Monday, May 6, 2019

Middle Grade Monday and Audiobook Review: The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman

The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman. Unabridged downloadable e-audiobook, ~4 hours. Read by the author. Listening Library/ Penguin Random House/ February, 2019. 9781984845108. (Review of e-audiobook downloaded from public library. Own hardcover.)

Middle Grade Monday features The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman. This first-person novel takes place in Chennai, India and is written as a series of letters from Vigi to her sister, Rukku. When their abusive father turns his anger on Rukku, who is developmentally disabled, and slaps her, Vigi gathers some food and a few belongings and runs away with her sister. There are very few prospects for the girls in the streets of Chennai and many dangers. Luckily, they fall in with two boys who are willing to share their space under an abandoned bridge and show them how to garbage pick. The four form a close-knit family until disaster strikes.

Readers will ache for these children from the start and quickly become invested in their story. This slim novel packs a punch. It's quite an impressive debut! I expect it will grace a number of year-end best lists and be discussed in a variety of committees. 

The author's performance was understated, perfectly paced  and absolutely lovely. Both the book and audio belong in every library. 

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