MMGM (6/18/2018): Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

For MMGM, I am recommending Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan.

Here's the publisher's description:

Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they're both stuck in the same place: school.

Joe's lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi's family just moved to America from India, and he's finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in.

Joe and Ravi don't think they have anything in common, but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.

I really enjoyed this book! One of the best parts about it was getting to see unique ways in which people struggle in life. Ravi deals with having to learn new behaviors (such as not standing up when called on), having his name mispronounced, and being judged for his accent, clothes, lunch, and more, while Joe's auditory processing disorder (causing him to be easily overstimulated and distracted by noise) and extreme rate of growth make him into an oddity compared with the rest of the class (and his mother working in the cafeteria doesn't help). Both students are bullied by the same stuck-up boy, Dillon, making their school lives even tougher. Over the course of the book, both boys learn to be kinder and less judgmental and realize that they could possibly become friends. The story never drones on, partially due to the characters' distinct voices (Ravi and Joe alternate between narrating) and partially due to the eventful plot, which, despite being only a week long, is filled with events in both boys' lives at school and at home. The story also realistically depicts the many opportunities for bullies to pounce on other kids, while also showing both feasible and less-feasible-but-hilarious ways for those kids to stand up for themselves. Save Me a Seat is a rich yet rapidly moving novel that people of any age will both learn from and enjoy!


  1. This was one that I really liked and which my students have also enjoyed. I don't think I shelved it once all year-- it was always checked out from the reshelving cart. I'm curious to see if Varadarajan will write a book on her own!

  2. I enjoyed this one, too. The characters were ones to cheer for and the story telling was superb. Thanks for your review.

  3. Thanks for the recommendation! I love recommending books for my students that reflect different cultural experiences.

  4. Sounds awesome and the cover makes you wonder what the book is about. Glad you like it.

  5. I haven't read this story. Good a new novel to add to my list. I like the unusual pairing of characters. Great review!

  6. I've seen this cover and wondered about it (because, wow) and now I know I want to read this one! Bullying is such a tough problem. Thank you so much, and happy reading!



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