Conversation between Award-Winning Children's Author Rajani LaRocca and Elisabeth Paige

award winning author Rajani LaRocca
Rajani LaRocca is an award-winning Middle Grade novelist and picture book author. She features characters who “look like her,” Southeast Asian Indians, mostly females. The women are strong characters and the themes of the importance of family members run throughout almost all of her books. 
middle grade novels by Rajani LaRocca...anxiety, southeast Asian Indian,
Rajani’s middle grade novels are incredibly inspiring and unique.
Two of her books, Midsummer’s Mayhem and Much Ado About Baseball are intertwined–set in the same town with some overlapping characters. They highlight Rajani’s love of Shakespeare, baking,  baseball and math. Magic and fun competition are interspersed throughout almost all of her work.
Mirror to Mirror is the story of identical twins finding their own identities, one with severe anxiety, and internalized perfectionism and one trying to cope with what it means to have a sibling who struggles with mental health concerns. Their mother is coping with her own anxiety as well.
In Red, White and Whole, the main character is struggling with her Indian identity as well as her identity as an American teenager. When her mom is diagnosed with cancer, her priorities are changed forever. 
The audio version of The Secret of the Dragon Gems is just like going to the audio of a movie. Correspondence back and forth between two kids who find magical rocks are interspersed with the story of the Dragon Gems and ads for the Dragon Gems series. I highly recommend listening to the audio of this book (along with reading it for the full effect). 
Rajani LaRocca's award-winning picture books
Not only does Rajani write MG novels, but amazing picture books as well–ranging from accessible explorations of scientific and medical ideas to intergenerational Indian family stories. They vary in content and all of them have extraordinary artists illustrating them. 
new novel by rajani Larocca

Rajani just released her new middle grade novel, Sona and the Golden Beast. In this fantasy novel, although Sona hears music, she lives in a land where music is forbidden. There is also the magical pup she encounters that she fights to save. See a future post on this website for a full review.

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