The Best at It
Author(s): Maulik Pancholy
From award-winning actor Maulik Pancholy comes a hilarious and heartfelt middle grade debut about a gay Indian American boy coming into his own. One of Time Out's “LGBTQ+ books for kids to read during Pride Month,” this is perfect for fans of Tim Federle’s Nate series. A Stonewall Honor Book!
Rahul Kapoor is heading into seventh grade in a small town in Indiana. The start of middle school is making him feel increasingly anxious, so his favorite person in the whole world, his grandfather, Bhai, gives him some well-meaning advice: Find one thing you’re really good at and become the BEST at it.
Those four little words sear themselves into Rahul’s brain. While he’s not quite sure what that special thing is, he is convinced that once he finds it, bullies like Brent Mason will stop torturing him at school. And he won’t be worried about staring too long at his classmate Justin Emery. With his best friend, Chelsea, by his side, Rahul is ready to crush this challenge.... But what if he discovers he isn’t the best at anything?
Funny, charming, and incredibly touching, this is a story about friendship, family, and the courage it takes to live your truth.
★ “The protagonist’s devastatingly honest voice pulls readers deeply into a fast-paced journey... heartbreakingly authentic.”
★ “An impressive first novel…wholly engaging.”
★ “This funny, uplifting story about identity… sends a powerful, positive message to young readers about choosing self-acceptance.”
“Rahul is a compelling protagonist... Hand this to middle grade readers who are navigating changing social dynamics as they come of age.”
“An emotional, earnest, and genuine journey to self-love that had me crying, laughing, and cheering. Hilarious and heartbreaking and truly touching—I wanted nothing more than to reach through the pages and give Rahul a big hug for being brave, determined, and the best that he can be.”
“A funny, fun, big-hearted book filled with characters to adore. Rahul’s journey toward learning to stand up for himself and finding his place in the world is achingly emotionally authentic and deeply resonant. This novel is a joy from beginning to end.”
“Exuberant... Every middle schooler will find themselves in this book.”
Stonewall Honor Book