Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

I don't usually encourage readers to go for the audio version of a story, but this one was so good audibly (and I know I would not have enjoyed it as much if I read it through my own eyes.) Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan  follow two fifth grade boys, Ravi, who just moved to America from India, and Joe, a big-for-his-age boy who gets picked on for his size and then some. In India, Ravi was a popular, smart rich kid who was awesome at sports, but here in America he's hard to understand because of his accent, smaller than the other kids, and his constant attempts to impress his new classmates are unsuccessful. Throughout the story, Joe and Ravi could be such awesome friends, but they don't realize it until a bully brings them together. The story is told in alternating points of view between Ravi and Joe. The narrator for the audio book does an amazing job with the Indian accents for Ravi and his family, and had I been reading it myself, I know I would've struggled with the pronunciation of several words and names. Hearing it with the accent and correct pronunciation really enhanced the depth of the story for me, so I encourage you to listen to it if you're able. I borrowed the title through Hoopla, and if you have a local public library there's a good chance you have Hoopla available to you FOR FREE, so check with your librarian about how to gain access to it.

If you enjoyed Save Me a Seat, you'll also like The Paper Cowboy and Wolf Hollow

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