Oliver Twist meets Slum Dog Milionaire in this tale of four  determined homeless children who make a life for themselves on the streets of an Indian city.  

“A blisteringly beautiful book”  – * Starred Review, Kirkus

“Exquisitely narrated”  – * Starred Review, PW

“Stellar” – * Starred Review, School Library Journal

“A story that must be shared”  – * Starred Review, School Library Connection

“Absorbing” – * Starred Review, Booklist

“Moving…conveys the details of life shared by many of the world’s children…an excellent story” – * Starred Review, Sound Commentary

“Venkatraman brings love, support, and humor to a story undergirded by tough issues. Curricular connections abound, including science, global studies, and ecology. A smart addition to any middle school library.” – * Starred Review, Audio, SLJ

“Gorgeous storytelling” – New York Times Book Review

“Love and loss, desperation and dreams meet in this beautifully rendered tale, both harrowing and heartening.” – San Francisco Chronicle

“will break hearts and inspire activist longings” – BCCB

“this bittersweet novel is about breaking the cycle of abuse, reaching for your dreams and finding home in the most unlikely of people and places” – Horn Book

Audiophile Earphone Award Winner

Washington Post Summer Reading Selection, 2019

Global Read Aloud, 2019

ProjectLIT, 2019-20

Junior Library Guild Audiobook Selection


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“Spiritually uplifting” – Starred review, Booklist

magnificently strong” – Starred review, VOYA

exceptional” – Starred Review, SLJ

“beautiful” – Starred Review, Kirkus

“Heart- achingly hopeful and beautifully written.” – Starred Review, BCCB

“powerful depiction of a teen girl struggling to recover from an accident”                           – Chicago Tribune

“Sure to go on my favorites list” – Denver Post

“Loved this book” – Newsday

“dazzles & delights…beautifully written” – Providence Journal


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“vivifies a unique era and culture as it movingly expresses how love and hope can blossom even under the most dismal of circumstances” – Starred review, PW                                    

“an intricate and convincing backdrop of a conservative Brahmin home in a time of change”– Starred review, Booklist

“will capture the imaginations of many readers”- Starred review, VOYA

“a compelling story”- Lynda Brill Comerford, Publishers Weekly, “Flying Start”

“Thought-provoking and deeply moving.”- Booksense, Notable Citation

“will appeal to an international audience”- Michelle Reale, India Currents

“ [A] fine, often heart-breaking novel”- Sam Coale, The Providence Sunday Journal


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“enticing blend of mystic tradition & imaginative speculation” – Starred review, PW                     

“succeeds spectacularly” – Starred review, Booklist                                          

“Vividly written and expertly paced” – SLJ, Starred Review

“consistenly engrosses” – Kirkus, Starred Review


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