“Truly, one of the most heart-expanding stories ever, filled with kindness, music, mythology, all of those things. But above all, here is a story of love, and the ways in which it transcends nationalities, age, science, and fear. In LaRocca’s gifted hands, her Reha shows us how to live in the world, even when it feels divided, even then.” — Kathi Appelt, National Book Award finalist and Newbery Honor-winning author of The Underneath and Keeper
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
This book is a marvel — at once so rich and so spare. — Ali Benjamin, National Book Award finalist and New York Times bestselling author of The Thing About Jellyfish and The Next Great Paulie Fink
The seamless blend of ancient Indian folklore and modern western storytelling makes this winner a standout. Red, White, and Whole gets my vote. — Nikki Grimes, author of Ordinary Hazards and Garvey’s Choice
“I felt this novel in verse in my bones. An important book, it will change how young readers see their world. And that’s the best kind of book to read at any age.” — Jane Yolen, author of The Devil’s Arithmetic, Briar Rose, and Mapping the Bones
This is a sweet, gentle story about love and loss, individualism and community, friendship and family, belonging and longing to live up to one’s dreams. In Reha, LaRocca has created a relatable protagonist who feels caught between two cultures, but ultimately finds her own way. — Padma Venkatraman, award-winning author of The Bridge Home and A Time To Dance
Infused with science, 80s music, and the struggles and joys of navigating middle school when you live in two different worlds, Red, White, and Whole is delightfully real and achingly beautiful. Reha’s story grabbed my heart from the first pages and never let go. — Kate Messner, author of Breakout and Chirp
“LaRocca’s historical novel in verse takes the reader through Reha’s past and present, flowing as seamlessly as many of the songs often referred to within the poems. Readers will be changed by her story.” — Booklist (starred review)
“An intimate novel that beautifully confronts grief and loss.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Brimming with warmth. An approachable account of negotiating identity and of struggling with loss.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
“This verse novel weaves together complex narrative strands with sophistication. Give this emotionally powerful novel to immigrant, third-culture kids or anyone experiencing grief and loss.” — Horn Book Magazine
About the Author
Rajani LaRocca‘s debut middle grade novel, Midsummer’s Mayhem, was a Kirkus Best Book of 2019, an Indies Introduce selection, and an Indie Next pick. Rajani was born in India, immigrated to the U.S. when she was a baby, and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Medical School, she practices medicine and lives outside Boston with her family.
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