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#WeBelong #IAmAmerican #CountMeIn

Count Me In by Varsha Bajaj is the best children’s book I have read all year! This book tells the story of a young girl and how she is transformed into an “accidental activist” after a terrible racist attack on her grandfather. The story is told from the point of view of Karina and her neighbor Chris in alternating chapters.  The recounting of events as told by these two very different (yet very similar) middle schoolers lets the reader experience the story through different lenses. This method of storytelling makes this book a work of art. The interwoven narratives brought me to tears as I experienced the pain, joy, and growth of the characters as they navigate racism, friendship, social media and community. The harsh realities of the “…good and evil in this world” are not sugar coated in this book, but told in a way that most middle schoolers can relate to and understand. This is a great starting point for meaningful discussions and conversations. Count Me In should be the next book on your reading list!

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