Some Places More Than Others

By: Renée Watson

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.

ISBN: 9781681191089

JLG Release: Dec 2019


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Family life , Harlem, New York City , African Americans , Cousins , Grandfathers

$17.55  Member Price


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Awards & Honors

CSMCL Best Books - 2019
Georgia Helen Ruffin Reading Bowl Elementary School 2020-2021

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 Piecin 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 h 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.

Book Details

ISBN

9781681191089

First Release

December 2019

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

208

Accelerated Reader

N/A

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 750L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Bloomsbury USA

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

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

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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Book Genres

Realistic Fiction

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