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Padma Venkatraman

Författare till Climbing the Stairs

9+ verk 1,692 medlemmar 74 recensioner 1 favoritmärkta

Om författaren

Inkluderar namnet: Padma Venkatraman

Foto taget av: Venkatraman at the 2019 Texas Book Festival By Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 4.0,

Verk av Padma Venkatraman

Climbing the Stairs (2008) 556 exemplar
The Bridge Home (2019) 530 exemplar
A Time to Dance (2014) 358 exemplar
Born Behind Bars (2021) 95 exemplar
Island's End (2011) 88 exemplar
Growing Gold (Story Cove) (2007) 16 exemplar

Associerade verk

Thanku: Poems of Gratitude (2019) — Bidragsgivare — 51 exemplar
Calling the Moon (2023) — Bidragsgivare — 20 exemplar


Allmänna fakta



Very sad, yet hopeful book.
mslibrarynerd | 20 andra recensioner | Jan 13, 2024 |
I have heard so many good reviews about this book and very much want to read it.

“Readers will be captivated by this beautifully written novel about young people who must use their instincts and grit to survive. Padma shares with us an unflinching peek into the reality millions of homeless children live every day but also infuses her story with hope and bravery that will inspire readers and stay with them long after turning the final page.”--Aisha Saeed, author of the New York Times Bestselling Amal Unbound
Cover may vary.

Four determined homeless children make a life for themselves in Padma Venkatraman’s stirring middle-grade debut.
Life is harsh in Chennai’s teeming streets, so when runaway sisters Viji and Rukku arrive, their prospects look grim. Very quickly, eleven-year-old Viji discovers how vulnerable they are in this uncaring, dangerous world. Fortunately, the girls find shelter--and friendship--on an abandoned bridge. With two homeless boys, Muthi and Arul, the group forms a family of sorts. And while making a living scavenging the city’s trash heaps is the pits, the kids find plenty to laugh about and take pride in too. After all, they are now the bosses of themselves and no longer dependent on untrustworthy adults. But when illness strikes, Viji must decide whether to risk seeking help from strangers or to keep holding on to their fragile, hard-fought freedom.
… (mer)
Gmomaj | 20 andra recensioner | Jan 11, 2024 |
This book reminded me strongly of [b:Boys Without Names|6580712|Boys Without Names|Kashmira Sheth||6774144] which is also extremely sad. It also brought to mind [b:Bridge to Terabithia|40940121|Bridge to Terabithia|Katherine Paterson||2237401] (again, extremely sad, obviously). I read somewhere someone comparing it to the Boxcar Children, which made me think there is sort of a genre of stories about a ragtag group of kids hustling to survive without the benefit of caring adults. A few that come to mind are [b:Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster|37811512|Sweep The Story of a Girl and Her Monster|Jonathan Auxier||59489664], [b:Homecoming|12125|Homecoming (Tillerman Cycle, #1)|Cynthia Voigt||213788], [b:Oliver Twist|18254|Oliver Twist|Charles Dickens||3057979], and [b:The Thief Lord|113304|The Thief Lord|Cornelia Funke||3313414]. These range in tone from relatively lighthearted to dark and disturbing. Bridge Home has some light moments provided by the almost unbelievably resilient characters, but it's mostly very sad.

Anyway, reading this book made me snap at a family member who was complaining about a pretty minor shortcoming of a local middle school. I was like, "Those kids should be grateful they don't have to wade through pools of rotting garbage just to be able to eat." So, yeah, I would say this book may alter many a reader's perspective on life (though that changed perspective often doesn't last very long).

The book is written as a letter to the narrator's sister Rukku, who is developmentally disabled in some unnamed way (could be autism, but it's not clear and I'm no expert). There's a line in the beginning where Viji says, "Why should I write to her? It's not like I have her address." That sparked my curiosity. Where is Viji's sister? Why are they not together anymore? This ends up being a bit of a red herring because the sister is not living at some unknown address -- she dies of dengue fever. I think adults will want to prepare younger readers for a very difficult story (again, like [b:Bridge to Terabithia|40940121|Bridge to Terabithia|Katherine Paterson||2237401]). I once had a parent come into the library super upset because she was reading Terabithia to her kids and didn't know what was coming and they all sobbed and felt emotionally scarred. So bear that in mind.

I also had trouble with the choices that Viji has to make. Stay with an abusive parent or run away? What a horrible situation to be in -- made even worse by my feeling as an adult reader that she made the wrong decision. No, Viji, no! You absolutely cannot take care of yourself and your sister on the streets! Runaway books are very hard for parents to read.

I thought religious themes were handled really well in this book. Viji runs away from home in part because she doesn't believe she'll be rewarded for being an obedient daughter in the next life. She wants better in this life (oh, Viji! yes but no!). Later she befriends a boy who is devoutly Christian and is helped by a Christian charity. Viji is fiercely reluctant to being recruited and I love what Celina Aunty tells her. She can substitute "good" for "God" in her prayers. She doesn't have to have faith in religion, just faith in the goodness within herself.
… (mer)
LibrarianDest | 20 andra recensioner | Jan 3, 2024 |
Kabir has lived in jail since his birth, after his mother was arrested for a crime she did not commit. Jail officials discover Kabir is now too old to live there and he is turned out onto the streets. Kabir is determined to find his father who is living in Dubai so he can help get Amma out of jail. But life in jail hasn't taught him about living on the streets. Fortunately Rani, a street-savvy Roma child, befriends him and together they venture to find Kabir's grandparents. Kids who love stories with happy endings will have no quibbles with this idealistic if somewhat improbable journey with super-convenient plot twists.… (mer)
Salsabrarian | 2 andra recensioner | Feb 11, 2023 |



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