City of Asylum @ Alphabet City
The Bridge Home is the stirring middle grade debut by critically- acclaimed YA author Padma Venkatraman. Padma Venkatraman’s previous three novels have all received numerous awards, honors, and starred reviews. Her latest book, The Bridge Home, released this February by Penguin, is a winner of an Audiophile Magazine Earphone Award, a Global Read Aloud, and has received starred reviews in PW, Kirkus, Booklist, SLC and SLJ (for a total of seventeen stars so far).
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.
(photo credit: Connecticut Head Shots)
Padma Venkatraman (www.padmavenkatraman.com, @padmatv twitter), lived in five countries, explored rainforests, and was chief scientist on oceanographic vessels before becoming a United States citizen. Her novels, A Time to Dance, Island’s End and Climbing the Stairs received several honors and awards. Her latest, The Bridge Home, released this February by Penguin, is a winner of an Audiophile Magazine Earphone Award, a Global Read Aloud, and has received starred reviews in PW, Kirkus, Booklist, SLC and SLJ (for a total of seventeen stars so far).
Julie Hakim Azzam is the MFA Program coordinator in the School of Art at Carnegie Mellon University and adjunct faculty in public writing and literature at the University of Pittsburgh. She is a reviewer for the Horn Book Magazine: About Books for Children and Young Adults and the Horn Book Guide. She has interviewed many children’s and young adult writers for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette‘s coverage of the Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures Series, and has written on children’s literature and youth literacy for other publications including the Horn Book Magazine, the Times Literary Supplement (TLS), and more.