Rajani LaRocca

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December 2015


Rajani LaRocca was born in India, raised in Kentucky, and now lives in eastern Massachusetts with her wonderful husband, two brilliant kids, and an impossibly cute dog. She spends her time writing middle grade novels and picture books, practicing medicine, and baking way too many sweet treats. Her debut middle grade, MIDSUMMER'S MAYHEM, an Indian-American mashup of A Midsummer Night's Dream and competitive baking, was an Indies Introduce selection, an Indie next pick, a Kirkus Best Book of 2019, and a Massachusetts Must-Read title.

To find our more about Rajani, visit her website at:
https://rajanilarocca.com
or on Twitter and Instagram @rajanilarocca
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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: 4.29 · 589 ratings · 207 reviews · 8 distinct worksSimilar authors
Midsummer's Mayhem

4.28 avg rating — 579 ratings — published 2019 — 9 editions
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The Secret Code Inside You

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — expected publication 2021
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Bracelets For Bina's Brothers

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 2 ratings — expected publication 2021 — 3 editions
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I'll Go and Come Back

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Much Ado About Baseball

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — expected publication 2021
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Red, White, and Whole

it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating — expected publication 2021 — 2 editions
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Seven Golden Rings: A Tale ...

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Where Three Oceans Meet

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More books by Rajani LaRocca…

A Fantastic Virtual SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE Book Festival!

Thanks to Blue Bunny Books and the Dedham Public Library, the SMACK DAB IN THE MIDDLE 3 Book Festival took place virtually on May 16! We started off with an great keynote from Tui Sutherland, who recommended stacks of fantastic books, then proceeded with an excellent panel on contemporary fiction and nonfiction with Kate Allen, Janae Marks, Erin Dionne, Ammi-Joan Paquette, and Elly Swartz. I loved

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Published on May 17, 2020 06:58

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Rajani LaRocca wants to read
American as Paneer Pie by Supriya Kelkar
American as Paneer Pie
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Emmy in the Key of Code by Aimee Lucido
Emmy in the Key of Code
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Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga
Other Words for Home
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Soaked! by Abi Cushman
Soaked!
by Abi Cushman (Goodreads Author)
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I absolutely love this picture book about a grumpy bear whose favorite things (ice cream cones, sand castles, cashmere sweaters) are ruined by a very rainy day. Can the bear and other animal friends come up with a way to enjoy themselves, or are they ...more
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Invent-a-Pet by Vicky Fang
Invent-a-Pet
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I adored this smart, cute STEM-themed story! Katie wants the perfect pet, but none of the ones she can find will do. When a mysterious "Invent-a-Pet" machine arrives at her house, Katie finds she can "input" three different things that will result in ...more
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Hot British Boyfriend by Kristy Boyce
Hot British Boyfriend
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Dance Like a Leaf by A.J. Irving
Dance Like a Leaf
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Who Gives a Poop? by Heather L. Montgomery
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The Nest That Wren Built by Randi Sonenshine
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I Can Code by Vicky Fang
I Can Code: If/Then
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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

71883 Great Middle Grade Reads — 3235 members — last activity 9 hours, 53 min ago
GMGR brings together parents, teachers, librarians, writers and readers, who all love middle grade books. If you've ever wished for your very own magi ...more
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