by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
On his first day of fifth grade in an American school, Ravi is relieved to see one other Indian face in his classroom—that of an American-born boy named Dillon. A popular and good student back in India, much-loved by his parents and grandparents, Ravi is confident he will make friends and shine like the sun he was named for.
By contrast, Joe is not so confident. Wearing earplugs because of his auditory processing disorder, he knows Dillon to be a bully and a petty thief. Told in alternating voices, this story of one crazy week at school captures the dislocation both boys feel. By the end, they each have learned something valuable about themselves.
A satisfying story, fun and accessible, with a much-needed message. In today's America, it's more important than ever for kids to reach out across cultural divides and befriend others who have different backgrounds.