The Best at It

The Best at It Audible Audiobook – Unabridged

4.7 out of 5 stars 141 ratings

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Product details

Listening Length 6 hours and 22 minutes
Author Maulik Pancholy
Narrator Maulik Pancholy Release Date October 08 2019
Publisher HarperAudio
Program Type Audiobook
Version Unabridged
Language English
Best Sellers Rank #120,261 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#370 in Geography & Cultures for Children
#950 in Humorous Fiction for Children
#1,251 in Children's Nonfiction on Bullying

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
141 global ratings

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Top reviews from other countries

5.0 out of 5 stars sensitive and sweet
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on March 4, 2020
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4.0 out of 5 stars How old were you when you wanted to discover more about yourself?
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on June 27, 2021
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4.0 out of 5 stars How old were you when you wanted to discover more about yourself?
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on June 27, 2021
Do you read #MiddleGradeBooks?

I have always been a HUGE FAN of Middle Grade Books. Relevant themes dealt with sensitivity, simplicity and clarity. #tween and #teen lives brought to life in all its chaos, confusion and also the journey of self-exploration.
#TheBestAtIt by @maulikpancholy
brings to life the colourful Indian culture of the diaspora in the U.S. I would have liked to see more role for the diverse representation in the book.
I loved the familial equations within the Kapoor clan. The potry and fart talk of the younger brother added more age-wise authenticity to the book.
I absolutely loved it that Ra experiments and puts in a lot of efforts in different fields, as part of his exploration of what he is best at. (I am a big advocate of just putting in efforts, irrespective of the results)
His #anxiety, #SexualOrientation etc are all part of his growth. That made the book more holistic, without being of just one thing.

Read for #PrideMonth #pride🌈 #ReadWithPride #SouthAsianDiaspora #LGBTQA , #MentalHealth
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Hemant Paste
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing story!
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on July 31, 2021
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Ruben Ortega
5.0 out of 5 stars Fácil de leer
Reviewed in Spain 🇪🇸 on July 25, 2020
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E Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars Why This Book is About YOU (Even If It Isn't)
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 5, 2019
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E Tyler
5.0 out of 5 stars Why This Book is About YOU (Even If It Isn't)
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on November 5, 2019
I met the author briefly at a book festival where I heard him speak on a panel of four. At the end of a full day of hearing from many capable authors about their work, I left with the intention of buying just one book: "The Best At It."

I am not a pre-teen myself. And while I’ve mentored teens and young adults for decades, I am not currently in the mix with middle-school kids. So why this book? The fact is that I found Maulik Pancholy so genuine and compelling as a speaker and real person—so passionate about this particular book project—that I couldn't help but follow my curiosity and see how he conveyed himself in writing.

I'm pleased to say that I found the book a delightfully accurate reflection of its author: genuine, compelling, passionate.

At the time of purchase, the bold-type header of the synopsis describes this book as a middle grade story “about a gay Indian American boy coming into his own.” And that is true. Yet at the same time—it isn’t.

I’ll illustrate what I mean by analogy. It seems "The Hobbit" was a favorite of both Maulik’s and mine growing up. I felt deeply connected to both Bilbo Baggins and his quest. But was Tolkien’s story “about a reluctant hobbit from The Shire who goes on a quest to save Middle Earth”? Again, yes—but then again, not really.

As far as I was concerned as a reader, it was about ME. I didn’t need to have hairy feet to feel self-conscious about my body. Nor did I need Gandolph’s call in order to experience the gnawing feeling that there must be more to life. I wasn’t thrust into keeping company with dwarves; yet I knew all too well the struggles of fitting in with people who felt very different from myself. With neither Gollum nor a mystical ring, I understood trial and the struggle of trying to do the right thing when faced with temptation; and though I never had to face Smaug, I had plenty of my own dragon’s lurking.

Apply the same mindset to “The Best At It.” Does it matter whether Bilbo or Rahul happen to be my age? Whether the culture, language and customs to which I’m being introduced are those of Middle Earth or of an Indian family from Indiana? Does it matter whether the person we most trust is a wizard or a wise old “Bhai”? Whether the character’s traveling companions are displaced dwarves or math league misfits? Whether the “Big Bad” is a scaly behemoth or the bully next door? Whether the quest is saving a fictional world—or saving ourselves?

That's all to say—I highly recommend "The Best At It" to YOU, regardless of whether or not your personal details happen to match those of the protagonist, Rahul, in every regard. No matter who you are as a reader, I believe you’ll see yourself in the pages of this story. You’ll get wrapped up in it. You'll feel it for reasons all your own.

And that is as every good story should be.
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