Saraswati’s Way by Monika Schroder

Saraswati's WayThere’s adage often repeated to authors to “Write what you know.” Monika Schroder is a teacher in India and Saraswati’s Way is a school story—of sorts. It’s obvious from the beginning that she’s writing from experience—and from her heart. Akash, her main character, is a 12-year-old boy with a dream. He’s got a gift for mathematics and would like nothing more than to earn a scholarship to continue his education. The education he gets though, has nothing to do with school—unless it’s the “school of hard knocks.” Even in modern day India, life can be harder than we in Middle America could ever imagine. Akash knows that side of life only too well. Much like the Biblical character Job, for him, life is sweaty, grimy, miserable, disgusting, uncertain and terrifying. But Akash is also 12 years old. He’s bright, bold, resourceful and ever hopeful even in the most dismal situations. I found myself drawn completely into the story, hovering over the pages like some sort of guardian angel. I cheered for Akash’s small triumphs and moaned—literally—when his desperation took him in the wrong direction. He became real to me; which, I would assume is the aim of every author. When the book ended, I knew I would miss Akash but was content to have known him. I am anxiously awaiting Ms. Schroder’s next book and acquainting myself with the new friend that I will almost certainly find there. Posted by: Eileen

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