A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan, a review

Authors Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan team up to tell a middle-grade tale with two points of view: one a Muslim Pakistani-American girl who just wants to fit in at her big new school, and the other a Jewish girl whose best friend has dumped her.

This contemporary novel focuses on the friendship the two eventually build, drawing in their mothers as well. Conflict comes from misunderstandings as well as downright animosity from one student who keeps saying racist things. Never fear, things are resolved well.

One of the most interesting things about this book for me was that it serves as a window into Pakistani culture, foods, family expectations, and so on. It’s the same for the Jewish family. I really felt like I got to know the two girls over the course of 313 pages, and I hope plenty of middle schoolers decide to read it despite its length.

Five stars: *****

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