Review: Save Me a Seat

“They don’t understand how hard it is for me to follow directions when the electric pencil sharpener is going, or the door keeps slamming, or I’m worrying about whether someone is about to sneak up behind me and do something mean.” p. 54

Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan.
Scholastic, New York, 2016.
Realistic chapter book fiction, 216 pages + extras.
Lexile: 780L
AR Level: 4.8 (worth 5.0 points)

Ravi (pronounced Rah-VEE) is new to America, but confident that he will be the smartest and most popular kid in 5th grade, just like he was back home.

Joe’s no stranger to Albert Einstein Elementary, but he’s facing some new challenges this year.  He’s always had Auditory Processing Disorder, but this year his best friends have moved away, and his mother’s taken a job at school, ruining his favorite subject: lunch.

This novel takes place over their first week of fifth grade, broken up into five days and alternating viewpoints between the two narrators.  The chapters tend to be short, and between the two narrators they cover a lot of ground.

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Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

I had heard a lot of buzz about this book, so I was really excited to read it.  It’s a good fit for this blog also as both of the main characters are from traditionally marginalized groups.

The book opens with Ravi’s perspective.  He comes off as a little bit arrogant but the reader is still able to sympathize with him.  He is the only Indian in the class, at least by his grandmother’s standards.  Most of the kids are white, but there is a boy named Dillon who is American-born but from an ethnically Indian family.  Clearly, Ravi thinks, they will be best friends.

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