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Appa's Library - Peace and Nonviolence
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"British-occupied India during World War II is the setting for this impressive debut novel....
Thought-provoking and
deeply moving."


Booksense, Notable citation
While researching the events and issues of India in the 1940’s for Climbing the Stairs, I read and heard several firsthand accounts from people who participated in Mahatma Gandhi’s nonviolent freedom struggle. Like Appa, many of them were regular people whose participation in the effort did not make them famous or give them any other rewards beyond the satisfaction of standing up for what one believes. The Indian independence movement could not have been successful were it not for its popularity with the masses and their active and passionate participation.

Appa’s philosophy of life and the actions he takes are based on a deep-rooted and unshakeable belief in the power of peace and nonviolence. Listed below are links to resources to further your understanding of peace and nonviolence, Mahatma Gandhi (also known as Gandhiji), and one of the most famous proponents of nonviolence, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Mahatma Gandhi

Gandhi, Mohandas Karamchand (edited by John Strohmeier). The Bhagavad Gita According to Gandhi. 2000. Albany, CA: Berkeley Hills Books.
    
This volume includes Mahatma Gandhi's Gita text and commentary and provides an 
      excellent insight into some of the issues that he felt most directly affected one's 
      spiritual life.


Peace and Nonviolence

The University of Rhode Island offers a minor in Peace and Nonviolence Studies through its Center for Peace and Nonviolence Studies. http://www.uri.edu/nonviolence. The Center is directed by Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. who has been a Civil Rights Movement activist, minister, educator, lecturer, and is an authority on the strategy on nonviolent social change, and currently a Distinguished-Scholar-in-Residence.

Martin Luther King, Jr.


I Have a Dream: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Foreword by Coretta Scott King.) New York: Scholastic Press.
     
The entire speech illustrated with the works of fifteen Coretta Scott King Award and 
        Honor Book artists. The gorgeous over-sized book ends with each artist sharing
        what inspired each painting or illustration.


For the complete list of resources on Gandhi, peace and nonviolence, and Martin Luther King, Jr.,
click here.
“This book gives readers a glimpse into what it means to live in a traditional Indian joint family and of the restrictions imposed on people due to social and cultural norms. It speaks to the searing pain of oppression and the struggle for independence, both national and personal…. Venkatraman's Climbing the Stairs is a fast paced book full
of memorable characters, a strong story line, and a satisfying conclusion. I highly recommend readers accompany Vidya on her journey; they will be changed just as
she is."
                                                                     -
Sunita Bhargava, amazon.com reader reviews