Rajani LaRocca

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Rajani LaRocca

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December 2015


Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in the Boston area, where she practices medicine and writes award-winning books for young people, including Red, White, and Whole, which won a 2022 Newbery Honor, the Walter Dean Myers Award, Golden Kite Award, and New England Book Award. Her other books include: Midsummer’s Mayhem (2019), Seven Golden Rings (2020), Bracelets for Bina’s Brothers (2021), Much Ado About Baseball (2021), Where Three Oceans Meet (2021), My Little Golden Book About Kamala Harris (2021), The Secret Code Inside You (2021), I'll Go and Come Back (2022), and more. She’s always been an omnivorous reader, and now she is an omnivorous writer of fiction and nonfiction, novels and picture books, prose an ...more

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Popular Answered Questions

Rajani LaRocca Great question! I love cooking and baking competition shows!
My favorite baking competition show is The Great British Baking Show (or The Great British…more
Great question! I love cooking and baking competition shows!
My favorite baking competition show is The Great British Baking Show (or The Great British Bake Off in the UK). I love that all the contestants are amateurs (but seriously talented!); that the hosts, competitors, and judges get all nerdy about technique and ingredients; that the competitors come from all over the UK from a variety of backgrounds; that they compete just for bragging rights and a cake stand; and that everyone is so nice to each other. I also love the Kids Baking Championship, hosted by Duff Goldman and Valerie Bertinelli. The hosts are super kind and knowledgable, and Duff might have been part of the inspiration for the celebrity pastry chef in Midsummer's Mayhem. :) The kid contestants are so talented and come up with such creative ideas, but they are also real kids who cheer for each other and are disappointed when they have to leave the show. I love the kindness that shines through. even in the midst of a competition. I hope kids enjoy reading about the baking contest in Midsummer's Mayhem...although it might involve more shenanigans than the contests I just mentioned!(less)
Rajani LaRocca I'm going to cheat and pick two fields. I'd love to be a musician (I play the piano and sing), but I don't think I'm good enough to make it performing…moreI'm going to cheat and pick two fields. I'd love to be a musician (I play the piano and sing), but I don't think I'm good enough to make it performing, and I'm definitely not a composer! But music is very important to me, and it plays a crucial role in MIDSUMMER'S MAYHEM.
The other creative field I'd love to be involved in is cooking. I'd love to travel the world, learn about amazing cuisines, and bring them home to my family. We've been fortunate enough to visit lots of places and eat lots of delicious food, but I'd love to do even more. As you can imagine, creativity in the kitchen plays a huge role in the book as well!(less)
Average rating: 4.37 · 8,193 ratings · 2,042 reviews · 23 distinct worksSimilar authors
Red, White, and Whole

4.46 avg rating — 4,951 ratings — published 2021 — 6 editions
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Midsummer's Mayhem

4.14 avg rating — 1,505 ratings — published 2019 — 11 editions
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Where Three Oceans Meet

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4.48 avg rating — 445 ratings — published 2021 — 5 editions
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Bracelets For Bina's Brothers

4.12 avg rating — 355 ratings — published 2021 — 6 editions
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I'll Go and Come Back

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4.46 avg rating — 279 ratings — published 2022
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Seven Golden Rings: A Tale ...

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4.28 avg rating — 274 ratings — published 2020 — 2 editions
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Much Ado About Baseball

4.06 avg rating — 200 ratings — published 2021 — 8 editions
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The Secret Code Inside You

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4.38 avg rating — 94 ratings — published 2021 — 2 editions
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Mirror to Mirror

4.75 avg rating — 32 ratings2 editions
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My Little Golden Book about...

4.29 avg rating — 35 ratings2 editions
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More books by Rajani LaRocca…
Arcanum Unbounded...
Rajani LaRocca is currently reading
by Brandon Sanderson (Goodreads Author)
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The Assassin's Blade
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For the Wolf
Rajani LaRocca is currently reading
by Hannah F. Whitten (Goodreads Author)
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Rajani’s Recent Updates

Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca
"Haven’t cried this much on a plane since my first Nicholas Sparks novel a dozen years ago.

For anyone who chooses to love this read: May I suggest a cozy venue and a loved one you can hug when needed? "
Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca
"I honestly don't have the words to describe how much I loved this book...my heart hurts. Beautifully written and woven in a way that is thoughtful and sincere. I look forward to picking this book up many times again. What a treasure."
Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca
"As we talked about in class it was a real tear jerker at times and I think it was a deep dive into some of the harder aspects of life."
Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca
"Wonderful. Heartwarming. Beautiful writing. I was bawling as I drove to school listening to the ending with my 10 year old son. He did not cry, but did finally admit that he was feeling sad at the end as well.
The narrator did an amazing job with Reh" Read more of this review »
Rajani LaRocca rated a book it was amazing
The Moon from Dehradun by Shirin Shamsi
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What a beautiful and moving book! This picture book about the Partition of India and Pakistan, told from the point of view of a young girl, tackles the fear, uncertainty, and sadness of this terrible historical event yet manages to be comforting at t ...more
Rajani LaRocca rated a book it was amazing
The Moon from Dehradun by Shirin Shamsi
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What a beautiful and moving book! This picture book about the Partition of India and Pakistan, told from the point of view of a young girl, tackles the fear, uncertainty, and sadness of this terrible historical event yet manages to be comforting at t ...more
Rajani LaRocca rated a book it was amazing
Keepunumuk by Danielle Greendeer
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A beautiful story with gorgeous illustrations about the first Thanksgiving from the perspective of the Wampanoag, told in the way of the First Peoples. This New England Book Award winner is must-read for everyone.
Rajani LaRocca rated a book it was amazing
The Tower of Life by Chana Stiefel
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This is an absolutely magnificent book. With powerful words and dramatic artwork, Chana Stiefel and Susan Gal do a masterful job telling the story of Yaffa Eliach, who survived the Holocaust when the Nazis wiped out almost all the people in her Jewis ...more
Rajani LaRocca rated a book it was amazing
Wombats Are Pretty Weird by Abi Cushman
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This book manages to be hilarious — with funny illustrations and a dry tone — and informative, teaching readers all about the weird creatures that are wombats. With ever-growing teeth, backward pouches, and cube-like poops, wombats are sure to fascin ...more
Rajani LaRocca is currently reading
Arcanum Unbounded by Brandon Sanderson
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More of Rajani's books…
Quotes by Rajani LaRocca  (?)
Quotes are added by the Goodreads community and are not verified by Goodreads. (Learn more)

“If virtue has a color, it’s the color of the life within us, dancing with every heartbeat. It’s the legacy of our ancestors, the gifts of our parents that we try to live up to”
Rajani LaRocca, Red, White, and Whole

“Lemon and... blueberries, right? No, hold on- blackberries, I think. And... lavender? Lavender, for... excitement? I think there's an old saying that lavender is good for something like that."
That sounded familiar. "Just a second." I took the book out of my backpack and flipped through the beginning again. "This isn't in alphabetical order, or any kind of order at all. Oh, here it is. Lavender brings luck and adventure for those who choose to embrace it," I said. "You were right."
"What book is that?" asked Vik. "It looks ancient."
"I just found it. It's got all these drawings and descriptions of herbs and spices."
"Cool! Can I take a look?"
I handed him the book, and he spent the next few minutes leafing through it, but then returned to eating the cupcake.
"I love this. It's so different from the usual boring things people make. Although..." He took another bite. "I have a suggestion." He studied the cupcake. "The cake is light, fluffy, and complex, and the creamy, tangy frosting complements it so well. It might be even better with an edible garnish. Like a sugared mint leaf." He took another bite. "Or a sugared violet," he said with his mouth half full. "That would be lovely."
I gaped in surprise. He was right. It would be lovely. I'd thought about topping them with fresh, mouth-puckering blackberries, but these suggestions were so much more elegant.”
Rajani LaRocca, Midsummer's Mayhem

“Together, we decide that a hero: Is brave, but not without fear. Because if you fear nothing, how can you be brave? Says what they believe is right. Because if you cannot say what you believe in, how much do you believe in it? Works to make the world better. Because doing something is even more important than talking about it. Acts out of love for others. Because caring for other people is the biggest difference between a hero and a villain.”
Rajani LaRocca, Red, White, and Whole

Polls

What book should we read in April?

You may write in titles, provided the book is a 2022 Newbery contender and already published.

 
  46 votes 26.7%

 
  26 votes 15.1%

 
  25 votes 14.5%

Starfish by Lisa Fipps (write-in)
 
  24 votes 14.0%

Just like That Gardy D. Schmidt (write-in)
 
  24 votes 14.0%

 
  15 votes 8.7%

 
  7 votes 4.1%

Unspeakable:The Tulsa Race Massacre (write-in)
 
  3 votes 1.7%

Alone
 
  2 votes 1.2%

172 total votes
More...

Topics Mentioning This Author

topics posts views last activity  
Diverse Book Club: MG Mar 2021 - Red, White, and Whole 1 5 Mar 03, 2021 10:32AM  
A Million More Pages: June 2021 Audiobook Challenge 22 35 Jul 24, 2021 01:50PM  
Mock Newbery 2023: May Read - Red, White, and Whole 25 189 Aug 17, 2021 10:46AM  
The Lost Challenges: Canada and the United States 2021 75 58 Aug 20, 2021 12:30PM  
A Million More Pages: Poetry & Plays 19 38 Sep 30, 2021 02:06AM  
❀The Never-ending...: Last Letter Author Names 160 136 Nov 21, 2021 05:23AM  
“We walked among the different plants and by using The Book, we did our best to identify them and understand how to use them. Some were easy- spearmint, "for refreshment, strength, and healing," and rosemary, "for remembrance, and the prevention of nightmares." We also found a swathe of sage, which could be used "to cultivate wisdom and intelligence." When I came across a bunch of plants with dark green leaves and tiny white flowers, it took us quite a while to identify it by its drawing in The Book: gotu kola, an herb that could "restore the senses and clear confusion."
"Oh, look at this one," I said. "Saffron, for success. I should probably bake with that."
"If only it grew here," said Vik.
Finally, on the bank of a small stream, we found gigantic thyme stems, almost two feet tall and topped with plump clusters of purple flowers. "What's thyme good for?" I asked Vik as I plucked a dozen stems and inhaled their herbaceous scent.
"Thyme attracts affection, loyalty, and the goodwill of others," read Vik, "and can foster strength and courage when needed.”
Rajani LaRocca, Midsummer's Mayhem

“My nutmeg-caraway shortbread had too many conflicting spices, he would say. And of course, it had nothing to do with leaves. The lemon-raspberry cake decorated with lemon leaves was too tart, and the toffee cupcakes with leaf-shaped maple candy were cloying.”
Rajani LaRocca, Midsummer's Mayhem

“I was in the mood for some savory scones- I couldn't eat only sweet things, no matter what Mrs. T said.
I cut cold butter into flour with my pastry blender, added minced sun-dried tomatoes, fresh Parmesan, salt and pepper, sprinkled in oregano, and then, on a whim, tossed in crushed fennel seeds. I mixed in an egg and some milk. I kneaded the dough a few times, cut out rounds, and plopped them on a cookie sheet. I brushed the tops with more milk and slid the sheet into the hot oven.”
Rajani LaRocca, Midsummer's Mayhem

“The sun-dried tomatoes were robust and sweet and played well with the salty Parmesan. The oregano added a floral note, and the fennel made it energizing and playful.”
Rajani LaRocca, Midsummer's Mayhem

“The bowl was warm, and I inhaled the comforting aroma. It was kesari bhath, a dessert Mom had learned to make from her mom, who'd learned it from hers in India, and on and on and on for who knew how many generations. It was made with semolina, sugar, milk, and ghee, flavored with saffron and cardamom, and studded with raisins and cashews. I tasted a spoonful of the thick, golden pudding. It was perfect.”
Rajani LaRocca, Midsummer's Mayhem

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