Spring 2021 Kids Indie Next List
“Don’t mind me, I’m just over here crying. What an incredibly beautiful, intense read. I’m in awe of how much LaRocca manages to fit into so few words, from Reha’s different friendships to her family connections to all the wonderful retellings of Indian stories. Every single metaphor is perfect, from the moon to the different blood cells. I can see this book being a great tool for writing teachers as well as an inspiration for young readers to look to stories and poetry for comfort in difficult times. A treasure.”
— Cecilia Cackley, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC
A heartbreakingly hopeful 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 Thanhh Lại.
* New England Book Award Winner * An NCTE Notable Verse Novel * A Washington Post Best Children's Book of the Year * An SLJ Best Book of the Year * An NYPL Best Book of the Year * Goodreads Choice Nominee * Junior Library Guild Selection *