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Some Places More Than Others



by
Renée Watson

Edition
Hardcover edition
Publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
Imprint
Bloomsbury USA
ISBN
9781681191089

Awards and Honors
CSMCL Best Books - 2019
Georgia Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Elementary School 2020-2021
POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None
$16.20   $13.50
SEE MEMBER PRICE
QTY
Out of stock

JLG Category

City Elementary

All Amara wants is to visit her father's family in Harlem. Her wish comes true when her dad decides to bring her along on a business trip. She can't wait to finally meet her extended family and stay in the brownstone where her dad grew up. Plus, she wants to visit every landmark from the Apollo to Langston Hughes's home. But her family, and even the city, is not quite what Amara thought. Her dad doesn’t speak to her grandpa, and the crowded streets can be suffocating as well as inspiring. But as she learns more and more about Harlem—and her father’s history—Amara realizes how, in some ways more than others, she can connect with this other home and family.

This is a powerful story about family, the places that make us who we are, and how we find ways to connect to our history across time and distance.

POTENTIALLY SENSITIVE AREAS
None

Details

Format

Print

Page Count

208

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Dewey

F

AR

4.6: points 5

Lexile

750L

Genre

Fiction

Scholastic Reading Counts

10

JLG Release

Dec 2019

Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

Topics

Family life. Harlem, New York City. African Americans. Cousins. Grandfathers.

Standard MARC Records

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Cover Art

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Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist, School Library Journal*, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews

School Library Journal

For Amara’s 12th birthday, she longs to travel to Harlem with her father to see where he grew up and meet the family she’s spoken with only on the phone. Amara’s mother objects to the trip, but a school assignment requiring research on family history helps put father and daughter on a plane to New York. Watson, Newbery Honor winner for Piecing Me Together, is a master of structure and character development. Amara’s emerging sense of self contrasts with yearning for stories of her family’s past and foreshadows the strained family relationships that will be revealed, and healed, during the Harlem trip. Readers experience the city through Amara’s eager eyes, taking in the sights, sounds, and history on every street. Seeing statues of Harriet Tubman and Adam Clayton Powell and touring the Schomburg Center give Amara the connection she’s been searching for: “the journey I am on has many footprints, many stories coming with me.” Her eloquent, powerful poem at the novel’s end shows that her journey is off to a solid start. Amara’s search for her roots is tender and empowering. An essential purchase for all middle grade libraries.

Horn Book

What Amara wants more than anything for her twelfth birthday (in exactly two weeks and one day) is to visit New York City with her dad. In addition to experi-encing a city with more diversity and excitement than her hometown of Beaver-ton, Oregon, Amara hopes to finally meet her father’s side of the family. When she convinces her parents to let her go, her mother (who is eight months preg-nant) makes a daunting request—that Amara get her father and grandfather to spend time alone together, after more than a decade of estrangement. Amara’s trip becomes a whirlwind of highs and lows as she is introduced to the rich history of African Americans in Harlem, learns how to relate to her cousins, and uncov-ers the source of the animosity between her father and grandfather. As she learns more about her grandma, Grace, who died the day she was born, Amara discovers the importance of loving family through all differences. Given our protagonist’s own strained relationship with her glamorous clothing-designer mother, it’s a les-son that reaches Amara just in time for her to welcome the newest member of the family. As she did in her YA novel Piecing Me Together (rev. 7/17), Watson proves her deftness in depicting settings; while the two places are as different as can be, the reader comes away with an appreciation of both Oregon and New York. The history that surrounds Amara in Harlem (“there’s...no place else that constantly reminds us that we are important, that we come from a people who sacrificed and fought and protested for us to be able to walk these streets free”) provides a paral-lel to the resilience of Amara’s paternal family.

Praise & Reviews

School Library Journal

For Amara’s 12th birthday, she longs to travel to Harlem with her father to see where he grew up and meet the family she’s spoken with only on the phone. Amara’s mother objects to the trip, but a school assignment requiring research on family history helps put father and daughter on a plane to New York. Watson, Newbery Honor winner for Piecing Me Together, is a master of structure and character development. Amara’s emerging sense of self contrasts with yearning for stories of her family’s past and foreshadows the strained family relationships that will be revealed, and healed, during the Harlem trip. Readers experience the city through Amara’s eager eyes, taking in the sights, sounds, and history on every street. Seeing statues of Harriet Tubman and Adam Clayton Powell and touring the Schomburg Center give Amara the connection she’s been searching for: “the journey I am on has many footprints, many stories coming with me.” Her eloquent, powerful poem at the novel’s end shows that her journey is off to a solid start. Amara’s search for her roots is tender and empowering. An essential purchase for all middle grade libraries.

Horn Book

What Amara wants more than anything for her twelfth birthday (in exactly two weeks and one day) is to visit New York City with her dad. In addition to experi-encing a city with more diversity and excitement than her hometown of Beaver-ton, Oregon, Amara hopes to finally meet her father’s side of the family. When she convinces her parents to let her go, her mother (who is eight months preg-nant) makes a daunting request—that Amara get her father and grandfather to spend time alone together, after more than a decade of estrangement. Amara’s trip becomes a whirlwind of highs and lows as she is introduced to the rich history of African Americans in Harlem, learns how to relate to her cousins, and uncov-ers the source of the animosity between her father and grandfather. As she learns more about her grandma, Grace, who died the day she was born, Amara discovers the importance of loving family through all differences. Given our protagonist’s own strained relationship with her glamorous clothing-designer mother, it’s a les-son that reaches Amara just in time for her to welcome the newest member of the family. As she did in her YA novel Piecing Me Together (rev. 7/17), Watson proves her deftness in depicting settings; while the two places are as different as can be, the reader comes away with an appreciation of both Oregon and New York. The history that surrounds Amara in Harlem (“there’s...no place else that constantly reminds us that we are important, that we come from a people who sacrificed and fought and protested for us to be able to walk these streets free”) provides a paral-lel to the resilience of Amara’s paternal family.

Grades 2-6
City Elementary
For Grades 2-6

Urban situations and plot lines featuring ethnically and culturally diverse characters give these books a unique city flavor and feel. Young urban readers will find familiar images, and readers who are not from the city will enjoy exploring life from a new perspective. The 12 books you'll receive in this category will ensure that urban adventures are available all year long.

12 books per Year
$210.60 per Year
Interests
Diversity,Fiction,Positive Messages
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City Elementary
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