Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca

Red, White, and Whole

by Rajani LaRocca

‘Red, White, and Whole’ is a Junior and Young Adult Realistic Fiction read with many honors: 2022 Newberry Honor, Walter Dean Myers Award Golden Kite Award, and New England Book Award.

The main character, Rhea, who narrates the novel, is the 13-year-old daughter of immigrant parents from India. Her family lives in Boston. Dealing with the cultural traditions of India and those of the United States has her living in two different worlds. This is often troublesome; however, Rhea is an intelligent and sweet teen who has the good fortune of living in a very loving family; her parents adore her and she adores them. She does not like to disappoint them and they want her to be happy. This love nurtures reasonable give and take, regarding traditions, between Rhea and her parents.

Rhea hopes to become a doctor someday … if she can get over fainting when she sees blood. Her desire to become a doctor intensifies when her dear mother is diagnosed with leukemia.

The author, Rajani Larocca, relates her own experiences of living in 2 different cultural worlds as a teenager in Red, White, and Whole; she too was the daughter of immigrant parents from India and she did become a doctor.

Red, White, and Whole is a lovely story, written in free verse, making it enjoyable to read because of all that white space!

Although it is a teen selection, it would be a wonderful family read.  Enjoy!

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