I’m very happy to welcome Rajani LaRocca today and share our interview. She recently presented an informative and insightful webinar for Julie Hedlund’s 12x12PB which gave me some wonderful ideas for revising as well as a peek into her amazing books. Rajani is the author of 5 picture books that are out or will be by the end of 2021 and her third middle grade novel, MUCH ADO ABOUT BASEBALL is being released on Tuesday, June 15. I’m going to celebrate this book birthday with a salty treat instead of cake. Read the book and you’ll understand why. I highly recommend MUCH ADO ABOUT BASEBALL and it’s the perfect companion to MIDSUMMER’S MAYHEM, which I thoroughly enjoyed two summers ago. These two will be perfect sitting side-by-side on the bookshelf. Do yourself a favor and order them both.
Rajani has generously offered one lucky winner a query + 10 page critique for a MG novel. Comment on this post to enter the giveaway.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
When I was that age, I loved math and science and already knew I wanted to become a doctor when I grew up. But I also adored books and read anything and everything I could get my hands on—fiction, nonfiction, comic books, comic strips, receipts, cereal boxes…anything.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by my experiences as a child of immigrants growing up in the U.S., my experiences as a mother and a food lover, by science (especially biology) and math and the natural world, by my children and the stories I loved as a child.
What’s one thing you hope readers take away from your books?
I hope MUCH ADO ABOUT BASEBALL is a fun, fast read. I hope readers enjoy the story of two kids who have so much in common but who can’t become friends without a little help from others. I hope they enjoy the baseball, the math puzzles, and the tie-ins to the events of Midsummer’s Mayhem.
Most importantly, I want my readers to understand that they don’t have to be perfect to be loved, that friendship can overcome misunderstanding, and that forgiveness is important, especially when it comes to forgiving yourself.
What’s next for you?
I have three more books coming this year! They’re all picture books:
- WHERE THREE OCEANS MEET, a story about a girl who travels with her mother and grandmother to Kanyakumari at the very tip of India, where three oceans meet, and what she learns along the way about the love and strength that mothers and daughters share across distance and time. This story is gorgeously illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan and releases on August 24, 2021 from Abrams Books for Young Readers
- MY LITTLE GOLDEN BOOK ABOUT KAMALA HARRIS – a picture book biography of our incredible Vice President, illustrated by Ashley Evans and releasing August 31, 2021!
- THE SECRET CODE INSIDE YOU, a rhyming nonfiction picture book about DNA, beautifully illustrated by Steven Salerno. This book introduces kids to the concept of DNA and genetics, but also touches on the limits of our genes and how our choices also help determine who we are. It releases September 14, 2021.
- My next middle grade with Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins is about musical twin sisters who switch places at their summer camp. It will be out in 2022!
To connect with Rajani and learn more about her books:
Website: https://www.RajaniLaRocca.com Twitter: @rajanilarocca Instagram: @rajanilarocca
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rajanilaroccawriter Clubhouse: @rlarocca