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 novels and picture books, including Midsummer’s Mayhem (2019), Seven Golden Rings (2020), Red, White, and Whole (2021), 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), 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 and poetry. She finds inspiration in her family, her childhood, the natural world, math, science, and just about everywhere she looks. To connect with Rajan ...more

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Popular Answered Questions

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)
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)
Average rating: 4.44 · 2,373 ratings · 704 reviews · 12 distinct worksSimilar authors
Red, White, and Whole

4.59 avg rating — 1,203 ratings — published 2021 — 6 editions
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Midsummer's Mayhem

4.24 avg rating — 918 ratings — published 2019 — 10 editions
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Seven Golden Rings: A Tale ...

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4.45 avg rating — 157 ratings — published 2020 — 2 editions
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Bracelets For Bina's Brothers

4.38 avg rating — 69 ratings — published 2021 — 4 editions
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Much Ado About Baseball

4.70 avg rating — 10 ratings — expected publication 2021 — 3 editions
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The Secret Code Inside You

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings — expected publication 2021 — 2 editions
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I'll Go and Come Back

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings — expected publication 2022
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Where Three Oceans Meet

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings — expected publication 2022 — 2 editions
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El dulce y alocado verano d...

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4.50 avg rating — 2 ratings
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My Little Golden Book about...

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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More books by Rajani LaRocca…

MIDSUMMER’S MAYHEM in Book Riot!

I loved seeing MIDSUMMER’S MAYHEM on this delectable list of middle grade novels featuring characters who love to cook or bake, along with books by so many wonderful friends!

 

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Published on May 03, 2021 18:52

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Rajani’s Recent Updates

Midsummer's Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca
"This was too cute!! Magical and full of creative baked goods! Plus, the illustrations were too cute!"
Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca
"Awesome story about young girl Reha, who was born in U.S. and raised in Indian traditions. The book written in verse reads very quickly but packs a lot of punch in a short amount of words. Get kleenex ready!"
Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca
"This novel -in-verse is set in the 1980s, but it's perfect for anyone in the here-and-now who has ever felt caught between two worlds."
Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca
"very powerful, definitely recommend"
Rajani LaRocca rated a book it was amazing
How to Wear a Sari by Darshana Khiani
How to Wear a Sari
by Darshana Khiani (Goodreads Author)
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An adorable book about a little girl who wants to feel all grown up by wearing a sari! Told in a spunky second-person voice and illustrated with sweet and humorous art that plays off the text, HOW TO WEAR A SARI is about trying hard, messing up, and ...more
Rajani LaRocca finished reading
A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
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The ​Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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The ​Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout
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Rajani LaRocca rated a book it was amazing
American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar
American Betiya
by Anuradha D. Rajurkar (Goodreads Author)
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This YA novel is gorgeously written and perfectly captures the feeling of teenage infatuation and first love — the glances, the thoughts, the intensity. But Rani, the young heroine of the story, has even more to contend with, since she needs to keep ...more
Rajani LaRocca rated a book it was amazing
American Betiya by Anuradha D. Rajurkar
American Betiya
by Anuradha D. Rajurkar (Goodreads Author)
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This YA novel is gorgeously written and perfectly captures the feeling of teenage infatuation and first love — the glances, the thoughts, the intensity. But Rani, the young heroine of the story, has even more to contend with, since she needs to keep ...more
More of Rajani's books…
“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

Polls

What book should we read in May?

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

 
  32 votes 24.1%

Starfish by Lisa Fipps (write-in)
 
  22 votes 16.5%

 
  18 votes 13.5%

 
  17 votes 12.8%

 
  12 votes 9.0%

Billy Miller Makes a Wish by Kevin Henkes (write-in)
 
  9 votes 6.8%

 
  8 votes 6.0%

Starfish (write-in)
 
  8 votes 6.0%

Red, White and Whole (write-in)
 
  3 votes 2.3%

I'm changing my vote to Billy Miller Makes a Wish (write-in)
 
  2 votes 1.5%

The Sea in Winter (write-in)
 
  1 vote 0.8%

Strong as Fire, Fierce as Flame by Supriya Kelkar (write-in)
 
  1 vote 0.8%

133 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  
❀The Never-ending...: Last Letter Author Names 50 42 9 hours, 59 min ago  
Mock Newbery 2022: May Read - Red, White, and Whole 4 38 3 hours, 0 min ago  
“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

71883 Great Middle Grade Reads — 3476 members — last activity 44 minutes ago
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