The View from the Very Best House in Town

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

By Meera Trehan
Walker, 2022
256 pages

Ages 8-12

Sam, white, and Asha, Indian American, both autistic, are best friends until Sam is accepted to Castleton Academy for seventh grade. At Castleton, Sam is bullied until popular girl Prestyn takes a sudden interest in him. She invites him to her home: a mansion called Donnybrooke. Asha is surprised to learn that Sam is hanging out with “Prestyn the Intestine” and envious that Sam is spending time at Donnybrooke. An architectural oddity, the mansion is Asha’s very favorite building, but she’s been banned from setting foot there ever since an incident that took place at Prestyn’s birthday party years ago. Chapters alternate between the third-person perspectives of Asha, who worries about Sam despite herself; Sam, who doesn’t realize that Prestyn actually delights in playing cruel tricks on him; and Donnybrooke itself, which wants to be appreciated and loved, especially by its own family—just as Prestyn herself longs to be. When one of Prestyn’s pranks puts Sam in danger, he finally reaches out to Asha, the one person he can trust. Throughout it all, Sam and Asha navigate complex social situations and learn to advocate for themselves around people who fail to truly see and appreciate them, while Donnybrooke’s distinctive voice provides levity and insight. ©2022 Cooperative Children’s Book Center