The Bridge Home represents RI at the National Book Festival!

The Bridge Home represents RI at the National Book Festival
What a busy few months it’s been. Not always easy, but certainly busy. I’ve been writing so many other articles that I haven’t had time to write a blog post for a while:

an Author’s Quarantine Stories post for PW
Weeding Out Racism’s Invisible Roots ( published by SLJ )
and Examining Our Own Biases ( published in India Currents ).

The PW article is a personal reflection on the COVID-19 influenced my writing these past few months; Weeding Out Racism’s Invisible Roots challenges us to re-examine our attitudes toward “Classic” literature; and Examining Our Own Biases delves into some of the many reasons why brown people / Asians / South Asian Indian Americans should care about BLM and how we can support and work together, as allies, with African Americans.

In addition, I’ve been hard at work on my next novel (which my wonderful editor Nancy Paulsen would like me to have ready for release in fall next year).

The Bridge Home has also continued to be blessed with many honors, for which I’m deeply grateful. To my knowledge, it’s been shortlisted for 10 state awards so far (nominee for TX Bluebonnet, FL SSYRA, VA, RI, GA, MN, WI, KY, VT, ME) & Japan’s Sakura Medal. I am incredibly thankful to my home state for choosing THE BRIDGE HOME for the National Book Festival. Such an immense honor.

If you live in RI, the Providence Community Library and RI Festival of Books and Authors is hosting a free virtual event on Monday 13th July, which includes an opportunity to get copies of THE BRIDGE HOME free of charge. The press release is pasted below.
Maybe I’ll see you!


Youth Fiction Novel is Rhode Island’s 2020 Pick for National Book Festival Award
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Join Providence Community Library’s PVD READS Book Club on Monday, July 13th at 6P.M. for a virtual, intergenerational book discussion of The Bridge Home, featuring the book’s author, Padma Venkatraman. The conversation will be moderated by Meagan Lenihan, who is Lincoln School Librarian and Director of the Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books and Authors and co-hosted by Rhode Island Center for the Book and Providence Community Library. Tickets for the free Zoom event are available on Eventbrite.
Venkatraman’s stirring middle-grade debut follows the fortunes of four determined homeless children. Life is harsh in Chennai’s teeming streets, so when runaway sisters Viji and Rukku arrive, their prospects look grim.  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. 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. 
The Bridge Home, published by Penguin Books, is Rhode Island’s 2020 submission for the National Book Festival in Washington, DC. Every year, the Library of Congress asks each state Center for the Book to select a title that represents their state as part of the Great Reads From Great Places initiative. The Bridge Home has received eight starred reviews since its publication in 2019, is the winner of a Walter Award, Golden Kite Award, Nerdy Book Award, Paterson Prize, Crystal Kite Award, and Audiophile Earphone Award, in addition to garnering numerous other honors. 
RI Center of the Book Director, Kate Lentz said “we are thrilled to partner on this PCL READS event. Padma’s book touches on social justice issues that affect children all over the world and it is the perfect pick for this Rhode Island intergenerational book club!”
Padma Venkatraman served as chief scientist on research vessels in Germany, directed a school in England, worked in a laboratory at Johns Hopkins University, and obtained her doctorate in oceanography at the College of William and Mary before becoming a full-time author. Her most recent novel, Her previous novels, A Time to Dance, Climbing the Stairs and Island’s End were also all released to multiple starred reviews and gained several awards and honors. Born in India, Venkatraman was sworn in as a citizen of the United States in Rhode Island, which is now her home.
READ THE BOOKContact Kate at to get a set of books for your class or group.
GET TICKETSVisit this page. The event is free but registration is required. Attendees will  receive an email on the morning of the event with a link to join via Zoom.By registering, attendees agree to the terms of the event’s behavior policy.
Do you love talking about books with other book lovers? Have you been searching for an intellectual, fun and easy-going book discussion to join? Look no further! Amy Rosa from the Washington Park Library and Lee Smith from the Mount Pleasant Library, two of the nine, neighborhood locations of Providence Community Library,  have launched PCL READS— the citywide, one book, one community book discussion—and they want YOU to accompany them at their next meeting! 
About  RI Festival of Children’s Books & Authors
Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but it boasts one of the largest and best book festivals in the nation. Authors and illustrators travel to Providence every October for the opportunity to be featured in The Rhode Island Festival of Children’s Books & Authors, hosted by Lincoln School.
Learn about future PCL READS events, as well as all Providence Community Library services and programs, at .
At a BLM protest, holding posters containing quotes by Gandhi-ji, Rev. Dr. MLK Jr. and Bayard Rustin, with author friend Marlo Gansworthy

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