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Copyright (c) 2008 Padma Venkatraman

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Kitta's Choices - Colonization and World War 2
“Young Adult novels are difficult to review for several reasons…the genre “Young Adult literature” is in itself a tricky label because it assumes that the book will be predominant read by just one particular narrow cultural subset…Thankfully, Padma Venkatraman has put a few of these issues to rest, or at least rendered them temporarily irrelevant…one of the most successful aspects of the novel is…open-ended…allows her thematic questions to resonate more fully and widely…Venkatraman should encounter success, I suspect, since her first foray into fiction is an enjoyable addition to the genre – whichever genre you choose to put it into, that is.”

Evan P. Schneider, Newport Mercury
Climbing the Stairs was released in May 2008. As of April 2009, the book has received the following honors:

* Winner, Julia Ward Howe Boston Authors Club 2009 Award (young readers book of the year)

* Bank Street College of Education Best Book of the Year

* ALA/YALSA Best Book for Young Adults

* Booklist Editor's Choice Best Book of the Year

* New York Public Library Best Book for the Teen Age

* Pennsylvania School Library Association Top 40 Books of 2008

* Cooperative Children's Book Center Choice

* National Council of Social Studies CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book

* 2009 Capitol Choice

* Children's Literature Network Top 25 books of 2007-2008

* ALA/Amelia Bloomer List

* a starred review in

* a starred review in
Publishers Weekly

* a 5Q 4P (highest rating) review in

* an excellent review in

* an excellent review in
School Library Journal

* a
Publishers Weekly Flying Starts highlight

* a
Booklinks Best New Books for the Classroom selection

* a
Booksense Notable citation

To read excerpts from some of the reviews, click here.
"...a wonderful and fresh voice…appeals to both young adults and adults alike. For both the groups, the story's backdrop can offer interesting insights into India's political and social fabric during World War II and the independence struggle…Kitta makes some important decisions for himself in line with his own ideals…A fascinating plot…fascinating characters…a pleasure to read…I would be missing the point if I didn't recoginize the fact [Kitta and Vidya are] both equally strong-willed and important characters…”