and give a voice to underserved populations. That is why  A Boy Called Bat by Elana K. Arnold struck my eye as well as part of my soul.

The first book in a funny, heartfelt, and irresistible young middle grade series, it stars an unforgettable young boy on the autism spectrum.
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. 

The book is as sensitive, sweet, fun experience. It is the type that is sure to put a smile on young readers faces.

“Brimming with quietly tender moments, subtle humor, and authentically rendered family dynamics,” wrote ALA Booklist, “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.”

Anne Ursu, author of The Real Boy said that the book is a “delightful, endearing, and utterly relatable, Bat Tam is destined to be a dear and necessary friend for young readers. I adore him and his story.”

Arnold writes books for and about children and teens.

Some of her books have been included on the LA Public Library’s Best Books of the Year list, the Bank Street Best Book list, the YALSA “Best Fiction for Young Adults” list, have been ALAN picks, and have been selected for inclusion in the Amelia Bloomer Project.  
Her YA novel, INFANDOUS, won the Moonbeam Children’s Book Award and the Westchester Fiction Prize. Her YA novel, WHAT GIRLS ARE MADE OF, has been long listed for the National Book Award, and her middle grade novel A BOY CALLED BAT is a Junior Library Guild Selection.  
She holds a master's degree in Creative Writing/Fiction from the University of California, Davis and currently lives in Huntington Beach, California, with her husband, two children, and a menagerie of animals. She is represented by Rubin Pfeffer of Rubin Pfeffer Content.  
Check out Arnold's work if you, like me, are interested in the kind of work that makes a difference.