Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman

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This coming-of-age story with romantic elements transported me to a setting I rarely see from the Indian point of view, and while the characters were not the strongest, I very much enjoyed seeing their world.
-All About Romance

Synopsis

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.

 

About Padma Venkatraman

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Padma Venkatraman was born in Chennai, India, but became an American citizen after attaining a Ph.D. in oceanography from The College of William and Mary. Padma's oceanographic research led her to the Andaman Islands, where she lived for a year, in close proximity to tribespeople similar to those in Island's End. Her first young adult novel, Climbing the Stairs, won the Julia Ward Howe Award and was a Book Sense Notable, Booklist Best Book of the Year, Bank Street College of Education Best book, New York Public Library Book for the Teen Age, YALSA BBYA selection, Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People, and CCBC Choice. She lives with her family in Rhode Island.
 
Published February 4, 2010 by Speak. 266 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Travel, Science Fiction & Fantasy, War, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for Climbing the Stairs
All: 1 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 0

All About Romance

Above average
Reviewed by Caroline Russomanno on Sep 03 2014

This coming-of-age story with romantic elements transported me to a setting I rarely see from the Indian point of view, and while the characters were not the strongest, I very much enjoyed seeing their world.

Read Full Review of Climbing the Stairs | See more reviews from All About Romance

Reader Rating for Climbing the Stairs
87%

An aggregated and normalized score based on 53 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes


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