Book Club: Finding friendship and acceptance
COURTESY OF PUBLISHERS
The Name Jar, by Yangsook Choi (Dragonfly Books, 2003, reprint)
Unhei is new to school after moving to America from Korea. She is nervous about assimilating into her classroom and feels embarrassed when the other students have trouble pronouncing her name. Should she adopt an English name to make it easier for them or hold tight to her cultural heritage? A beautiful story about mutual understanding.
Save Me a Seat, by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan (Scholastic, 2016)
Two fifth-graders from seemingly different backgrounds — Ravi is a new student from India while Joe has auditory processing disorder — become fast friends as they unite to outsmart a common enemy. Alternating perspectives and vibrantly realized characters make for a wonderful story about friendship and acceptance.
Smile, by Raina Telgemeier (Graphix, 2010)
This semi-autobiographical graphic novel introduces us to Raina, who is navigating the normal ups and downs of middle and high school while dealing with the dental aftermath of an accident that left her two front teeth severely damaged. Witty and truthful, this is a reminder that all’s well that ends well.
Grades 5 and up