The View from the Very Best House in Town by Meera Trehan


            The View from the Very Best House in Town by Meera Trehan, Walker Books US, 2022. 9781536219241 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Format: Hardcover

Genre: Realistic fiction

What did you like about the book?  Both Sam and Asha, best friends for years, are on the Autism spectrum so they understand and complement one another.  In the summer before 7th grade begins, Sam is accepted into the prestigious and snobbish Castleton Academy leaving Asha friendless, both at school and at home as Sam no longer acts like a friend.  Sam has started going over to the Donnybrooke House where super-snob/mean Prestyn lives.  Prestyn is NOT nice to Sam but his autism keeps him from understanding her actions. And then there’s the House, no the Mansion, as Donnybrooke thinks of itself.  It is a hodge-podge of architectural features that Asha, who loves architecture, thinks are fantastic.  The narrative switches between Asha, Sam and Donnybrooke.  Each character grows in realistic ways.  The short chapters, in individual voices, moves the story very quickly.  Each character is authentically realized.  Asha presents as Indian American, Sam as White.

Anything you did not like about the book?  Not a thing.

To whom would you recommend this book? This would be a good choice to recommend to reluctant readers or those reading below grade level as the chapters are so short.   It would also make a good classroom read aloud.

Who should buy this book? Public and elementary school libraries, also grades 5-7.

Where would you shelve it? J Fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes, I think so.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Retired Librarian, Contributor, Youth Services Book Review

Date of Review: February 28, 2022

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