The Bridge Home

The Bridge Home

Book - 2019
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Life is harsh in Chennai's teeming streets, so when runaway sisters Viji and Rukku arrive, their prospects look grim. Very quickly, eleven-year-old Viji discovers how vulnerable they are in this uncaring, dangerous world. Fortunately, the girls find shelter--and friendship--on an abandoned bridge. 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. After all, they are now the bosses of themselves and no longer dependent on untrustworthy adults. 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.
Publisher: New York : Nancy Paulsen Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC, [2019]
Copyright Date: ©2019
ISBN: 9781524738112
Branch Call Number: J FIC VENK
Characteristics: 194 pages ; 22 cm


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surprising, emotional, and sweet, this short book lingers in your mind even after you finish.

Jan 10, 2020

what an awesome book! Is there book 2 ?

OPL_KrisC Jan 07, 2020

An interesting read for kids that takes a close look at the caste system in India. It also covers issues of poverty, homelessness, disability, and abuse.

CCCL_ElayneP Nov 13, 2019

Wonderful story with memorable characters. Sad and frustrating, but ultimately hopeful!

IndyPL_NicoleN Jun 25, 2019

This story is based in India and reader's will follow two sisters who leave home to go to a big city, Chennai, because of their abusive father. The story shows the girls struggles as homeless children and their struggles to make ends meet when they meet two boys who quickly become their friends.

Jun 24, 2019

This book hit me right in the feels. It was so good and if I had been in a different mood, it would have made me cry.

Mar 21, 2019

Venkatraman is the most elegant in crafting our introduction to Viji while always being conscious that it is Viji who is speaking—and it is always Rukku who is her audience, “Viji and Rukku, always together.” The first two chapters alone are a study in creative writing.
Place yourself in Venkatraman’s very capable hands and listen. Who she has in store are a cast of fierce and delightful children in Viji, Rukku, Arul, and Muthu. The adults vary.

Viji takes Rukku and heads to Chennai. She hopes to eventually resume her education and become a teacher. [...] Arul and Muthu help them (and us) navigate homelessness, work, rivals and danger. Soon the four (and a puppy) are keeping each other alive in their own singular ways, informed by their personalities and trauma, their self-possession and concern for this chosen family. The strength and determination in each of the children is heartening, and heart-wrenching. Rukku rescues their vulnerability and invites them to nurture it. What happens when she and Viji can no longer be together as they’d once been?

Venkatraman’s skill in writing TBH is stunning. [...] the kind of courage and kindness and endurance that can be relayed in the voice of a young narrator who is practical, who demands to be regarded with dignity. Writing characters with the nuance of their humanity, Venkatraman will not deny the children their dignity. She’ll write them and their stories in a such a way that you can’t look away. You won’t want to leave them on the page without knowing what will happen. Rest assured, Venkatraman does write hope into the pages and into that ending. Not all the adults are harmful, not all the resources are spent. The children will find their way on their own terms; and really, theirs are the only acceptable ones.

Jan 17, 2019

This story will both break your heart and fill you with hope. Viji (our narrator) and her mentally challenged sister Ruku are in an abusive home. When their appa turns on them, Viji packs up for both of them and they take a bus to the city. Throughout the book, Viji is writing recounting their story for Ruku. They are fortunate to befriend two homeless boys about their age and find temporary shelter and find ways to make money for food. They manage on their own until Ruku gets to sick for them to help her on their own. A faith in God is shown as a lifeline by many characters in this book although Viji finds herself unable to trust in a Heavenly Father when her earthly father was such a disappointment. Overall an uplifting and enlightening story which will remind many of the blessings they have in their lives.


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OPL_KrisC Jan 07, 2020

OPL_KrisC thinks this title is suitable for 10 years and over


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Nov 06, 2019

"Talking to you was always easy, Rukku. But writing's hard." -Viji


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