Save Me A Seat (paperback)
by Sara Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
AR Level 4.8, 5 points
Save Me A Seat follows two characters. Ravi (Rah-VEE) is a fifth grade boy who has just moved to New Jersey from Bangalore after his father’s company transferred him to America. He was a star student, star athlete, and popular kid in his school in India, and he expects to impress his new teacher and classmates with his credentials, especially Dillon Samreen, another boy of Indian descent. However, Dillon is the resident popular kid, and although he does not behave in a way that is impressive to anyone with common sense (especially teachers), Ravi wants to be his friend.
Joe is a boy in Ravi’s class who is bigger, unpopular, and suffers from APD (Auditory Processing Disorder). He visits the resource teacher to get extra help with his disability, although academically, he is on par with his classmates. Joe’s mother starts working as a lunch monitor, and this contributes to the bullying that Joe receives from Dillon and Dillon’s friends. Since Joe’s friends have moved away, he is alone (like Ravi), but he is able to see Dillon for who he is, and has no desire to befriend him.
Ravi is adjusting to living in America, and realizes something important about himself. Joe is being himself, and everyone else has to learn something important about him.
What I liked about this book was 1) the multiple points of view. I liked reading the same scene from Joe and Ravi’s perspective. 2) the cultural lesson. I learned a lot more about what it’s like to grow up in an Indian family! 3) the important message at the end, which is important for our students.
What I didn’t like about this book was that none of the teachers or adults put Dillon Samreen in his place! I realize that students need to be caught in order to be disciplined, but he was clearly misbehaving, bullying, and being a teacher’s nightmare. Why didn’t anyone do anything? That bothered me!
Book 4 of 40 (40 Book Challenge)