Count Me In

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Karina is East Indian and some of the boys in 7th grade bully her about her dark skin and hair. It’s hard, and she keeps to herself; she reads a lot and has few friends. Her grandfather, Papa, moves to their Houston home and becomes a math tutor at Karina’s school. It is Papa who makes good friends with Chris, a boy in Karina’s class who happens to live next door. Soon Chris and Karina build a friendship. As the three leave school one day, they are attacked by a bigoted man with a knife, and Papa is badly hurt. Karina uses her photography skills to document what happened and posts her photos online; it goes viral and a conversation about bigotry begins.

Varsha Bajaj has written a superb, timely middle-grade novel that is bound to start dialogue about problems of racism and bigotry in our country today. The writing is lovely, the characters are well-rounded and entirely credible, and the story is compelling. This is the perfect middle-grade novel for classroom read-alouds and for those who find long books daunting. This is an important book that both entertains and teaches.


Reviewed By:

Author Varsha Bajaj
Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 192 pages
Publisher Nancy Paulsen Books
Publish Date 2019-08-27
ISBN 9780525517245
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue September 2019
Category Tweens
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