4th Grade and Up
Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they’re both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL.
Joe’s lived in the same town all his life and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi’s family just moved to America from India, and he’s finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in.
Joe and Ravi don’t think they have anything in common, but soon enough, they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.
The two things that I found so interesting about this book were the books’ authors and the book cover. Just look at it. The top tray is American, and the bottom tray is Indian. And check out the authors’ names. Sarah Weeks, born and raised in the United States. And Gita Varadarajan, born and raised in India. To learn more about these authors, check out ‘About the Authors’ at the end of the book.
Unlike ‘Mission Mumbai,’ which is told from the American boy’s point of view, this story is told from the point of view of the American boy, Joe, and the Indian boy, Ravi. I liked hearing Ravi’s opinion on his situation throughout the story.
Ravi doesn’t get that he’s the weird new kid from a different country. He expects to start school the same way he did in India, with him being the best in the class and being popular. On the other hand, Joe knows he is different and has accepted it. Something that he and I have in common.
I really related to the character Joe, who has Auditory Processing Disorder (APD), a disorder I’ve never heard of until now. I remember being a lot like him when I was in school, uncomfortable with loud noises and being thought of as stuck up when I was really just shy. Unlike him, when I was taken to another room to get extra help, I didn’t understand why I was there.
The bully who always had his underwear showing really confused me. When did it stop being embarrassing to be seen in your underwear? I always wondered what would happen if someone came up and completely pulled down the person’s pants. Would they be embarrassed or not? Then again, I’ve seen people walk around with their pants practically around their ankles, so probably not.
The bully is the worst type of bully. The popular kid who fools the teachers and everyone else into thinking he’s great except for the person the kid is bullying. I think I would have been bullied a lot more if I hadn’t hung around the grownups so much back in elementary school or was so good at hiding.
This story is also a great way to teach kids about empathy and to never assume anything about anyone because you never know what is happening inside someone else’s head.