Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan is a novel that pairs the points of view of two fifth grade boys, Ravi, a recent immigrant from India, and Joe, a local guy. Both have to deal with the same bully.
The book alternates chapters between the two points of view, Ravi’s and Joe’s. This is an “own voices” tale where a writer from India is telling us about the thoughts and experiences of Ravi the Indian child, and a mainstream American writer is telling us what’s inside the head of Joe.
It’s told in present tense, first person, drawing the reader in deeply. These writers have done a terrific job of revealing the thoughts and emotions of these two characters, meanwhile opening the eyes of people like me to what Indians may experience in America.
It is the age-old problem of how to deal with a bully, in a situation made worse by an inexperienced teacher who doesn’t try to control the bully’s bad behavior. At first Ravi thinks the bully is going to be his friend and shuns Joe, but eventually Ravi figures out he’s sadly mistaken.
Does the bully get his just desserts? Read it to find out! Five stars: *****
My friend Barrie Summy reviewed this book recently. Here’s her take on it: https://barriesummy.blogspot.com/2020/09/the-book-review-club-september-2020.html
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I really enjoyed this book. Glad you did, too! It was interesting to watch the boys’ friendship develop. Thanks for reviewing!
Bullies are such a problem. My book review shows how systemic bullies can become. – Margy
Such an interesting concept for a collaboration! Glad you enjoyed it.