|Save me a Seat, |
by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Save Me A Seat
Written by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
(Note: I couldn't find a webite for Gita, but you can follow her on Twitter @GitaVarad1 )
Cover illustration by Mark Elliott
Ages 8-12, reading level 4.8, Lexile 780
240 pages, 31,200 words
Fitting In, Friendships, Diversity, Disability
Most people in America cannot pronounce my name.
On the first day at my new school, my teacher, Mrs. Beam, is brave enough to try. "Sur-yan-yay-nay," she says, her eyebrows twitching as she attempts to sound it out.
"Sur-ee-ah-neh-RI-ya-nan," I say slowly.
She tries again, but it is no better.
"I'm going to have to work on that," she says with a laugh.
I laugh too.
Suryanarayanan is my surname. My first name is Ravi. It's pronounced rah-VEE, with a soft rah and a strong VEE. In Sanskrit, it means "the sun." In America, people call me RAH-vee, with the stress on the first syllable. That doesn't mean anything.
Save Me A Seat was a guaranteed read because I love Sarah's Pie series and I am an incurable Indiaphile. Predictably, I couldn't put it down, but when my 20-yr old son asked where "that book with the lunch trays" had gone and even my husband was reading it in his spare time, I knew Save Me A Seat was priceless.
Ravi and Joe's voices are so believable and their relationships with their parents so authentic that readers are immediately drawn into their shoes and even adults are right back in those awkward middle school years. The message is gentle but persistent: Ask not a saint of his cast, ask of his knowledge or don't judge a book by its cover.
We often think we know how a new situation will turn out, but people can and do surprise us. Save Me A Seat is sweet and bittersweet, bursting some childhood illusions, but ultimately filling the gap with a rosy hope for the future.
Read it and recommend it to someone today.
1. I love the double author interview from School Library Journal.
2. Sarah has written plenty of other amazing books. I most recommend Pie, cover by Mark Elliott and So B. It, cover by Anna Palma.
|Reviewed by Joanne|
|Reviewed by Jasmine|
3. For a book with a similar Indian-American vibe, I recommend the lovely and lighthearted Lowji Discovers America, by Candace Fleming, cover art by Tim Jessell and one of my all-time favorites, The Grand Plan to Fix Everything, by Uma Krishnaswami, illustrated by Abigail Halpin.Other MMGM bloggers recommend Mission Mumbai, by Mahtab Narsimhan, Cover by Kelley McMorris, and Chloe in India, by Kate Darnton, cover art by Elena and Anna Balbusso.
|Lowji Discovers America,|
by Candace Fleming
|The Grand Plan To Fix Everything,|
by Uma Krishnaswami
|Reviewed by Karen|
|Reviewed by Jess|
Check out all the recommended titles for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday for October 3, 2016 available on Shannon Messenger's Ramblings of a Wannabe Scribe.
Feel free to leave your MG recommendations in the comments. Thanks!