Count Me in

Nancy Paulsen Books (Penguin Young Readers)

Karina knows hate crimes happen everywhere . . . but she never imagined she’d face one herself.

Karina isn’t friends with Chris, the boy next door. Why would she want to be, when the guys he hangs out with act like a pack of rude laughing hyenas? But when her grandfather starts tutoring Chris and the three of them begin spending time together, she’s happy to discover that Chris is not at all like she expected him to be. He actually has a mind of his own and is thoughtful and funny. Becoming friends with him is one of the big surprises of her middle school life.

Then something unthinkable happens – a stranger assaults them, targeting her Indian American grandfather, who gets badly injured. Karina and Chris are devastated but vow not to let hate win.

When Karina’s moving social media posts about the attack go viral and the press descends, she and Chris have to decide how they will use their newfound fame. It’s intimidating to speak out – but how can they not?

Varsha Bajaj’s compelling story celebrates finding one’s voice in tough times, and a community rallying to support its people.

COUNT ME In is now available as an Audio Book.

Colby Sharp likes Count Me In;




Count Me In is a gem of a book, both funny and heartbreaking in equal measure. With its deeply moving portrayal of the healing power of empathy, this is an important and necessary story.” —Aisha Saeed, author of the New York Times bestseller Amal Unbound