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A Place at the Table

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  745 ratings  ·  206 reviews
Sixth-graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a white, Jewish girl meet when they take a South Asian cooking class taught by Sara’s mom.

Sixth-graders Sara and Elizabeth could not be more different. Sara is at a new school that is huge and completely unlike the small Islamic school she used to attend. Elizabeth has her own problems: her British mum has been strug
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published August 11th 2020 by Clarion Books/HMH
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Vxishnxvi buy it!!!!
you are from India right so I gave you the link!!:)…more
buy it!!!!
you are from India right so I gave you the link!!:)(less)

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Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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I was just saying on Twitter that I was craving a rivals to friends story that's like The Great British Baking Show and then an ARC of this book practically fell into my lap. A PLACE AT THE TABLE is a middle grade novel about two girls named Elizabeth and Sara: one of them is English/Jewish and the other is Pakistani/Muslim. They end up meeting at an after-school cooking class taught by Sara's mother, and even though at first they don't
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing

A Place at the Table, by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan, is a middle-grades novel written in two voices. Both narrators are sixth grade girls. First, Sara Hameed is the daughter of Pakistani immigrants. She had attended a small, private Muslim school where she felt very comfortable, but now she is a student at a large, public middle school, where she feels sorely out of place. Second is Elizabeth Shainmark, the daughter of a mother who emigrated from England to marry an American Jewish man.
Fizah(Books tales by me)
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020-read
I wanted to read this book for months. Finally, I got the chance to read it. This book is about honest friendship, cultural representation and immigrants life.

Sara, who is Muslim, and her parents are Pakistani immigrants. Her mother runs her catering business and is teaching in a cooking club. Elizabeth, who is a Jew, and her mother moved to the USA after the wedding. They connected over food and immigrants problems.

I like the honesty of the story, the authors didn’t try to glamorize anything, e
Laura Shovan
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Saadia and I discussed our collaboration on A PLACE AT THE TABLE at the Nerdy Book Club Blog.
Aliza Werner
I was enormously lucky to read an early version of this book. The story is told in two voices in alternating chapters, between Elizabeth (Jewish) and Sara (Muslim), whose families are from different religious and cultural backgrounds. The representation is accurate, co-written by two #OwnVoices authors who bring their own life experiences to the storytelling. Readers will follow modern day characters who grapple with fitting in, standing out, and knowing what it is to be a true friend and ally. ...more
Laura Mossa
I finished reading A Place at the Table before the New Year so I did not include it on my official #mustreadin2020 list, but this novel, beautifully co-written by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan is truly one you do not want to miss. 

Navigating middle school is challenging for sixth graders, Sara and Elizabeth. Sara is adjusting to attending public school for the first time, and Elizabeth is dealing with a change in her relationship with her best friend, Maddy.  Home life also presents issues. Sa
Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This story gave me all the feels! It's a warm, simple story that still manages to take on some difficult topics, including racism, immigration, and depression. Shovan and Faruqi develop every character in subtle but interesting ways. The personalities of the two main characters are as engaging as they are different and this made the development of their friendship particularly interesting to watch. The adult characters were also full, compelling characters with their own problems, which is refre ...more
Sep 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
‪A Place at the Table by @LauraShovan & @SaadiaFaruqi reminds us showing bravery and honesty in our friendships can lead to change in the best way. Give yourself the gift of reading this dual narrative story rich in family, culture, food, family, & friendships. #mglit ‬

‪“But what would I say to her? ‘Hey, former bestie. The racism thing? I know you can do better.’ “‬

‪”Does popular equal mean?‬”
Kate Olson
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic and unique middle grade. Sweet spot is grades 4-6.
Jan 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Place At The Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan

Bespectacled, nerdy, half-Jewish-half-Brittish Elizabeth and dark-haired, artistic, Muslim, Pakistani-American Sara may not realize it at first but they have a lot in common. Both have mothers who are immigrants studying for their citizenship tests, both have pesky brothers, both are members of often discriminated against religious groups, both have best friends who are suddenly distant through no fault of their own. When they become partners
Oct 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
i finished.

review to come/2.5 stars


a little bit cliche, a dash of good food, a heaping cup of boringness, and a pinch of drama.
this is: this book.
i don't have many thoughts, indicating that it wasn't that good. what good book doesn't indicate thoughts guys really. it was very. . .done before. new black/brown girl among loads of white girls, who are mostly stuck-up and mean, including the ex-best friend of your her only friend. we've seen that. they added cooking and called
Kristin Crouch
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love everything about this book, except for the fact that I received an ARC from NCTE and therefore don't have the recipes yet! Cannot wait to buy the final version and try every single recipe included.
Sara and Elizabeth have never met before they both find themselves in a South Asian cooking class. They soon discover they're both daughters of immigrants who are studying for the citizenship exam, but not having an easy time doing so. As they work together on their cooking and forming a friends
Erin Varley
Dec 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Laura Shovan, Saadia Faruqi, and Clarion Books for sharing an ARC with #bookexpedition.

This book has my whole heart. Told in alternating points of view, sixth graders Sara and Elizabeth are each in need of a friend. Both girls are struggling with complicated home lives and a common bond of cooking brings them together. Mix in a cooking contest, middle school friendships, and a much-needed lesson on empathy, A Place at the Table is required reading for all modern educators and their
Mary Lee
Dec 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, friends, identity, 2020
I'm so glad this book exists in our world! There is so much about it that is fun, and so much that is important. I loved both characters as individuals, and I loved seeing their friendship work its way past the rocky parts to the steady parts. Plus...the FOOD! ...more
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club, teen
Would work well in a book discussion group, especially if it included cooking.
Advanced Reader Copy
Sedley Abercrombie
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Faruqi and Shovan tag-team in this sweet novel about two middle school girls that strike an unlikely friendship. This book skillfully addresses racism, immigration, mental health and bullying from the point of view of the oppressed - in this case, two daughters of immigrants, Sara and Elizabeth. I think this book would make a great read aloud that would hopefully spark some constructive conversations in diverse (and not-so-diverse) classrooms.
Rummanah (Books in the Spotlight)
3.5 stars

I mostly liked this book but I wasn’t a fan of how racism and xenophobia were addressed in this book. Review coming soon.
Michele Knott
I really enjoyed the dual voices and the way both girls brought things that concerned them to the discussion. These feelings of being different because of religion or family money issues or cultural differences or mental health reasons, should be talked about instead of being hushed. Both authors did a great job of that and putting it together into a single story.
Dec 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I THOROUGHLY enjoyed this story told in two different voices. Sara is Pakistani-American, and her mother is teaching a South Asian cooking class after school that she attends. Elizabeth is British-American and attends the class with the hope of learning how to make better meals for her family. The girls discover that both of their mothers are preparing to take their U.S. citizenship test, and bring them together with the hope that they can help each other study and prepare. In the process, they ...more
Laurie Hnatiuk
Feb 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Thank you to Saadia Faruqi, Laura Shovan, Clarion books and Edelwiese+ for making it possible to read a digital ARC of this book.

Saadia Farugi and Laura Shovan provide alternating stories of Sara and Elizabeth, two girls that are vastly different than one another but discover they have more in common than they think and their stories merge into one and a new friendship.

Sara has just transferred from her Islamic private school to a public school where she is lost in the huge population. Her mothe
Amanda Bishop
Jan 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing

A Place at the Table is a story told in two voices by two authors. Elizabeth and Sara are both starting middle school and aren't ready for all the changes that this transition brings. Elizabeth is trying to keep her elementary best friend while Sara is adapting from her small Islamic school to this giant new public middle school. The two girls meet when Sara's mom begins teaching for the cooking club and Elizabeth enrolls. Both girls are going through tran
Sara Magnafichi
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It has been a true honor to be able to read an advanced copy of this beautiful story, provided to #collabookation by one of the co-author's, Laura Shovan. Publish date is May 12, 2020. This book is an #OwnVoices novel, geared towards ages 10-12, but can definitely go higher than that, written by authors Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan. Sara, who is Muslim, and Elizabeth, who is Jewish, take turns alternating their stories woven through each chapter. They are from different backgrounds, trying to ...more
Katie Reilley
Feb 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to Saadia Faruqi, Laura Shovan and Clarion books for sharing an early copy with #bookexpedition.

Told in alternating points of view, this middle grade novel shares the stories of Elizabeth and Sara, two sixth graders who need a friend. The girls are from different cultures and religious backgrounds, and they’re both struggling with complicated home lives and brought together through a cooking class. The girls learn that both moms are preparing to take the U.S. Citizenship test and brin
Ms Threlkeld
Can’t think of a single thing I would change. Loved both of the main characters and how authentic their experiences felt.
Jenn Bishop
Aug 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of those books that you just want to hug by the end. It was such a joy, getting the POVs of both Sara and Elizabeth as they get to know one another and find out how much they have in common. Their struggles will be familiar to many middle schoolers -- whether it's fitting in at a new school, making new friends and wondering when to let go of old ones, or the constant push and pull of pleasing parents and forging your own path. This book will offer windows and mirrors to so many, as well as l ...more
Patricia Murphy
Jan 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautifully written. Alternating stories woven together of a Pakistan-American teen & British-American teen. ❤️ how they make choices to be better people. Such a great story we need in our classrooms. Our kiddos will be able to talk and talk and talk about how to support a friend, how differences bring us closer, about friendship, family, fitting-in and food. Special book.
3.5 stars

There’s just so much to appreciate about this book. The discussion of immigration, the beautiful descriptions of food that make your mouth water, the friendships, the family dynamics… I could go on.

At the heart of this story is a friendship between two girls and as someone who loves reading friendship stories, I absolutely adored how this one was developed! The progression of it felt really natural and because it’s dual POV, we got to hear from both sides, which I thought really added
Mrs. Mazzola
Told in alternating perspectives, this story is about friendship and belonging. Sara had to leave her Islamic private school and attend a large public middle school and is struggling to find anything she likes about the experience besides art class. She is constantly subjected to prejudice, from microaggressions like the continued mispronunciation of her name, to overt racism from the more conservative and xenophobic members of her community because her family is from Pakistan. When her mother a ...more
Shaye Miller
Oct 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm grateful for this book, told in alternating voices of two sixth grade girls -- one who is Pakistani American and the other being Jewish. While they each have different levels of privilege, it's clear that Sara and Elizabeth share some important struggles. For example, both their mothers are attempting to become American citizens. Still, it is difficult to be vulnerable and trust that someone else will have your back when you need them most.

Much of the story revolves around a South Asian cook
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio_book, kids
A pretty stellar book, all around. I liked the alternating viewpoints, the parallels and differences between 2 girls who have immigrant mothers and non-christian religions -- 1 with a British mother, Jewish father; 1 with Pakistani and Muslim parents. I like Sara's prickly personality as she adjusts from a very small Islamic school to a large middle school, and I like Elizabeth's unfailing enthusiasm for new foods, while she deals with the loss of her grandmother and her mother's depression. The ...more
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Saadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American author, essayist and interfaith activist. She writes the children’s early reader series “Yasmin” published by Capstone and other books for children, including middle grade novels “A Place At The Table” (HMH/Clarion 2020) co-written with Laura Shovan, and “A Thousand Questions” (Harper Collins 2020). She has also written “Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage fr ...more

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