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Red, White, and Whole

por Rajani LaRocca

MiembrosReseñasPopularidadValoración promediaMenciones
1137202,629 (4.36)3
A heartbreakingly hopeful #ownvoices novel in verse about an Indian American girl whose life is turned upside down when her mother is diagnosed with leukemia. Reha feels torn between two worlds: school, where she's the only Indian American student, and home, with her family's traditions and holidays. But Reha's parents don't understand why she's conflicted--they only notice when Reha doesn't meet their strict expectations. Reha feels disconnected from her mother, or Amma, although their names are linked--Reha means "star" and Punam means "moon"--but 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 she can't stomach the sight of blood, is determined to make her Amma well again. She'll be the perfect daughter, if it means saving her Amma's life. From Indies Introduce author Rajani LaRocca comes a radiant story about the ties that bind and how to go on in the face of unthinkable loss. This is the perfect next read for fans of Jasmine Warga and Thanhhà Lại.… (más)
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Reha is the 8th grade daughter of immigrant parents from India. Born in America Reha feels the tension of not fully belonging in either world. There is the pressure of being the good daughter at home and the social pressure of wanting to be like the kids in school. She's American on the weekdays and Indian on the weekends. When her mother is diagnosed and treated for leukemia, Reha feels even more the pressure of being the dutiful and virtuous daughter. Her life and routines are upended. The prose is gentle and thoughtful, centering the loving cocoon of Reha's immediate universe. ( )
  Salsabrarian | May 11, 2022 |
Reha feels like she's growing up in two different worlds: the world of middle school in the US in the 80s and the world of her parents and their friends, immigrants from India. But things get put in stark prospective for her when her mother becomes seriously ill, and she sees the value of family and feels the support of her friends.
Written in free verse, this is a lovely little story. I feel as if the characters could have been fleshed out a bit more and some of the side stories given more detail, but overall it's a nice read. ( )
  electrascaife | Apr 20, 2022 |
I loved this book, it is a poignant story of a young Indian American girl straddling the Indian and American cultures. Told in verse, it highlights all the things a young American girl enjoys-pop music, dancing, TV, makeup, friends. It also highlights her Indian culture-The clothing, the food, the traditions.
When something happens to upend Reha’s world, she examines what she can do to change things.
This is written for a YA audience, but I think it would resonate with anyone. It deserves a wide readership. ( )
  rmarcin | Feb 25, 2022 |
Reha feels pulled between two worlds a lot in her life - her Indian side and her school/American side. Then there is the divide between when her mom was healthy and sick. Her friends rally around her, but she decides her best strategy must be to focus on being the daughter her girl wants and being on point at school. Her budding friendship and romance with Pete is sweet. ( )
  ewyatt | Feb 15, 2022 |
This novel in verse is set in the 1980s. Eighth-grader Reha describes her two worlds, Indian and not: at school, the other students are all white; her best friend, Rachel, is Jewish. On the weekend, Reha and her family spend time with other Indian families; Reha's Indian best friend is Sunny. Reha balances this duality as best she can, thinking that her parents don't understand it, but they understand more than she thinks. The same night Reha is allowed to go to her first school dance, her Amma is taken to the hospital. Amma has leukemia, and as she begins chemotherapy, Reha's world changes. But even as her mother battles, help comes from all directions: Prema Auntie flies in from India, Indian friends bring food to the house, Reha's English partner Pete invites her to spend afternoons at his house. It's Pete who, when Reha volunteers to donate bone marrow to her mother if she's a match, tells Reha she's a hero.

An absolute crushing knockout of a book, with themes of immigration, coming of age, and the death of a parent.

See also: Other Words for Home by Jasmine Warga, Save Me A Seat by Sarah Weeks and Gita Vardarajan

Quotes

Cells and plasma together are called whole blood,
which is what flows inside us.
Red, white, and whole... (27)

When you are different
you constantly compare. (33)

Sometimes people call in to make requests,
but I don't want to disturb the magic
of hearing the song I want most
without having to ask. (46)

We have no temple in our town, but Amma says we have temples in our hearts. (49)

It feels like we've already entered the future,
while they only live in the past. (59)

No matter where I go,
America or India,
I don't quite fit. (66)

But I am always halfway,
caught between
the life my parents want
and the one I have to live. (68)

A mother gives you life,
nourishes you,
protects you,
helps you when you're hurt.
But sometimes
it feels like too much. (88)

A hero is brave, but not without fear.
Says what they believe is right.
Works to make the world better.
Acts out of love for others. (Pete to Reha, 177)

What does the sky do
when the moon is gone
forever? (197)

You belong to this country, where you are growing up. And you belong to India, where your blood is from. You belong to both, and they belong to you. You will find your way in making those two streams one. You will write your own story, and it will be beautiful, because it is yours. (Amma's aerogramme to Reha, 204) ( )
  JennyArch | Jun 8, 2021 |
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A heartbreakingly hopeful #ownvoices novel in verse about an Indian American girl whose life is turned upside down when her mother is diagnosed with leukemia. Reha feels torn between two worlds: school, where she's the only Indian American student, and home, with her family's traditions and holidays. But Reha's parents don't understand why she's conflicted--they only notice when Reha doesn't meet their strict expectations. Reha feels disconnected from her mother, or Amma, although their names are linked--Reha means "star" and Punam means "moon"--but 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 she can't stomach the sight of blood, is determined to make her Amma well again. She'll be the perfect daughter, if it means saving her Amma's life. From Indies Introduce author Rajani LaRocca comes a radiant story about the ties that bind and how to go on in the face of unthinkable loss. This is the perfect next read for fans of Jasmine Warga and Thanhhà Lại.

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