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Megabat by Anna Humphrey with illustrations by Kass Reich, published by Tundra Books is the perfect middle grade novel. Combining a little pop culture into an engaging and hilarious tale of friendship, Megabat is a must read middle grade novel.
Daniel Misumi has just moved to a new home, far away from his old home in Toronto. He’s angry about having to find new friends and living in a place that is nothing like Toronto, and to make matters worse, the ceiling in his new bedroom is leaking...or is it? He soon discovers a very sad fruit bat has taken up residence in his room. Megabat is also very lonely as he is far away from his family. Daniel takes on the task of helping Megabat find his way home.
Readers young and old will find Megabat to be incredibly charming. Anna Humphrey has written Megabat’s voice as a combination of Yoda and Elmo making for hilarious miscommunications with Daniel. She wraps the story in a blanket of friendship and family. Both Daniel and Megabat are lonely. They are far away from their homes and seemingly have no one who can help ease the loneliness. Through his adventures with Megabat, Daniel realizes he has actually become friends with Talia, the next door neighbour, and Megabat himself. Megabat realizes not every human wants to chase him with a broom and if he has to be so far away from his home, Papaya Premium, he’s happy to live with “Master Daniel”. Anna Humphrey elegantly weaves in references to Star Wars, creating an engaging hook for all the readers who are also fans. The book is designed in a very accessible way with large print, illustrations and short chapters making it a fabulous first chapter book for some of your younger readers. The Bear and I had such a great time sharing in the reading of Megabat together!
Kass Reich’s illustrations are fabulous. They have a lightness about them. Drawn in grey scale, they look like sketches that a young reader may make while daydreaming. They fit perfectly with the story and provide another outlet of humour and warmth to the writing.