Kids Reading Across Rhode Island 2017: Save Me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan
This summer reading program is Rhode Island’s statewide One State, One Book initiative for students in grades 3-6. Activities include a kick-off event at the State House with the author, writing workshops, book signings, fun family activities and demonstrations linked to the themes of the book. Kids Reading Across Rhode Island is offered in partnership with the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services’ Summer Reading Program.
Kids Reading Across Rhode Island (KRARI), kicks off its 8th year with the 2017 award-winning book, Save me a Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan. Internationally acclaimed storyteller Len Cabral chairs the 2017 KRARI program featuring a May 13th kickoff event with a presentation and book signing by authors Weeks and Varadarajan at the State House, whose marble halls bustle with activities and games presented by Rhode Island libraries and community organizations. Every family participating receives one free autographed copy of the book (while supplies last). Kids Reading Across Rhode Island is a partnership of the Rhode Island Center for the Book at the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities and the Rhode Island Office of Library and Information Services to inspire young readers to keep their school supported reading momentum going through their summer vacation.
About This Year’s Book
Save Me a Seat
Veteran writer Sarah Weeks and first-time author Gita Varadarajan address common middle school fears of two young characters struggling to find their way. Joe and Ravi are 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. Librarians across the country recommend the book as a read-aloud forcing the listener to walk in someone else’s shoes. Save me a Seat, full of empathy and humor, explores issues of diversity, culture, assumptions and parenting styles.
About the Authors
Award-winning writer Sarah Weeks (Pie; So B. It) and India-born debut author Gita Varadarajan present a poignant, comical cultural exchange in the alternating voices of two fifth-grade boys. Sarah Weeks’ first YA novel, So B. It, was an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and the 2004 Parent’s Choice Gold Award and her Regular Guy series has resulted in a development deal with Disney for a feature length live-action film. She has two grown sons and lives in New York City.
Sarah Weeks has been writing children’s books and songs for the past twenty years. She is a graduate of Hampshire College and NYU and recently became an adjunct faculty member in the prestigious Writing Program at the New School University, in New York City.
Gita Varadarajan was born and raised in India. She has worked with children all over the world, and now teaches second grade in Princeton, N.J. Save Me a Seat, written with Sarah Weeks, is her first novel.
Kick Off Celebration!
Saturday, May 13, 2017
Doors open 2:00 – 4:00 PM
RI State House
Free parking in the State of RI lots
Sarak Weeks and Gita Varadarajan will speak and sign books throughout the afternoon and a free signed copy of Save me a Seat will be given out (one per family) while supplies last.
Performers and Exhibitors
- Audubon Society of RI
- East Providence Public Library
- India Association of RI
- Providence Children’s Film Festival
- RI Children’s Book Award
- RI Festival of Children’s Books & Authors
- Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre
- Washington County Coalition for Children
- Warwick Public Library
- Woonsocket Harris Public Library