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A Place at the Table

A Place at the Table

Pakistani American sixth grader Sara is tired of the demands that her mother’s catering business put on the family and is definitely not happy that her mother is now teaching an after-school Asian cooking class at the large, public middle school that the sixth grader has had to attend, leaving the private Islamic one she’s always loved. Elizabeth is a Jewish sixth grader who signs up for the class in hopes of learning some recipes she can prepare for her family since her British mother suffers from depression and rarely cooks and her father travels extensively for work. When the girls become partners in a cooking contest at school, they embark on a cautious friendship but soon encounter bumps along the way. Sara is frustrated by Elizabeth’s lack of knowledge about Muslim life and Elizabeth worries that this new friendship will cost her a relationship with girls she’s known for years. Can they come up with a recipe for the contest that reflects both of their cultures and perhaps bring them and their families closer in the process? Writing in alternating voices, this story weaves issues of racism, financial insecurity and mental illness into a narrative of identity perfect for middle school readers.

$7.99