Marvelous Middle Grade Monday
The Bridge Home (Nancy Paulsen Books, 2019) by Padma Venkatraman was marvelous. Such a touching story that made my heart ache for the characters.
11-year-old Viji and her sister Rukka run away from an abusive home to the big city of Chennai. There they find shelter on an abandoned bridge and make a new family with two boys. Still, life is not easy. Viji hates being a ragpicker in the city rubbish heaps, but the children can sell what they find to the waste mart man, which lets them buy food and other necessities. And then . . .
You’ll have to read it to see what happens next.
Go here for bonus material for the book. And here to learn more about Padma.
A Time to Dance (Nancy Paulsen Books Penguin Random House, 2014) by Padma Venkatraman is a novel in verse that takes one directly to life in India. Veda has a passion for dance, Bharatanatyam dance specifically. Not that her mother approves. And now that she’s won the competition her career can really start off. But a tragic accident takes the teen’s right leg below the knee. How can she still dance with only one leg?
The story is inspirational as we accompany Veda on her journey of recovery. What Veda says sums it up, “…dance isn’t about who you are on the outside. It’s about how you feel inside.”
I love what Padma says on her blog about books being more than mirrors or windows–read it here. You can hear Padma herself on her website in the Q&A section, plus there are TV interviews here.
I already recommended Padma’s book Island’s End here. Her first novel, Climbing the Stairs, is set during WWII.
Island’s End (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2011) by Padma Venkatraman is modern day fiction that almost feels historical. But that’s because it is inspired by people who live as their ancestors did on the Andaman Islands near India. It’s a great story that you won’t want to miss.
Here’s a brief intro:
Living on an isolated island, Uido is woken by a dream that tells her to go to the beach where she and her little brother witness strangers arriving by boat. The siblings chase them off, but the strangers keep coming back and tempt the tribe with things not available on their island. Meanwhile Uido is chosen to be trained as the next oko-jumu (spiritual leader). When her brother is struck with a disease brought by the strangers and is dying, Uido must decide what to do for her brother and her tribe.
This is the second book by Padma. Read more about her here.
Now after reading about her award winning first book, I need to get a hold of it, too! Check out the website for Climbing the Stairs.