Sunday, December 13, 2009

Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman


Venkatraman, Padma Climbing the Stairs. 243 p. Putnam’s (Penguin), 2008. Content: G. Vidya, 15, is the cherished daughter of two loving parents in India in the 1940’a. Under strict British rule, native Indians do not have many freedoms and the caste system still holds sway in most places, though not so strictly in Vidya’s home. Then one day, when she is out with her father, the two find themselves in the midst of a protest and a very bad choice on Vidya’s part places their lives in danger. Now everything that Vidya’s knew is taken away – she and her family most going to live with their father’s older brother – a very strict caste follower. Vidya must now learn to take her pleasure when she can and must fight for every privilege that she can. I love stories about life in India and this one does not disappoint. I know they are not as fashionable as a vampire or zombie book, but this is a good piece of literature that deserves a wider audience. Put this in the hands of kids who are looking for something good, rather than something sensational. MS, HS – ADVISABLE. Cindy, Library-Teacher

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