Booktalk: The Bat Scientists by Mary Kay Carson

Bat Scientists cover

When you talk to teachers and anyone who values teachers’ opinions, STEM books (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) are all the rage right now.  I picked up The Bat Scientists because I was going to be promoting our middle school summer reading list at local schools, and nonfiction books with show-and-tell potential are always a plus for me.  My booktalk turned out to be a little less structured in person, because I couldn’t start talking about this book without kids raising their hands and asking to see the pictures inside it.  Then they would start yelling out questions which would derail the script I’d planned out.  Which is annoying, yes, but the more you booktalk the more you’ll discover that an overly enthusiastic response is usually better than an unenthusiastic one.

If you’re looking for more nonfiction books (STEM and otherwise) to share with older children and younger teens, make sure to check out Mary Kay Carson’s website!


Let’s start with some true facts about bats.  The smallest bat in the world weighs less than a penny.  The biggest bat in the world weighs more than three pounds.  Bats live on every continent except Antarctica.  And if there’s one thing that bats are very good at, it’s pest control.  In fact, one small brown bat can catch and eat 1,000 insects in one hour.

Now let’s go to some myths about bats that you might think are true, but really aren’t.  The expression “blind as a bat”?  It’s very misleading.  It’s true that bats use sonar, but they also have very good vision.  Most bats do not have rabies.  Bats do NOT get tangled in people’s hair.  And bats do NOT suck humans’ blood like vampires.

Bats are also much more popular than you might imagine.  In fact, in some parts of the world, bats are a tourist attraction and hundreds of people will show up to watch them fly out of their caves at night.  You can learn all about these unusual mammals and the scientists who study them in …

The Bat Scientists by Mary Kay Carson

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