Discussion Guide: The Best At It

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Book Summary The Best At It:

Seventh-grader Rahul Kapoor wants to start middle school off differently, and using the advice from his beloved grandfather Bhai, he is going to find one thing he's good at and become the best at it. With his trusty best friend Chelsea, who is the type of best friend we should all have in our lives, he can't lose. The story we can all relate to is finding out who you are and making no apologies for it, and being kind to yourself and the others around you.

For children ages 8 - 12 years old who love Ivy Aberdeen's Letter to the World by Ashley Herring Blake and Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle.

  • Actor, activist, and author Maulik Pancholy wrote his first book about his own experiences of what it was like for him growing up and never seeing himself in the world around him. Can you think of any experiences or parts of your life or someone you are close to that you have never found in any of the books you have read?

  • Perseverance, isn't that a great word and fun to say out loud? Maulik persevered and kept writing even though he thought his first draft wasn't very good. Maulik went through many drafts of his book and he had to find the right publisher to publish his book even though five publishers said no, but five publishers said yes! Can you think of a time when you persevered? Can you think of a person in history who persevered?

  • What makes Chelsea such an excellent friend to Rahul? Can you think of an example of a scene she says to Rahul that makes her an incredible and supportive best friend? Do you have a best friend like Chelsea? If you do, stop what you're doing and call them to let them know that you appreciate them.

—Thank you to author Maulik Pancholy and to agent and founder of Helm Literary Agency, Jess Regel.

“There's no reason to wait, because no one else is going to write the book that you could write. And so that's a big thing to remember when you're thinking about inspiration is that you, who you are in this world, is completely unique and no one can tell the stories that you want to tell. So, if you have a story to tell, do it. Sit down with your computer, start writing.”

—Maulik Pancholy

Book cover for The Best At It
The Best At It
Pancholy, Maulik