Reha feels torn between two worlds: school, where she’s the only Indian-American student, and home, with her family and their community. But Reha’s parents don’t understand. She feels disconnected from her mother, or Amma. Although their names are linked—Reha means star and Punam means moon—they are a universe apart.
Then Reha finds out that her Amma is sick. Really sick.
Reha, who dreams of becoming a doctor even though the sight of blood makes her woozy, is determined to make her Amma well. She becomes fixated on red and white blood cells, facing her fear, and being the daughter her parents want her to be, because she has no idea how she can go on if the moon is missing from her sky.
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
A Spring Kids' Indie Next Top Ten Title
"LaRocca's historical novel in verse takes the reader through Reha's past and present, flowing as seamlessly as the songs often referred to within the poems . . . readers, too, will be changed by her story." -- Booklist, Starred Review
"The poems in Red, White, and Whole are vibrant and lyrical, clear and smooth. In her first novel in verse, LaRocca (Midsummer’s Mayhem) showcases the best of what verse can do, telling a story that is spare, direct and true, every word and idea placed with intentional care. Reha’s narration shines with honest emotion, and its tenderness calls out to readers and invites them to feel what she feels at every turn. Packed with evocative details of tween life in the ’80s, Red, White, and Whole is a sensitive coming-of-age story with all the makings of a new middle grade classic." -- BookPage, Starred Review
"An intimate novel that beautifully confronts grief and loss." -- Kirkus Reviews
"Readers will be invested in Reha's relationships with her parents and friends and will enjoy the evocative verse and emotional stakes." -- School Library Journal
"Brimming with warmth. An approachable account of negotiating with identity and of struggling with loss." -- Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books