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15-year-old Vidya dreams of going to college; an unusual aspiration for a girl living in British-occupied India during WWII. Then tragedy strikes and Vidya and her brother are forced to move into a traditional household with their extended family, where women are meant to be married, not educated. Breaking the rules, Vidya finds refuge in her grandfather's library. But then her brother does something unthinkable and Vidya's life becomes a whirlwind of political and personal complications. The question is, will she be strong enough to survive?
Padma Venkatraman lives in North Kingstown, Rhode Island. An oceanographer by training, she is the author of twenty books for young readers, published in India, on a variety of subjects. To learn more, about her book Climbing the Stairs, visit the web site, www.climbingthestairsbook.com. You can also read her blog, padmasbooks.blogspot.com.