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Padma Venkatraman (The Children's Book Podcast #517)

July 2, 2019




Padma Venkatraman (@padmatv) shares THE BRIDGE HOME, a 2019 Global Read Aloud choice. The story centers on two sisters, Viji and Rukku, who are orphaned at the hands of an abusive father and a mother who is too afraid to leave him. Viji is the caretaker of her sister, and in no small way these girls are survivors. Padma writes from a place of experience, strength, and survival herself and she shares a sentiment on recording that I want you to listen for because I think it’s such an important and powerful phrase. About being a survivor she says, “You are not going to shape who I am.” This conversation is just for you, dear listeners.


Thank you to this week's sponsors:

Storyteller Academy

Bharat Babies


And to the generous support from our Patrons.




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.










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