Review Detail

Kids Fiction 1331
Simple, Profound, and Engaging
Overall rating
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Bixby Alexander Tam (AKA Bat) is happy spending time with Thor, the pet skunk kit that his mom has allowed him to nurture, and things are settling into a nice routine that helps Bat feel good about life. Then Bat's older sister, Janie, gets a part in the school play. That means Bat has to spend a couple of afternoons each week at his best friend's house. Israel is a good friend to Bat, and Bat thinks Israel's parents are fascinating, but Bat really likes being at home, and he worries about Thor being left alone on those days. Things are suddenly a little out of whack for Bat, and he needs to figure out how to deal with the disruptions that come with both major and minor changes.

BAT AND THE WAITING GAME by Elana K. Arnold is a simple, but engaging and profound story about a boy, his pet, friendship, and family relationships. It's also about living life on the autism spectrum, but that aspect of the book is so subtle it seems a perfect way to offer kids with autism a book in which they might recognize themselves while also educating their friends. THE WAITING GAME has plenty of valuable lessons woven into it. The author manages to educate the reader on skunks, the beauty and importance of sincere apologies, and the comfort to be found with friends and family--among other things.

BAT AND THE WAITING GAME has broad appeal. It would be great to read aloud to a class or an individual, and I think it has a lot to offer adults as well as its intended audience of 6-10 year olds. This is the second of Elana K. Arnold's books about Bat, and I certainly hope it won't be the last. Bat is completely charming, and I'm a definitely fan.

My thanks to the publisher and YA Books Central for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.

Good Points
The second book in this terrific series
Great characters
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