Teacher Resources

This spring began with so many delightful bits of news: The Bridge Home received another award – The Jerry, presented by WJRC! Born Behind Bars is also on Georgia’s state award list! I’ve been doing a lot of virtual visits, and over the next few weeks, I’ll be doing more.

On my slides, I quote from a lot of articles I’ve written about various aspects of diversity in the field of children’s and YA literature. I also point out that there are plenty of resources on this website for librarians and educators who’d like to use my books in classrooms. However, please note that many of the links may NOT work because of your school / library server. There’s nothing that can be done at my end to help solve that. However, most of the links can be accessed via my padlet.

So please click on this link for now, and thanks for your patience. You an also access many of my videos, including general writing prompts, via my YouTube channel and writing prompts may also be found on the COOKING UP STORIES blog that I write for the Highlights Foundation the first Friday of each month, in which I come up with a writing prompt and it’s paired with a colleague’s book and a delectable recipe by Chef Amanda. As for general diversity resources, an annotated list of some of my articles is below:

  • Weeding out racim’s invisible roots (SLJ) which was one of the most widely-read articles in School Library Journal
  • Compassion, as well as correctness (for Horn Book)
  • Accept, don’t just tolerate (on the importance of including religious diversity, for Kirkus Reviews)
  • My quarantine story (for PW)
  • Classics, colonization and a call for change (Nerdy Book Club)
  • No problem with problem books (about gender inequity in kidlit, for YA Wednesday)
  • A list of awards the celebrate underrepresented and marginalized voices / books for young people (SLJ)
  • Golden silence, gilded words (about microagressions, on author Cynthia Leitich Smith’s Cynsations blog)
  • Honoring the history of those who strove for diversity in our field and in our country (WNDB Walter Award acceptance speech, in a way – although the year I won it was the year COVID struck and the ceremony was cancelled)!
  • One of my very early books of nonfiction which was published before I considered myself an author, featured by Renaissance Learning
  • Essay on what writing and reading mean to me in 2022, especially in the context of book banning
  • The Importance of Reading Widely and Reading Beyond One’s Own Experiences (published in Brightly)
  • Chat with Colby Sharp about Born Behind Bars (a parent’s magazine book of the month selection), books featuring incarceration, and more
  • Expanding Our Embrace: Including Stories with International Settings
  • Better and Verse (about verse novels)
  • Diverse Verse (a website that I started which has grown into a marvelous group of poets and educators)
  • Authors Take Action
  • Padma Venkatraman on Voice
  • Speaking as a diversity educator

All Best For the Rest of 2021 and Happy 2022!

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year Wishes!

Can’t believe 2021 is nearly over. As this year winds down, I’m taking a moment to be grateful for all the honors and awards and praise Born Behind Bars has been blessed with. So far, to my knowledge, it’s on the Boston Globe, Kirkus, School Library Journal, CSMCL and India Currents Best Books of 2021 lists; on Mr. John Schu and Travis Jonker’s Top 20 Books of 2021 list; and in addition to the starred reviews to which it was released and the glowing reviews from the New York Times Book Review and Providence Journal, it was showcased as Parents Magazine’s November Book Club pick.

Born Behind Bars is also a Project LIT Community Selection! So honored!

If you’d like to order a copy, click the link below, and choose your favorite way to buy from the various possible options (and thank you)! https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/647196/born-behind-bars-by-padma-venkatraman/

Here’s the Born Behind Bars Trailer in case you didn’t watch it yet…

If you’d like to hear the story-behind-the-story or download a discussion guide, Born Behind Bars related writing prompt or hear the first chapter of the audiobook, which I read, or access further reading suggestions or support resources, you’ll find them at the Born Behind Bars page of this website (resources tab top right, Born Behind Bars drop down menu).

Thank you to all the educators who worked so hard as this pandemic continued.

Sending my wishes out to the world for health, above all, and a safe and peaceful end to this year and joy in 2022.