Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

Published by Scholastic 

Summary:  Joe is dreading the start of fifth grade.  His only two friends moved away, and his learning disability makes it hard for him to focus and an easy target for Dillon, the class bully.  Ravi is freshly arrived from India, accustomed to social, academic, and athletic success, and in for a rude awakening when his skills don’t always translate well to American culture.  He’s sure that Dillon, the only other Indian boy in the class, will be his new friend.  Each day of the first week of school brings new troubles, until both boys take Thursday off, ready to call it quits.  Fortunately, both Joe and Ravi have loving and supportive, if occasionally misguided, families who are willing to listen and try to help them.  By Friday, they’ve each come up with a new plan, and, by working together, manage to at least temporarily derail Dillon and discover that a new friend can be found in the most unlikely circumstances.  240 pages; grades 3-6.

Pros:  A heartwarming and accessible story for elementary readers.

Cons:  Ravi may come across as arrogant at the beginning of the story.  Don’t give up on him…he learns some important lessons by Friday.

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