|Place at the table|
Author: Faruqi, Saadia
Sixth-graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a Jewish girl, connect in an after school cooking club and bond over food and their mothers' struggles to become United States citizens.
|Added Entry - Personal Name:||Shovan, Laura|
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.40
Points: 10.0 Quiz: 508851
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 5.20
Points: 18.0 Quiz: 77680
Kirkus Reviews (02/01/20)
School Library Journal (05/01/20)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 05/01/2020 Gr 5–7—Not only has Sara had to transfer from her small Islamic school to public school as a sixth grader, but Sara's Pakistani parents are now making her attend the South Asian cooking class her mother is teaching after school. Elizabeth joins the cooking club to find new meals to add to her repertoire; she is often the one cooking for her brothers while her British mother suffers from depression and her Jewish American father travels extensively for work. As the girls work together to form a recipe for a cooking contest at school, they bond over their immigrant mothers taking their American citizenship tests. But their blossoming friendship is tested by their xenophobic classmates, none worse than Elizabeth's best friend. Faruqi and Shovan have collaborated to create a thoughtful work where viewpoints alternate so readers can see the girls' stories differently. The girls ask each other a lot of questions that are always answered, though sometimes with an adult tone that seems heavy handed from a sixth grader. The book focuses a bit more on Sara's family and struggles, interspersed with her anger at Elizabeth and their classmates over their lack of acceptance and knowledge throughout the story. Both girls' religions are discussed frequently. The authors continue to use food to help tell their story; the food descriptions are vivid and will make readers hungry, with included recipes. VERDICT A solid story of unexpected friends coming together to break bread.—Kerri Williams, Center Moriches Free Public Library, NY - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 06/01/2020 Sixth-graders Sara and Elizabeth are both struggling to adjust to middle school. Sara has transferred to public school from a small Islamic academy; Elizabeth has fallen out with her former best friend, and her mom seems crippled by depression. The girls meet in an after-school South Asian cooking club (taught by Sara's mom, who is also a caterer) and forge a tentative friendship. Told in alternating chapters by both girls, the story's strength lies in its realistic depiction of typical middle-school concerns (friends, family, teachers) set against a backdrop of multiculturalism. Sara resents that her kitchen always smells of ethnic spices and that her Islamic faith prevents her from celebrating holidays like Halloween; Elizabeth begins to detect subtle anti-Semitic comments from her former BFF, a girl who also tells Sara to go back to where she came from. Lighter side plots involve both moms studying for their citizenship tests and a cooking contest in which the girls make Earl Grey tea–flavored ice cream and Pakistani custard. Timely and true-to-life. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.