For Rahul Kapoor, the beginning of seventh grade isn’t looking good. Yes, it will mean he’ll be able to see his best friend Chelsea even more regularly than he has over the summer. But he’ll also be at the mercy of bullies like Brent, who make fun of him for being Indian American. When he talks to his grandfather, Bhai, a week into the school year, he gives Rahul a piece of advice: find something, and become the best at it. Then nobody will be able to stop him.
No matter how hard Rahul tries, though, none of the activities he tries are quite right—until one of his teachers convinces him to join the Mathletes. Although he’s always dismissed its members as nerds, he begins to realize that math really can be fun. But what if he still can’t become ‘the best at it’? And even if it can, will it really help him figure out who he is?
The Best at It is an awesome, deeply relatable realistic fiction novel. Rahul is an incredibly sympathetic and real protagonist—his journey to accept all the parts of who he is really resonated with me, and I think it would with most middle schoolers, too. I highly recommend The Best at It to readers ages ten and up.