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Friday, January 25, 2019

Climbing the Stairs - Multicultural Children's Book Day Book Review #MCBD2019 #ReadYourWorld

Welcome to Multicultural Children's Book Day. This is my fifth year participating. For more information on this year's event, including a list of sponsors, see my Multicultural Children's Book Day is Here post.


My second book review for the day is the book Climbing the Stairs by author Padma Venkatraman from Penguin Random House. It is the story of an Indian teenaged girl who dreams of going to college. That doesn't sound too far-fetched today, but the book is based during World War II, when the British occupied the country, and she is forced to move in with her conservative extended family after a family tragedy. Arranged marriages was more the norm at that time.

The book tells a great story of the coming of age of young Vidya. After her father is injured to the point where they have to move in with his parents, she gets permission from her grandfather to climb the stairs to read books in the library to learn.  As a female, she was relegated to the downstairs. What happens after and how Vidya evolves is the true story of the book.

The Climbing the Stairs book is the perfect book for Multicultural Children's Book Day. For an Indian family, a daughter would get a great understanding of how their mom and grandmother lived during the time of the second world war. Yes, a boy can read the book, too, but the connection of daughter to strong female protagonist is just a much better fit. For the non-Indian family, a reader can get a feel for Indian culture and history that they just never would have been exposed to. For both families, the book would make a great family read for mother and daughter, where they can then share what they thought about how life has changed from the time of World War II.

*Read my Disclosure

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