A Place at the Table

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Title: A Place at the Table
Author: SAADIA Faruqi / Laura Shovan
ISBN: 9780358116684
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

A timely, accessible, and beautifully written story exploring themes of food, friendship, family and what it means to belong, featuring sixth graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl taking a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara’s mom.
Sixth graders Sara and Elizabeth could not be more different. Sara is at a new school that is completely unlike the small Islamic school she used to attend. Elizabeth has her own problems: her British mum has been struggling with depression. The girls meet in an after-school South Asian cooking class, which Elizabeth takes because her mom has stopped cooking, and which Sara, who hates to cook, is forced to attend because her mother is the teacher. The girls form a shaky alliance that gradually deepens, and they make plans to create the most amazing, mouth-watering cross-cultural dish together and win a spot on a local food show. They make good cooking partners . . . but can they learn to trust each other enough to become true friends?

"A Place at the Table is a sensitive and honest book about friendship, family, cultural, and racial identity...Faruqi and Shovan skillfully handle these complex topics with nuance, humor, and a joyful culinary appreciation."
-- "Veera Hiranandani, author of The Night Diary"

"The authors elegantly interweave issues of racism, financial insecurity, and mental illness into a familiar middle school narrative of identity formation. Sara's character is particularly well drawn...This tale of a diverse friendship tackles hard topics."
-- "Kirkus Reviews"

"This warm middle-grade novel explores the lives of first-generation immigrants and the definition of what it really means to be an American."
-- "Teen Vogue"
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