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Elana K. Arnold

Author of A Boy Called Bat

29 Works 2,640 Members 110 Reviews

About the Author

Includes the name: Elana K. Arnold


Works by Elana K. Arnold

A Boy Called Bat (2018) 632 copies
Damsel (2018) 525 copies
Bat and the Waiting Game (2018) 274 copies
Red Hood (2020) 254 copies
What Girls Are Made of (2017) 141 copies
The Question of Miracles (2015) 80 copies
Sacred (2012) 72 copies
What Riley Wore (2019) 69 copies
The House That Wasn't There (2021) 67 copies
Infandous (2015) 65 copies
Burning (2013) 55 copies
Just Harriet (2022) 44 copies
Far from Fair (2016) 42 copies
An Ordinary Day (2020) 36 copies


2019 (11) animals (40) ARC (10) audiobook (9) autism (62) chapter book (14) children's (19) children's fiction (10) children's literature (11) contemporary (12) death (22) diversity (10) divorce (18) dragons (13) ebook (19) fairy tales (21) family (40) fantasy (49) fiction (93) friendship (42) grief (14) J Fiction (11) LGBTQ (9) love (9) middle grade (22) pets (15) picture book (18) read (13) read in 2017 (9) read in 2018 (14) realistic (21) realistic fiction (53) retelling (11) series (11) skunks (36) teen (18) to-read (310) YA (46) young adult (49) young adult fiction (10)

Common Knowledge



Kiki Karpovich, a brown-skinned, dark-haired girl, is lonely and wishes for friends. When she finds a goldfish in the street and rescues it to her bathtub, it grants her a wish - but it can only grant small wishes. No matter what wish Kiki thinks of, each one is too big for the fish - yet the fish seems to be growing, so Kiki begins digging a pond for it outside. And in the process, she loses her shyness and gains some friends.

See also: Anywhere Farm by Phyllis Root and G. Brian Karas

Author's note.
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JennyArch | Feb 12, 2024 |
First sentence: When we were very young, Astra and I made a pact. I was six; Astra, not quite ten. It was a sultry, miserable summer day. Father was missing--again--and Mama was in bed--still. Whenever Father disappeared, Mama disappeared, too. Not physically, but in every way that mattered.

Trigger warnings: I don't always give these. This one is HAUNTING. And not for the reasons you might think. I think sensitive readers should be warned. This one does describe--directly and indirectly--sexual abuse/assault. It also indirectly features ANIMAL ABUSE. Also plenty of death--murder and suicide.

Premise/plot: The Blood Years is historical fiction--young adult--set in Romania (what would be) during the Second World War. It provides a glimpse--vignette???--into Jewish life in Romania. How one didn't have to experience the full extent of Nazi hideousness to experience trauma and devastation. Though to be fair, Rieke (the protagonist) would probably have had a tough adolescence regardless of the Nazis and Soviets. I say this because her family is super-super dysfunctional. Also because I'm not sure you can blame the Nazis for her having tuberculosis.

Rieke and Astra live with their mother, Anna, (she is ever-absent mentally and emotionally) and grandfather (Opa). Anna has loved foolishly and recklessly. She is unable to live without her horrible, hideous, no-good, very bad husband. Astra, well, she seems to be mentally unstable as well. Very hot-cold. Very volatile and temperamental. One never knows what mood/temper she'll be in. If she'll be a fierce opponent and your number one enemy or your best friend. Opa is Opa is Opa. He's solid as a rock--except that he's older and not always in the best of health. Still he seems to have the most sense in the family.

The book chronicles the family's increasing misfortunes as their city experiences turmoil of falling under the control of Nazis, Soviets, Nazis, Soviets, etc. I may have the order wrong. The family suffered under all.

My thoughts: The book is based loosely on the author's grandmother. It is historical fiction. She was influenced by her grandmother's story, of course, but she was also influenced more compositely by many other stories. She wanted to be true to the time period and represent many experiences/voices.

This one is a TOUGH, haunting read. Astra and Rieke both experience trauma and abuse. Rieke is four years younger and is put into a GROOMING situation where abuse/assault happens. She is forced to make a HUGE decision.













What keeps me from recommending this one--personally recommending it--is the animal abuse. The family takes in a stray cat. They care for the cat as much as they can. The cat fends for itself, for the most part, but they have a loving relationship with this cat. When Rieke gets sick, the family feeds her a meaty soup, she then asks where the cat went. If it hadn't been so late in the book, I would have refused to finish it. Obviously, tough decisions would have been being made every single day during this time. I do think unless you are in the same place, it is not fair to be dogmatically critical and judgmental. Yet, at the same time, the book doesn't have to be that direct. It could have left a small unanswered question. It does in other places. For example, when Rieke goes to the hospital and the doctors deflate her lung, and, then she leaves the hospital in the middle of the night--despite her being on bed rest--because they've been tipped off that the Nazis will raid the hospital and kill all the patients--we never get closure on what happens to her lung. Does it ever get re-inflated? What about her tuberculosis? What happens next? She was so close to dying from the disease and the book ends, but, yet apparently lives long enough to have children and grandchildren.
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blbooks | Jan 25, 2024 |
This was super cute. It's an Otter Award nominee, but probably too short and simple to win. A great series for 2nd graders and fans of [b:Meet Yasmin!|37865546|Meet Yasmin!|Saadia Faruqi|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1517017738l/37865546._SX50_.jpg|59572762] series.
LibrarianDest | 1 other review | Jan 3, 2024 |
Savannah and I loved the way it ended. Jon re-iterates that he hates Bat and is glad the series is over.
filemanager | 3 other reviews | Nov 29, 2023 |



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½ 3.7

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