Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 8 to 12
- Grade: 3 to 7
An innovative full-colour work about bats' biology, habits, and history, and the bat conservation efforts of young people around the world, now also available in paperback!
From the award-winning author of No Shelter Here: Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs and Cat Champions: Caring for our Feline Friends comes an inspiring book about bats, their importance to a wide range of ecosystems, and the young "bat citizens" who are engaged in conservation efforts around the world.
In Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night, celebrated animal activist and biologist Rob Laidlaw sheds light on these famously shadowy mammals, from their habits and habitats to their importance for maintaining biodiversity. Bat biology is explored alongside the history of human-bat relations, with facts to fascinate even the most nervous reader.
Spotlight features on "Bat Citizens" make this an empowering book for children seeking their own expressions of global citizenship. With informational sidebars, colour photographs, a glossary and index, and a center-gatefold bat illustration, Bat Citizens is a book that will both instruct and inspire.
About the author
For more than thirty years, Rob Laidlaw has devoted his life to protecting animals. He is the founder of several animal protection organizations, including Zoocheck Canada, a wildlife protection group. His special interest in dogs has led him to visit dog shelters, pounds, and rescue centers in North America, India, Thailand and Japan and several other countries. Rob started a project to bring humane dog control to remote First Nations communities in Canada, was Chief Inspector for a major urban humane society, was Project Manager for World Society for Protection of Animals. Rob resides in Toronto, Ontario.
- Runner-up, Green Earth Book Award Honor Book
- Short-listed, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction
- Short-listed, Forest of Reading Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award
- Commended, Northeast Harbor Library June Staff Pick: Junior Nonfiction selection
- Commended, Resource Links "The Year's Best"
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection
Praise for Bat Citizens: Defending the Ninjas of the Night
2019 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction shortlist
2019 Green Earth Book Award: Children's Nonfiction Honor Book
2019 Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award shortlist
2018 Northeast Harbor June Staff Pick: Junior Nonfiction selection
2018 Canadian Children's Book Centre Best Books for Kids & Teens Starred Selection
2018 Resource Links "The Year's Best"
"While those already entranced by these singular creatures of the night will be inspired anew, the succinct, well-researched text and interactive format—including a center gatefold of a life-size hoary bat—is sure to recruit a fresh legion of bat lovers, too. Bat citizens unite."—Booklist
"[An] extensive introduction to the world of bats...Laidlaw debunks myths such as bats are blind and discusses threats to their survival...Particularly interesting are 10 profiles of 'bat citizens' from around the world who are helping conservations efforts...VERDICT Even readers who don't actively engage in citizen science projects should gain a new appreciation of bats through this engaging overview. A good choice for most school and public library collections."—School Library Journal
"Author and animal welfare activist Laidlaw shows some love for the undervalued bat, while celebrating the work of other bat-enthusiasts to educate the public about the animals....Many readers will be inspired by Laidlaw's implication that anyone can become an animal advocate with enough curiosity and compassion."—Publishers Weekly
"Chock-full of bat facts and photographs, this nonfiction book for young readers makes the case for bat conservation, including challenges that face the species and possible solutions....The backmatter includes a nice section on practical ways to help...Look to this eye-catching book to be convinced of the wonders of the bat and how they are deserving of protection."—Kirkus Reviews
"Because bats are a favorite topic for many young readers, there's always room in the marketplace for another book, especially one that is comprehensive, based on the latest data, and written in an appealing, kid friendly style....The orderly layout of the book will engage readers and leave a strong impression....An exciting surprise awaits mid book: a huge foldout diagram of a Hoary Bat with key body parts labelled. The same poster graces the reverse of the cover....This is a most visually appealing book! Bat Citizens' contents should readily satisfy the bat curious. Highly Recommended."—CM Magazine
"One of the ways that Rob protects animals and empowers others is by producing excellent information-packed books. Bat Citizens combines an impressive amount of research...Each chapter's easy to read text is enhanced by colourful photographs, and side bars with catchy titles like 'Batty Ideas' and 'Bat Facts'....This book is highly recommended for both school and public libraries."—Resource Links
"For a fairly slim volume, this book contains so much information about bats!...It is fascinating to see photos of so many different bats and the young people involved in saving them....Recommended both as a topic for animal-related research projects and for display at Halloween time for readers in upper elementary and middle school."—Youth Services Book Review
"[T]his engrossing book celebrates [bats] as amazing creatures that are critically important to natural ecosystems and beneficial to humans. With a page devoted to 14 ways kids can help bats, many young readers will be inspired to become citizen scientists and to participate in bat-preservation activities. Visually attractive and full of clearly written scientific information, this is a must-have title for all young science and animal enthusiasts!"—Canadian Children's Book News
"Complementing the interesting text are numerous colour photographs, a centre-gatefold bat illustration and a poster. Numerous features of 'Bat Citizens' (young people working to protect bats) along with sidebars and a glossary also help to make Bat Citizens an excellent book aimed at helping these incredible, vital and often misunderstood mammals. Highly recommended!"—The Hamilton Spectator
"This jam-packed book of facts and fanatics is enjoyable for bat lovers and the uninitiated."—Quill & Quire
"If you love bats or the kids who are protecting them, then you will love Bat Citizens....I liked reading each kid's story and was impressed with the things they are doing....There are lots of photographs, and the book seems well researched, as it includes a lot of facts and many different kids. It would be great for a research project..."—Kids' BookBuzz
"Young readers love knowing as much as they can about bats. Rob Laidlaw writes terrific nonfiction on topics that kids love to read. It's a win-win situation. No one will be disappointed when sharing this new book....Impressive and well-researched, as are other books by Rob Laidlaw, there is much to like about this fine book."—Sal's Fiction Addiction
"This book is packed full of fascinating information about the terrific varieties of bats in the world and the great difficulties these vitally-important creatures currently face....The book includes tips for bat-friendly gardens and 14 other ways your kids can begin now to help bats."—Orange Marmalade
"[A]n amazing book with lots of information, pictures and stories....The book offers bat facts as well as stories about members of the Bat Squad, kids who are doing their part to help bats. I think those stories were one of my favourite parts of this book."—Book Time
"[A] great way for kids to learn more about bats and the different species that exist...This will make a great addition to public and school libraries, and, hopefully, engage more young people in defending bats and their environment."—Canadian Bookworm
"Bat Citizens introduces young ambassadors for bats in a way that is likely to inspire others to get involved in science and conservation efforts. It is a great choice for budding scientists and conservationists alike."—Growing With Science, "Bat Science Books for Young Readers"
"Author Rob Laidlaw highlights 10+ bat activists—young people who are doing something to protect and help bats in some way. This is a great feature as it not only highlights kids who are making a difference, it will also help us expand our definition of the word 'citizen'."—A Year of Reading
Other titles by Rob Laidlaw
The Dog Patrol
Our Canine Companions and the Kids Who Protect Them
Wild Animals in Captivity
The True Story of Three Zoo Elephants and their Rescue from Captivity
Caring for our Feline Friends
Saving Lives and Changing Hearts
Animal Sanctuaries and Rescue Centers
No Shelter Here
Making the World a Kinder Place for Dogs
The Hidden World of Animals in Entertainment