Save Me a Seat
Written by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
Two boys – one white, one Indian American – gain strength from each other from afar as they struggle to navigate middle school, family, and friendships.
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.
Primary Source Pairing:
At the heart of this book is a good meal. Joe eats enough for two, and the Indian food from Ravi’s kitchen fills the void between his reality and his home country of India. Food itself is an important character in this story – everything from M&M’s in Miss Frost’s office to the curd rice made in Ravi’s kitchen. For this primary source pairing, invite students to consider the two recipes included in the back of the book for apple crisp and naan khatais.
Questions for Discussion:
- What do you notice first?
- How are these foods similar?
- How are they different?
- What is the meaning of these foods to our main characters?
- Describe a food that is important to your family.