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Save Me a Seat: 10/17/16
Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan takes place over the course of the first week of school. It's told in alternating points of view: Ravi and Joe's. The chapters are divided by the day of the week and the meal served in the cafeteria that day — Joe's way of counting time and coping with the stresses of school.
Besides it being the start of a new year, it's the start of a new school and a new life for Ravi Suryanarayanan. He and his family have moved here from Bangalore where he was a star student at Vidya Mandir school. Here in Hamilton, New Jersey, he's finding that he's having trouble fitting in — his teacher thinks he needs ESL and tutoring in math.
Joe Sylvester's been dubbed Puddy Tat by the class bully. Besides the unfortunate last name, he has trouble concentrating in class. He has to wear earplugs to keep the sound to a level that won't overwhelm him. Now he's being used by the bully as a prop against Ravi.
This is one story where the alternating points of view are crucial. The promised friendship between the boys is established in the final chapter through a class exercise. By providing both sides of the story, we can see how the last chapter will play out.
Save Me a Seat is a quieter, more realistic Terrible Two. It shows how easily children can be misunderstood at school and how well meaning adults can miss crucial things.