Review: The Bridge to Home by Padma Venkatraman

The Bridge to Home by Padma Venkatraman

The Bridge to Home by Padma Venkatraman (9781524738112)

When her abusive father starts to hit Viji and her sister, Rukku, as well as their mother, Viji takes Rukku and runs away to the streets of Chennai. Rukku follows willingly, though Viji worries that when others see Rukku they will take her away due to her developmental delays. The two sisters meet two boys who also live on the streets and the four of them form a small family. During the day, they pick garbage in the litter piles and mountains around the city. Rukku makes bead necklaces that they sell to tourists and students. The four children are hungry and scared often, but they also have wonderful adventures together whether they are living on an abandoned bridge or in a dark and hidden graveyard. When Rukku falls ill, Viji must figure out if she can care for her herself or if she needs to take a big risk and ask for help.

Venkatraman has created a tale that doesn’t soften the dangers and difficulties of children living on the streets of India. At the same time though, she doesn’t allow the story to be dismal, instead she shows how the smallest things can give joy. Just the inclusion of the puppy into the children’s lives adds an element of love and cuddling that the book needed. The setting of India and its streets is brilliantly shared in the book, that includes the dark dangers of those who steal from them and the predator adults they encounter.

The two sisters are very different from one another not just because of Rukku’s disability but also their outlook at life is in contrast to one another. Viji takes the role of protector for her sister, doing the hard and dirty work. Yet, Rukku manages to sometimes make more money for the group and also serves as the person who brings them together over and over again. The two boys are almost like siblings themselves, as the book progresses, they share their stories which are haunting as well.

A beautifully written novel for middle graders that shines light on children often overlooked. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

Reviewed from ARC provided by Nancy Paulsen Books.

2019 Audie Award Finalists

The finalists for the 2019 Audi Awards have been announced by the Audio Publishers Association. The awards are given in a variety of categories with three categories focused on children and teens.

It is also of note that Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, narrated by Bahni Turpin is a finalist in the Audiobook of the Year category. Additionally, Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham, narrated by Pyeng Threadgill and Luke Slattery, Hans Christian Andersen’s Fairy Tales narrated by F. Murray Abraham and an ensemble cast, and Sadie by Courtney Summers, narrated by Dan Bittner, Rebecca Soler, Gabra Zackman, and Fred Berman are finalists in the Multi-Voiced Performance Category. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and The Secret of Nightingale Wood by Lucy Strange are finalists in the Narration by the Author category.

Here are the finalists in the youth categories:

YOUNG LISTENERS

Before She Was Harriet Dreamers

Before She Was Harriet by Lesa Cline-Ransome, narrated by SiSi Aisha Johnson, January LaVoy, Lisa Renee Pitts, and Bahni Turpin

Dreamers by Yuyi Morales, narrated by Adriana Sananes

Esquivel!  Space-Age Sound Artist Her Right Foot

Esquivel!: Space-Age Sound Artist by Susan Wood, narrated by Brian Amador

Her Right Foot by Dave Eggers, narrated by Dion Graham

We Found A Hat

We Found a Hat by Jon Klassen, narrated by Johnny Heller and Christopher Curry

 

MIDDLE GRADE

Finding Langston Grenade

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome, narrated by Dion Graham

Grenade by Alan Gratz, narrated by Todd Haberkorn and Andrew Eiden

The Long-Lost Home Louisiana's Way Home

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book VI by Maryrose Wood, narrated by Fiona Hardingham

Louisiana’s Way Home by Kate DiCamillo, narrated by Cassandra Morris

The Secret of Nightingale Wood Sunny

The Secret of Nightingale Wood written and narrated by Lucy Strange

Sunny by Jason Reynolds, narrated by Guy Lockard

 

YOUNG ADULT

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1) Far from the Tree

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, narrated by Bahni Turpin

Far from the Tree by Robin Benway, narrated by Julia Whelan

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy (Montague Siblings, #2) The Poet X

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee, narrated by Moira Quirk

The Poet X written and narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo

41433334 The Stars at Oktober Bend

Sadie by Courtney Summers, narrated by Dan Bittner, Rebecca Soler, Gabra Zackman, and Fred Berman

The Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard, narrated by Candice Moll and Ron Butler

 

2019 CILIP Carnegie Longlist

The longlist for the 2019 CILIP Carnegie Longlist has been announced. This and the Kate Greenaway Medal are the two oldest UK book awards for youth. The medals are judged by children’s librarians. Here are the 20 finalists who made the longlist, selected from over 250 books that were nominated:

The Astonishing Color of After Bone Talk

The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan

Bone Talk by Candy Gourlay

The Boy At the Back of the Class The Colour of the Sun

The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf

The Colour of the Sun by David Almond

A Different Boy Hilary McKay's Fairy Tales

A Different Boy by Paul Jennings

Hilary McKay’s Fairy Tales by Hilary McKay

The House With Chicken Legs The Land of Neverendings

The House with Chicken Legs by Sophie Anderson

The Land of Neverendings by Kate Saunders

Long Way Down The Lost Words

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane

Moonrise Mud

Moonrise by Sarah Crossan

Mud by Emily Thomas

My Side of the Diamond Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki (Walker Studio)

My Side of the Diamond by Sally Gardner

Norse Myths: Tales of Odin, Thor and Loki by Kevin Crossley-Holland

The Poet X Rebound

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Rebound by Kwame Alexander

A Skinful of Shadows Station Zero (Railhead, #3)

A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

Station Zero by Philip Reeve

Things a Bright Girl Can Do The Weight of a Thousand Feathers

Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nichols

The Weight of a Thousand Feathers by Brian Conaghan

Review: Is That You, Eleanor Sue? by Tricia Tusa

Is That You, Eleanor Sue by Tricia Tusa

Is That You, Eleanor Sue? by Tricia Tusa (9781250143235)

Saturdays are the days that Eleanor Sue gets to do her favorite thing: dress up. So she dresses up, climbs out her window and knocks on the front door. When her mother opens the door, Eleanor Sue introduces herself as Mrs. McMuffins, the new neighbor. She is invited in for tea. Twenty minutes later, Eleanor Sue is back at the door as a witch. She is invited in for lunch. Then Eleanor Sue is a wise wizard, a ferocious bear, a delivery person, and a cat. Her next outfit is being dressed as a grandma, specifically her Grandma. But her mother may just get in on the act too, just in time for Grandma herself to appear and join the fun.

Tusa’s picture book is a delight. She shares not only the story of Eleanor Sue’s imaginative play but also a supporting mother and family who enjoy Eleanor Sue’s antics. The stories that Eleanor Sue tells as each character are a large part of the book, adding funny details that interplay between the various costumes. There is one fast-paced portion where Eleanor Sue has to hustle with costume changes that adds to the fun. As always with a Tusa book, the illustrations are beautifully done. She has a knack of capturing children at play complete with wrinkled, drooping cloth, and wry expressions.

Full of imagination and playfulness, this should be read while sipping tea. Appropriate for ages 3-5.

Reviewed from copy provided by Roaring Brook Press.

 

2019 USBBY Outstanding International Books

USBBY

The United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) has announced their annual list of the most outstanding international books for young people published during the calendar year. Here is their 2019 list:

GRADES PreK-2

Africville Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings

Africville by Shauntay Grant, illustrated by Eva Campbell

Auntie Luce’s Talking Paintings by Francie Latour

A Case for Buffy (Detective Gordon #4) A Drop of the Sea

A Case for Buffy by Ulf Nilsson, illustrated by Gitte Spee

A Drop of the Sea by Ingrid Chabbert, illustrated by Guridi

Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market 35959973

Farmer Falgu Goes to the Market by Chitra Soundar, illustrated by Kanika Nair

I Really Want to See You, Grandma by Taro Gomi

Marwan's Journey Me And My Fear

Marwan’s Journey by Patricia de Arias, illustrated by Laura Borras

Me and My Fear by Francesca Sanna

On the Other Side of the Garden The Patchwork Bike

On the Other Side of the Garden by Jairo Buitrago, illustrated by Rafael Yockteng

Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba, illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd

Stories of the Night Tomorrow

Stories of the Night by Kitty Crowther

Tomorrow by Nadine Kaadan

Up the Mountain Path

Up the Mountain Path by Marianne Dubuc

 

GRADES 3-5

After Life: Ways We Think about Death Astrid the Unstoppable

After Life: Ways We Think about Death by Merrie-Ellen Wilcox

Astrid the Unstoppable by Maria Parr, illustrated by Katie Harnett

The Colors of History: How Colors Shaped the World Eye Spy: Wild Ways Animals See the World

The Colors of History: How Colors Shaped the World by Clive Gifford, illustrated by Marc-Etienne Peintre

Eye Spy: Wild Ways Animals See the World by Guillaume Duprat, illustrated by Patrick Skipworth

From the Heart of Africa: A Book of Wisdom Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes

From the Heart of Africa: A Book of Wisdom by Eric Walters

Go Show the World: A Celebration of Indigenous Heroes by Wab Kinew, illustrated by Joe Morse

The House of Lost and Found Missing Mike

The House of Lost and Found by Martin Widmark, illustrated by Emilia Dziubak

Missing Mike by Shari Green

Peace and Me The Sound of Freedom

Peace and Me by Ali Winter, illustrated by Mickael El Fathi

The Sound of Freedom by Kathy Kacer

A Story Like the Wind Too Young to Escape

A Story Like the Wind by Gill Lewis, illustrated by Jo Weaver

Too Young to Escape by Van Ho & Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch

Vacation What a Wonderful Word

Vacation by Blexbolex

What a Wonderful Word by Nicola Edwards, illustrated by Luisa Uribe

 

GRADES 6-8

Dodger Boy Ebb and Flow

Dodger Boy by Sarah Ellis

Ebb & Flow by Heather Smith

The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle The Island at the End of Everything

The Fox Girl and the White Gazelle by Victoria Williamson

The Island at the End of Everything by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Mary, Who Wrote Frankenstein No Fixed Address

Mary Who Wrote Frankenstein by Linda Bailey, illustrated by Julia Sarda

No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen

Small Things Swallow's Dance

Small Things by Mel Tregonning

Swallow’s Dance by Wendy Orr

Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today

Voices from the Second World War: Stories of War as Told to Children of Today

 

GRADES 9-12

Skating Over Thin Ice Troublemakers

Skating over Thin Ice by Jean Mills

Troublemakers by Catherine Barter

We Kiss Them With Rain

We Kiss Them with Rain by Futhi Ntshingila

2019 Coretta Scott King – Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement

WINNER

Dr. Pauletta Brown Bracy

 

YMA Live Blogging

Once again I’ll be live blogging ALA’s Youth Media Awards from their online feed. Expect some misspelling on names and some author names missed altogether. My apologies as I try to type as fast as I can!

I admit that cheering and occasional tears also slow me down a bit. These are my Oscars for the year. Good luck to all of the talented and amazing authors and illustrators!

You can join in the fun too on the online feed!

This Week’s Tweets

Here are some of the cool links I shared on Twitter this week:

2019 Walter Awards

We Need Diverse Books have announced the winners of the 2019 Walter Awards that honor and celebrate diverse books written by diverse authors. The awards are named in honor of Walter Dean Myers. There are two age categories:

WALTER AWARD WINNER – TEEN

The Poet X

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

 

WALTER HONOR BOOKS – TEEN

Monday's Not Coming The Astonishing Color of After

Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

 

WALTER AWARD WINNER – YOUNGER READERS

Ghost Boys

Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

 

WALTER HONOR BOOKS – YOUNGER READERS

They Call Me Güero: A Border Kid's Poems The Night Diary

They Call Me Guero: A Border Kid’s Poems by David Bowles

The Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani