by Sarah Weeks & Gita Varadarajan
* "A novel treatment of a familiar situation delivered with fizz and aplomb." --"Kirkus Reviews, "starred review
Save Me a Seat is a solid middle grade pick with short chapters and told in alternate chapters by two narrators. Ravi is a recent immigrant from India and new to America and New Jersey. Although his has a genius I.Q., he is mistaken for needing special attention. Ravi is hurt and mystified. Don't these grown ups know it's his accent that is hampering him, if anything. Joe is much bigger than his classmates. He lumbers around and has trouble concentrating when there's background noise around him. Due to this, his teachers think he's "slow."
Ravi knew it would be hard starting out in a new school, but it's more like going to a different planet. In Ravi's old school in India, he had been the top of the pecking order: the best and brightest. At his new school, he's the foreigner who talks funny and eats weird smelling food for lunch.
Ravi and Joe don't seem like they'll become friends, but when a school bully strikes, it may be time to unite. It's much easier to face a bully, when you have a friend along.
Grown ups in Save Me a Seat are absolutely clueless as to how bullying works and how to stop it. Every suggestion one of them makes only makes the problem worse. The boys will have to deliver their own comeuppanse .
Recommended middle grades and reluctant readers and anyone new to a school. A great immigrant story which will resonate with many.
FTC Required Disclaimer: I received this book form the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review.