Saturday, April 15, 2017
I don't often write book reviews, and as a rule, I only share about books I like, but I just finished one that made me angry for Girl Scouts.
Save me a Seat by Sarah Weeks is about a boy, Ravi, who just arrived in America from India. It is his story of trying to fit into a new culture, while overcoming obstacles and assumptions. All in all a good story with a solid message.... until it included a little unchallenged Girl Scout bashing.
I thought, toward the end, Sarah Weeks would redeem herself by having Dillon, the bully, apologize or having Selena, the Girl Scout, speak up for herself. But no, it leaves the reader hearing Dillon shout that only dorks stay in Girl Scouts after 5th grade and seeing Selena blush when she admits she is a Girl Scout. No self-confidence, just blushing.
I was never a Girl Scout, but I've been a Girl Scout mom for five years and a leader for two. I've learned through my daughters how much there is to this organization. And the girls who continue after 5th grade are rock stars! This is when the girls really develop as leaders, impact their communities, and share their skills with others.
I find it unbelievable that a book about assumptions usually being wrong and there being more to people than meets the eye would include a character like Selena and treat her so poorly. Why bother to identify her as a Girl Scout if only to bully her?
Looking for a book that promotes empathy and discourages stereotypes? Choose something else.