Bat Count A Citizen Science Story

written by Anna Forrester

illustrated by Susan Detwiler

Arbordale Publishing 2017

781628558944  (hardcover)
9781628558951  (paperback)

Bat Count is the perfect book for the young biologist in the family; it tells the story of Jojo, a girl who helps scientists by counting bats with her family each summer. The scientists are studying white nose syndrome, which is causing a steep decline in bat populations. Jojo feels grown up because she is helping to count bats and is given responsibilities as an older sister to twin boys.

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"Bat Count is a delightful tale that actually tells two important, but interrelated stories. On the one hand, this may actually be the first book about white-nose syndrome. As such, it affords young readers (ages 4 - 9/grades K-3) an opportunity to learn about this illness and its effects on bat populations and bat conservation. Since its discovery, white-nose syndrome has been responsible for killing an estimated 6 - 7 million bats in the Northeast.

On the other hand, Bat Count also introduces readers to the concept of citizen science. Citizen-science projects are those in which members of the public participate in scientific research. In the biological sciences, it often involves field work―sometimes no farther than one’s own backyard―with observations being reported to principal investigators. Opportunities for citizen science abound, and there is, almost assuredly, something available to pique most anyone’s interest. People of all ages and all walks of life can get involved and make meaningful contributions; however; the involvement of youngsters in such programs serves as a portal for opening young minds to a world of opportunities and possibilities.

This is a nice book for the budding biologist, naturalist, or conservationist in the family. It offers endless avenues for discussion among parents/teachers and children."


~The Underground Movement

NATIONAL SPELEOLOGICAL SOCIETY