Save Me a Seat

By: Sarah Weeks

Gita Varadarajan

Two classmates—Ravi, newly arrived from India and used to being a star student; and Joe, who’s shy and struggles in class—alternately tell the story of their first week of fifth grade. Glossaries. Recipes.

ISBN: 9780545846608

JLG Release: Sep 2016


Sensitive Areas: No sensitive areas
Topics: East Indians , U ,S , immigrants , Adjustment (psychology) , Learning disabilities , Bullying , Friendship , Elementary schools , Schools

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Awards & Honors

ALA-CBC Building a Home Library Booklist - 2018
The Kirkus Prize 2016 Nominee, Young Readers
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of 2016, Middle-Grade
2017 Capitol Choices, Ten to Fourteen
CSMCL Best Multicultural Books of 2016
2016 Cybils Finalist, Middle Grade Fiction

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, The Horn Book Magazine, The Horn Book Guide^, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly, School Library Journal

School Library Journal

The phrase “save me a seat” is a life preserver. Four words that can make a kid feel safe in a sea of strangers. The story is told from two different points of view: Ravi, who just moved from India, is adjusting to his new American life, and Joe, who has long been a student at Albert Einstein Elementary and is acclimating to a new grade The phrase “save me a seat” is a life preserver. Four words that can make a kid feel safe in a sea of strangers. The story is told from two different points of view: Ravi, who just moved from India, is adjusting to his new American life, and Joe, who has long been a student at Albert Einstein Elementary and is acclimating to a new grade without his best friends. Popular and cunning Dillon Samreen does not miss their vulnerabilities. As the only Indian students in the class, Ravi assumes that he and Dillon will be best friends, but Joe knows better. Like Joe, readers watch the slow, drawn-out torture in silence. That feeling of helplessness will be a powerful one for students to discuss. Through their struggles, Ravi and Joe will capture the hearts of readers and inspire fans to cheer for them just as loudly as they did for Auggie from R.J. Palacio’s Wonder (Knopf, 2010) and Ally from Linda Mullaly Hunt’s Fish in a Tree (Penguin, 2015). Exceptional extras include glossaries and recipes from both characters. A window for some readers and a mirror for others, this noteworthy book is highly recommended for middle grade collections. VERDICT Well-developed characters and original voices in this lunchroom drama will have readers devouring the book and begging for seconds.—Beth Parmer, New Albany Elementary Library, OH

Horn Book

On the first day of fifth grade at Albert Einstein Elementary, Ravi (pronounced rah-VEE, not RAH-vee) Suryanarayanan and Joe Sylvester (saddled with the nickname Puddy Tat) seem to have nothing in common. New-kid Ravi is “fresh off the boat” thanks to his father’s transfer to New Jersey from Bangalore. Joe, whose aud On the first day of fifth grade at Albert Einstein Elementary, Ravi (pronounced rah-VEE, not RAH-vee) Suryanarayanan and Joe Sylvester (saddled with the nickname Puddy Tat) seem to have nothing in common. New-kid Ravi is “fresh off the boat” thanks to his father’s transfer to New Jersey from Bangalore. Joe, whose auditory processing disorder makes school a challenge, has been sitting right behind bully Dillon Samreen since kindergarten. Ravi is used to being the top student at home, and he’s furious when the teacher, who has trouble understanding his accent, sends him off with Joe to the resource room. Determined to show everyone his innate superiority, Ravi vows to befriend Dillon (also of Indian descent, but whom Ravi derisively calls an ABCD—American-Born Confused Desi), while Joe’s goal is to make it through the day without humiliation, especially at the hands of Dillon. Told in short, pithy chapters that alternate between Joe’s and Ravi’s perspectives, the story covers the first week of school, with each day defined by the school lunch menu. The voices are distinctive and engaging, and Weeks and Varadarajan celebrate the small victories that make elementary school bearable. Though Dillon is an unambiguous villain, the book does an excellent job of depicting the many inadvertent antagonists who complicate the boys’ lives. Two glossaries, one for Ravi’s Tamil words and one for Joe’s Americanisms, appear at the end, along with a pair of recipes. sarah rettger

Book Details

ISBN

9780545846608

First Release

September 2016

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

240

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.8; Points: 5;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.7; Points: 9;

Lexile

Level 780L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Scholastic

Potentially Sensitive Areas

No sensitive areas

Topics

East Indians, U,S, immigrants, Adjustment (psychology), Learning disabilities, Bullying, Friendship, Elementary schools, Schools,

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