Global Reads Webinar Series: Born Behind Bars
6pm CST, April 18, 2023
Set in Chennai, India, this is the story of a boy who’s unexpectedly released into the world after spending his whole life in jail with his mom.
Kabir has been in jail since the day he was born, because his mom is serving time for a crime she didn’t commit. He’s never met his dad, so the only family he’s got are their cellmates, and the only place he feels the least bit free is in the classroom, where his kind teacher regales him with stories of the wonders of the outside world.
Then one day a new warden arrives and announces Kabir is too old to stay. He gets handed over to a long-lost uncle who unfortunately turns out to be a fraud, and intends to sell Kabir. So Kabir does the only thing he can–run away as fast as his legs will take him. How does a boy with nowhere to go and no connections make his way?
Fortunately, he befriends Rani, another street kid, and she takes him under her wing. But plotting their next move is hard–and fraught with danger–in a world that cares little for homeless, low caste children. This is not the world Kabir dreamed of–but he’s discovered he’s not the type to give up. Kabir is ready to show the world that he–and his mother–deserve a place in it.
About the Author
Padma Venkatraman is the author of Born Behind Bars, The Bridge Home, A Time to Dance, Island’s End and Climbing the Stairs. She is the winner of a WNDB Walter Dean Myers Award, Golden Kite Award, Crystal Kite Award, two Nerdy Book Awards, two Paterson Prizes, two Julia Ward Howe awards, three South Asia Book Awards and many other awards and honors. Her novels have been shortlisted for over 20 state awards, received over 20 starred reviews, appeared on numerous best book lists, such as the ALA Notable, NYPL Best Book, Kirkus Best Book, Booklist editor’s Choice and Junior Library Guild selection. Her poetry has been published in Poetry magazine and elsewhere. Before becoming an American author, Dr. Venkatraman spent time under the ocean and in rainforests, served as chief scientist on oceanographic research vessels where she was the only BIPOC female, and also worked as a teacher and diversity director. When she’s not writing, she loves speaking to others about her love for books and her passion for diversity, equity and inclusion and has presented keynote addresses, conducted writing workshops and attended festivals and conferences around the world. She is the founder of www.diverseverse.com and www.authorstakeaction.com.
Celebrate the 2022 South Asia Book Award!
November 12, 2022
Please join us to celebrate this year’s winners of the South Asia Book Award. In honor of the authors and their winning books, we are hosting two events – an educator workshop with the authors, and a public facing author talk & book signing. Read more and register below!
November 12, 10am-1:30pm (Madison Concourse Hotel and Governor’s Club)
Are you a current K-12 educator trying to find books focused on South Asia and South Asians living abroad? Are you looking for ways to connect your classroom readings to living authors? Join us for the 2022 South Asia Book Award Educator Workshop and Award Luncheon on Saturday, November 12, in Madison. Educators will have the opportunity to meet this year’s honored authors and collaborate on lesson development surrounding the award books and South Asia. The first 10 educators to sign up will receive a bundle of the 3 winning books! For more event details and to register, please click here.
Author Talk & Book Signing
November 12, 3:00 – 4:30 PM (Madison Public Library Central Branch)
Winners of the 2022 South Asia Book Award will be on hand to discuss the creation of their stories, read excerpts, and sign copies of their award-winning children’s books! Join us at the Madison Library – Central Branch on Saturday, November 12, 2022, 3:00-4:30 PM. This event is open to the public; educators, parents, and children are especially encouraged to join!
Copies of award books will be available for on-site purchase courtesy of A Room of One’s Own. For more event details and to register, click here.