Set in Chennai, India, this is the story of a boy who’s unexpectedly released into the world after spending his whole life in jail with his mom.
Kabir has been in jail since the day he was born, because his mom is serving time for a crime she didn’t commit. He’s never met his dad, so the only family he’s got are their cellmates, and the only place he feels the least bit free is in the classroom, where his kind teacher regales him with stories of the wonders of the outside world.
Then one day a new warden arrives and announces Kabir is too old to stay. He gets handed over to a long-lost uncle who unfortunately turns out to be a fraud, and intends to sell Kabir. So Kabir does the only thing he can–run away as fast as his legs will take him. How does a boy with nowhere to go and no connections make his way?
Fortunately, he befriends Rani, another street kid, and she takes him under her wing. But plotting their next move is hard–and fraught with danger–in a world that cares little for homeless, low caste children. This is not the world Kabir dreamed of–but he’s discovered he’s not the type to give up. Kabir is ready to show the world that he–and his mother–deserve a place in it.
About the Author
Padma Venkatraman is the author of Born Behind Bars, The Bridge Home, A Time to Dance, Island’s End and Climbing the Stairs. She is the winner of a WNDB Walter Dean Myers Award, Golden Kite Award, Crystal Kite Award, two Nerdy Book Awards, two Paterson Prizes, two Julia Ward Howe awards, three South Asia Book Awards and many other awards and honors. Her novels have been shortlisted for over 20 state awards, received over 20 starred reviews, appeared on numerous best book lists, such as the ALA Notable, NYPL Best Book, Kirkus Best Book, Booklist editor’s Choice and Junior Library Guild selection. Her poetry has been published in Poetry magazine and elsewhere. Before becoming an American author, Dr. Venkatraman spent time under the ocean and in rainforests, served as chief scientist on oceanographic research vessels where she was the only BIPOC female, and also worked as a teacher and diversity director. When she’s not writing, she loves speaking to others about her love for books and her passion for diversity, equity and inclusion and has presented keynote addresses, conducted writing workshops and attended festivals and conferences around the world. She is the founder of www.diverseverse.com and www.authorstakeaction.com.
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