Climbing the Stairs

Front Cover
Penguin, 2008 - Juvenile Fiction - 247 pages

During World War II and the last days of British occupation in India, fifteen-year-old Vidya dreams of attending college. But when her forward-thinking father is beaten senseless by the British police, she is forced to live with her grandfather's large traditional family, where the women live apart from the men and are meant to be married off as soon as possible.

Vidya's only refuge becomes her grandfather's upstairs library, which is forbidden to women. There she meets Raman, a young man also living in the house who relishes her intellectual curiosity. But when Vidya's brother makes a choice the family cannot condone, and when Raman seems to want more than friendship, Vidkya must question all she has believed in.

Padma Venkatraman's debut novel poignantly shows a girl struggling to find her place in a mixedup world. Climbing the Stairs is a powerful story about love and loss set against a fascinating historical backdrop.

Read Padma Venkatraman's posts on the Penguin Blog.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - BookConcierge - LibraryThing

3.5 stars. A Young Adult book about India and the struggle for freedom from British rule, from the caste system, from the tradional roles for women. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - scote23 - LibraryThing

MSBA Nominee 2009-2010 I liked this one quite a lot. Set during WWII in India, Vidya has a relatively liberal upbringing in a family that believes in non-violent protesting. When an unfortunate ... Read full review

Contents

Krishna Jayanthi
13
Rifka
19
The Chess Game
30
Black Crow
40
The Protest March
47
Ganesha Chathurthi
56
Saraswathi Poojai
107
Raman
114
Deepavali
121
AirRaid Drills
168
Saidapet
189
The Officer
196
St Thomas Mount
202
Madras August 14 1942
239
Authors Note
245
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Padma Venkatraman lives in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. An oceanographer by training, she is the author of twenty books for young readers, published in India, on a variety of subjects. To learn more, about her book Climbing the Stairs, visit the web site, www.climbingthestairsbook.com. You can also read her blog, padmasbooks.blogspot.com.

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