Reading A Bridge Home? Read this! #GRA19

Rhode Island, September 2019

Dear educator,

It’s impossible for me to express how grateful I feel that THE BRIDGE HOME is a Global Read Aloud choice. I’ve long admired this wonderful endeavor and I love how Ms. Ripp is able to connect people around the world through the power of words. I can’t wait for you to meet Rukku, Viji, Muthu, Arul and Kutti – all of whom are based on friends I had as a child, growing up in India. As a gesture of thanks, I’ll be giving away 4 free skype as we countdown to #GRABridge. If interested, please follow me on twitter (@padmatv) and watch for the Skype giveaways (planned for Thursdays or Fridays this September).

Opening a book I love, to me, is like opening a door into someone’s heart. While I read, for a while, I live, breathe, and feel what the characters experience – and when I finish it, I don’t just have the sense that I was transported to another place or time but also that I have been transformed just a little by the moments of empathy I experienced. If you and your students feel this way as they read THE BRIDGE HOME, I hope to connect with them (through weekly blog posts and Q&A videos) and encourage them to engage in activities that raise awareness and bring positivity and change into their lives, homes, environments and communities. To that end, and to augment your GRA experience and make it more fun, I’ve also created a lot of educational materials that are freely downloadable, such as:

Photo resource (pdf of photographs of the city that inspired THE BRIDGE HOME, with annotations)

Reader’s Theater (for 2 scenes in the novel)

Video mini-lessons on geography and showing how to write in Tamil (which the characters speak)

Podcast of me reading the first chapter

Pronunciation guide (for Indian names and words)

Discussion guide

Suggestions for social justice activities

Cooking up stories (a recipe for Indian style saffron yogurt and links to recipes for food mentioned in THE BRIDGE HOME)

Writing prompts, cross-curricular links with mathematics, art, social studies, and much much more.

You can find this on my website ( and then click on The Bridge Home tab). On my website, you’ll also see links to my social media and you can sign up to follow my blog posts there as well (and that way you’ll be notified each time I put up a new post). I will be taking questions weekly on my blog – and I plan to choose a few of the questions I receive before 12:00 noon US EST Wednesday each week and create a video with answers every Friday during #GRA19.

In addition, Ms. Ripp has very kindly agreed, with the help of her class, to judge two contests (a writing contest and an art contest) during #GRABridge (more information to come).

Here’s looking forward to building bridges with words, across the world, together. Books bridge homes and hearts!




One thought on “Reading A Bridge Home? Read this! #GRA19

  1. Jennifer King says:

    Wow, Padma! This is all incredibly generous of you. Thank you so much! I read your book this summer in preparation for the GRA. I’m so excited to share your book with my 7th graders, and I’m eager to check out these resources. Again, thank you!

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