Saraswati's Way and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $16.99
  • Save: $1.70 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 2 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
Saraswati's Way has been added to your Cart
Used: Acceptable | Details
Sold by ToyBurg
Condition: :
Comment: Eligible for FREE Super Saving Shipping! Fast Amazon shipping plus a hassle free return policy mean your satisfaction is guaranteed. Readable copy. All pages complete and readable but expect worn edges, covers, and creases. There is no Amazon condition below acceptable. Markings and/or wear on spine/edges of book.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 3 images

Saraswati's Way Hardcover – November 9, 2010

See all 4 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
Hardcover, November 9, 2010
$1.14 $0.01

Flunked: Fairy Tale Reform School
Fairy Tale Reform School is spellbinding and wickedly clever. Gilly is smart, spunky, and a hilarious narrator, and I cannot wait to read about her next adventure!" - Leslie Margolis, author of the Annabelle Unleashed novels and the Maggie Brooklyn Mysteries. See more featured fantasy & magic books for 9 - 12 year-olds
$15.29 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 2 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

Frequently Bought Together

Saraswati's Way + Fire in the Heart: A Spiritual Guide for Teens
Price for both: $25.99

Buy the selected items together

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 5 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 790L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (November 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374364117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374364113
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,077,164 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-7–With his talent for math, 12-year-old Akash dreams of escaping his dreary existence by winning a school scholarship. He and his widowed father, Bapu, eke out a precarious existence with their extended family in rural Rajasthan, a drought-plagued region of India. After Bapu's death, Akash is sent to a quarry to work off his family's insurmountable debt. He runs away and ends up living in the New Dehli train station. He forages through trash heaps to find food, joins a group of homeless children, and moves from one perilous situation to the next. In one of the most harrowing episodes, he and a friend sell drugs for a dangerous drug lord. Akash's story is involving, yet the fast-paced plot outpaces character development, and the hopeful ending arrives abruptly. In an author's note, Schröder briefly describes the plight of street children in India; she also adds interest with references to Vedic math and Hindu gods. Despite its good intentions, Akash's story remains too thinly sketched to be memorable.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In Rajasthan, India, 12-year-old Akash loves math, and he dreams of earning a scholarship to further his studies. After his father’s abrupt death, though, his grandmother sends him to work in a quarry to pay off the family’s deep debt. Quickly realizing that loan-shark interest rates will never allow his family to reduce what they owe, Akash escapes by sneaking onto a New Delhi-bound train. In the bewildering big city, he joins a group of street kids who feed themselves from garbage scraps and earn coins by collecting plastic bottles. Schröder, a German-born educator who now lives in India, frankly exposes the harsh realities of the street children’s world: many sniff corrective fluid for a cheap, brain-melting high, and even Akash tries selling drugs to make the quick money he needs to continue his education. Eventually, though, Akash begins to find real opportunities and support. With skillfully integrated cultural details (further explained in an appended glossary and author’s note) and a fully realized child’s story, Schröder presents a view, sobering and inspiring, of remarkably resilient young people surviving poverty without losing themselves. Grades 4-7. --Gillian Engberg

Related Media

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 7 customer reviews
It's a world that will equally tantalize and haunt you.
Robert Kent
I loved how the author took you to India in her book and described it so well you thought you were there.
Kathryn J Perrotta
This novel is definitely one such story which you may like to read and share it with children.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Yana V. Rodgers on December 28, 2010
Format: Hardcover
With his extraordinary mathematical abilities, twelve-year old Akash had already surpassed what his village math teacher could teach him. Akash dreamed of earning a scholarship so that he could attend a better school in the city, but his father's untimely death forced him to go down an entirely different path: his grandmother sent him off to work in their landlord's quarry in order to pay off the family debt.

Only a few days of this backbreaking physical labor and some quick calculations led Akash to conclude that the debt would continue to grow no matter how hard he worked. He managed to sneak onto a passenger train for New Delhi and join up with a group of boys at the train station who supported themselves by going through the trash and selling plastic bottles. However, as Akash became more exposed to the darker side of street life, including petty crime, gambling, and drugs, he would need the guidance of Saraswati the goddess of knowledge as well as his own keen intuition to steer him toward the right path.

Set in a rural Indian village as well as the bustling train station and streets of New Delhi, this novel provides young learners with a glimpse of what it could take for an orphaned and unwanted child to survive in the most challenging of circumstances. A relatively gentle tone helps to introduce middle grade readers to issues associated with child poverty and child labor that they may otherwise not read much about.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Robert Kent on February 22, 2011
Format: Hardcover
At one point, Akash, the hero of Saraswati's Way, is asked what it's like to read by one of many illiterate boys he meets and he replies: "It's like going to different places without leaving where you are." Esteemed Reader, I cannot think of a finer way to describe Saraswati's Way to you. This book is a portal to another world not often seen in American fiction, the world of India through the eyes of a peasant child. It's a world that will equally tantalize and haunt you.

Like many Americans, I'll admit that the Ninja is woefully ignorant of other cultures and my knowledge of India comes mostly from Slumdog Millionaire, Apu from The Simpsons, and Karl Pilkington's journey to the Taj Mahal on An Idiot Abroad. I have Indian friends, but they've been Americanized. If you're an American who is already very familiar with India and its culture, you're still going to love Saraswati's Way because at its heart it's a great story well told. But for the ignorant, such as myself, it is fascinating to have this opportunity to learn more about Indian culture and social rules wrapped around a compelling story.

From a craft perspective, Saraswatti's Way is a great example about how to write about setting and how the choice of setting informs every aspect of the story. If you're a science fiction writer describing other worlds, or a small town Indiana boy like me writing about small town Indiana, Monika Shroder is a wonderful world builder and her work is worth studying. See how she delivers exposition about culture we need to know to understand the story without ever interrupting the story. To even understand the title, you need to know that Saraswatti is the Indian goddess of knowledge and to know the importance of religion in Indian culture.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By aruna on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a compelling story of Akash, a 12 year old boy who hails from a village in Rajasthan, India. He wants to get educated. He loves maths and is good with numbers. Akash is determined to study. However, he has to face one challenge after another - his family is in debt and cannot afford his education, things take a turn for the worse as his father dies, he is sent off as a bonded labour, he runs away and ends up as a street child. The story of the obstacles Akash faces to make his dream of going to school come true and his ceaseless efforts are inspiring.

The novel highlights many social and economic problems- the plight of the rural poor burdened with debt, child labour, drugs and state of education. Yet it does so without pessimism and hopelessness. The author does not try to find an easy solution but is able to imbue hope that if one tries one can still beat the odds.

I felt there is also a deeper message in the novel - Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge, does not come by wishing or praying alone. Knowledge has to be acquired and to be sought by doing the right things. ( The vehicle of goddess Sarawati is a swan which is fabled for its ability to distinguish pure milk from milk mixed with water i.e, separate the good from the bad.) That is Saraswati's way. Akash, a devotee of goddess Saraswati, learns this lesson through his struggles to reach his goal.

The characters in the novel are realistic and can be encountered in everyday life in India. Having lived close to where the action takes place in Delhi one can appreciate the accuracy of details. Due credit also needs to be given to the author who has successfully been able to capture the stories of the deities and the local customs and traditions .

They say storytelling is a powerful way of teaching. This novel is definitely one such story which you may like to read and share it with children.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sandra K. Stiles on April 11, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The main character, Akash, is every math teacher's dream student. He loves math and has a gift for it. Unlike here in the United States where students can get a free education, Akash must have a scholarship to continue going to school. His tutor has taught him all he knows. Akash is not going to fool himself. He knows they don't have the money. His father works hard to support all of them. That includes his grandmother and his uncle who is addicted to opium and gambles away their money. The money goes as fast as Akash's father makes it. When the father dies Akash find the farm owner knocking on their door demanding the back rent. The grandmother sends Akash to work in the quarry. Akash figures there is a better way for him to make money and use his math skills. He runs away to New Delhi to make his fortune. It is very difficult for him there. He is a street kid and has two options. He can make quick money dishonestly or he can find honest work and make it slower. This is an internal struggle that only he can choose. So what does he do? He prays to the Hindu goddess Saraswati asking for guidance. You'll need to read the book to see what he decides to do. This is a great book to have in your classroom to teach multicultural issues. I would recommend this to upper middle graders and up. There is quite a bit of mature material in it. It needs to be there because these types of activities happen in real life but it is pretty mature for the younger crow. I gladly place this book on my shelves.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

More About the Author

Monika Schröder grew up in Germany. She has worked as elementary school teacher and librarian in international schools in Egypt, Chile, the Sultanate of Oman, and India. She currently lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her husband and dog.
You can find out more about her on her website:

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Set up an Amazon Giveaway

Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers. Learn more
Saraswati's Way
This item: Saraswati's Way
Price: $16.99 $15.29
Ships from and sold by