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“Climbing the Stairs, Venkatraman’s first Young Adult novel,
is a passionate story…In the novel,
books serve as a saving grace…
The central theme of the novel, violence and nonviolence,
will appeal to an
international audience…”

India Currents
When Vidya furtively climbs the stairs to her grandfather’s library, she finds comfort in the stories she reads, and freedom through the words she writes in her notebook. I share Vidya’s love of reading, writing and libraries. I am so appreciative of the United States’ public library system where anyone can enter these oases of quiet and sanctums of knowledge – free of charge. I am also fascinated by the idea of Bibliotherapy - a therapeutic practice that recognizes the value of literature in helping people to sort through emotional problems and life changes.

Below you will find a list of resources related to Bibliotherapy and the importance of libraries.
Bibliotherapy and Libraries

Bobinski, George Sylvan.
Carnegie Libraries: Their History and Impact on American Public Library Development. 1969. Chicago, IL: American Library Association.

Carroll, Pamela S (editor).
Using Literature to Help Troubled Teenagers Cope with Societal Issues. 1999. Westport, CT: The Greenwood Press. "Using Literature to Help Troubled Teenagers" Series.
    
From the publisher’s product description: “This unique resource provides  
      guidance to these professionals by pairing literacy specialists with counselors 
      who introduce information about social issues important to today's adolescents.”


For the complete list of resources on Bibliotherapy and libraries,
click here.
“A beautifully written coming-of-age story about a girl growing up in India during World War II. Vidya loves to read and looks forward to going to college someday. When her father is injured, Vidya and her family must move into Grandfather's traditional Hindu household, where Vidya is forbidden even to climb the stairs to Grandfather's library…”
                                                                -
Joanne Fritz, Facebook, Virtual Bookshelf review