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.
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.
"Venkatraman (A Time to Dance) vividly sketches the group’s precarious economic situation — the boys teach the sisters how to scale trash mountains for saleable metal and glass, a drunken waste man threatens them — and the care they take with one another as they face the rainy season and illness.... The narrative is told in a letter from Viji to Rukku, the writing of which, readers gradually learn, is Viji’s way of handling deep grief. This is a poignant portrait of love, sacrifice, and chosen family in the midst of poverty." — Publishers Weekly
|Recommended Age||10 and up|
|Publication Date||Feb 5, 2019|
|Publisher||Nancy Paulsen Books|