The Bridge Home
Viji and her sister Rukku flee an abusive father and find themselves in the city on their own. The city is a scary place and they encounter people who could hurt them. However, they also find friends. There is a friendly teashop lady who gives them food and supplies. They also meet Arul and Muthu, two boys living under a bridge, who help show them the ropes. They learn to pick recyclables out of the trash heaps around the city and sell them. They also learn how to survive on the streets on their own. But then the rainy season comes and Rukku and Muthu get sick. They are forced to ask for help from a charity to get medical attention.
This is not a happy story but it does have hope. Viji learns who she is meant to be during this difficult time and comes to appreciate the things she has and the family she makes. The author based the story off of her mother's work with children in India and from stories she learned from kids on the streets of India. None of these children have happy backstories, but some of them do have happy futures and that is what is important.