Nov 25, 2019

Katie's Review of Renee Watson's Some Places More Than Others

Are you a reader who prefers realistic fiction to fantasy? While I, myself, do not dislike any genre of fiction, I often find I am mostly attracted to stories about real people in real-life situations. It is in these stories that I am not only given the opportunity to learn about people from other walks of life, but I am also able to see myself and my own journey in a new light. There may be no ring to be dropped in the fire of Doom, but there is always a journey that tests the courage of the protagonist and begs the reader to ask who am I and of what am I capable?

Award winning writer Renee Watson is known for her ability to present the lived experiences of young girls in a way that is relatable to those living outside the character's own backdrop. Her talent for describing real life places makes the reader want to travel to the depicted destinations and become a part of the story. Watson's most well-known book Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winner Piecing Me Together, is a great read for understanding race, identity and our own stereotypes we have in regards to these subjects.

In her latest book Some Places More Than Others, the reader sees the world through Amara, a young African American girl from Portland Oregon, who travels to New York City to visit the grandfather she has never met under the guise of a school assignment that requires her to learn about her family's heritage. In so doing, she not only learns about her father’s childhood, but is also made aware of the impact historical African American figures and institutions have had on not only his sense of identity, but also her own. It is on this adventure through Harlem, that Amara discovers her own resilience and the power of love and family, while the reader is left with an understanding of the transcending power of forgiveness and gratitude.