cover image Some Places More Than Others

Some Places More Than Others

Renée Watson. Bloomsbury, $16.99 (208p) ISBN 978-1-68119-108-9

When “sneaker-head” Amara Baker expresses a wish to visit her father’s childhood home in Harlem for her upcoming 12th birthday, her mother, eight months pregnant with a baby sister Amara is less than thrilled about, isn’t too keen on the idea. But when her humanities teacher assigns a project requiring Amara to delve into her family history, her father agrees to take her to visit his family, including Grandpa Earl, with whom her dad hasn’t spoken in 12 years. New York City is far more intense than small-town Beaverton, Ore., where Amara’s from, yet the more of Harlem Amara sees, the more she begins to love the neighborhood for the wealth of African-American history it represents. And she begins to cherish the relatives that her father, a poet turned Nike executive, left behind, including his own father, a former basketball coach who once held a limited view of masculinity. Watson (Piecing Me Together) composes a quiet, emotive story of finding home in a new place and finding family among new people. Watson’s Harlem comes alive on the page, lovingly viewed by flawed but lovable characters whose story underscores themes of family, history, and forgiveness. Age 8–12. [em](Sept.) [/em]