Age Range: 8 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 7
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Quill Tree Books (February 2, 2021)
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
★ Booklist, Starred Review
★ BookPage, Starred Review
A heartbreakingly hopeful #ownvoices novel in verse about an Indian American girl whose life is turned upside down when her mother is diagnosed with leukemia.
Reha feels torn between two worlds: school, where she’s the only Indian American student, and home, with her family’s traditions and holidays. But Reha’s parents don’t understand why she’s conflicted—they only notice when Reha doesn’t meet their strict expectations. Reha feels disconnected from her mother, or Amma, although their names are linked—Reha means “star” and Punam means “moon”—but they are a universe apart.
Then Reha finds out that her Amma is sick. Really sick.
Reha, who dreams of becoming a doctor even though she can’t stomach the sight of blood, is determined to make her Amma well again. She’ll be the perfect daughter, if it means saving her Amma’s life.
From Indies Introduce author Rajani LaRocca comes a radiant story about the ties that bind and how to go on in the face of unthinkable loss. This is the perfect next read for fans of Jasmine Warga and Thanhhà Lại.
Praise for RED, WHITE, AND WHOLE …
“Red, White, and Whole is the lyrical and poignant journey of a first generation Indian American girl growing up in the eighties. LaRocca weaves together a beautiful mix of themes– identity, belonging, love, devastating loss, and eighties pop music rendered in seamless verse. A book I wish I had growing up in the eighties!” — Veera Hiranandani, Newbery Honor-winning author of The Night Diary
“Perfect for fans of Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga and Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton.” — School Library Journal
“An intimate novel that beautifully confronts grief and loss.” — Kirkus Reviews
About the author …
Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area, where she practices medicine and writes award-winning novels and picture books and cohosts the STEM Women in KidLit Podcast. She’s always been an omnivorous reader, and now she is an omnivorous writer of fiction and nonfiction, novels and picture books, prose and poetry. She finds inspiration in her family, her childhood, the natural world, math, science, and just about everywhere she looks. Learn more about Rajani and her books at www.RajaniLaRocca.com and Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.