Parents' Guide to

Red, White, and Whole

By Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Emotional novel in verse follows 1983 Indian American teen.

Red, White, and Whole Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

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Kids say (3):

Rajani Larocca translates her own experience as an '80s kid in two worlds into a relatable, emotional story. Reha is torn between her immigrant parents' expectations and the unfolding world of school, friends, and MTV. Red, White, and Whole is packed with engaging characters and the realization that nobody's got all the answers to fix life troubles, but bad times are less bad when your loved ones are there for you. Narrated by 13-year-old Reha in a series of lively, thought-provoking verses, it's a heart-filled exploration of family, friendship, and finding your own path.

"No Date Nights for these Indian parents.

They never go out without their children,

not like the parents in my neighborhood

who are so happy to pay me

to watch their little kids

while they go out to dinner,

hold hands at the movies.

"Our parents must love each other,

but they never say so.

They never hold hands,

let alone kiss, like people on TV

or the parents of my friends at school.

Our parents tell us they love us,

but to each other, it’s like they are roommates

who decided to raise children together.

Their marriages were arranged.

I wonder how different things would be if they chose their partners.

"And I wonder what’s in store for me.”

Book Details

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