The Bridge Home by Padma Venketraman

Recommended for ages 10 and up

Viji and Rukku are running away from their physically abusive father to the streets of Chennai, India. Alone and afraid with very little money and personal belongings, the girls soon find out how uncaring and dangerous the world can be. The girls take shelter on an abandoned bridge, which is also home to two homeless boys named Muthi and Arul. Together they form a family sharing the money they make scavenging the city’s trash heaps for metal, glass and fabric. These kids share a special bond and find the courage and bravery to keep living day to day until tragedy strikes and they are forced to enlist the help of a woman who runs an orphanage. This passionate and at times heart-wrenching story will educate us all on the reality of how life is for millions of homeless children around the world.

Reviewed by Amy Knickerbocker, Wickes Library