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Some Places More Than Others

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  2,084 ratings  ·  451 reviews
Newbery Honor author Renée Watson explores a family’s relationships and Harlem—its history, culture, arts, and people.

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 t
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Bloomsbury Children's Books
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Pat (Pat Reads A Lot) Tierney Try accessing your local library's copy through the libby app. Or you can get a print copy from the shelf at your local library. …moreTry accessing your local library's copy through the libby app. Or you can get a print copy from the shelf at your local library. (less)

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Average rating 4.29  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,084 ratings  ·  451 reviews

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Laurie Anderson
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Best middle grade novel of 2019. Filled with the joy of family, of place, of finding your roots while you spread your wings. Highly recommended!
Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

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I don't read a lot of middle grade books, but I enjoyed Watson's contribution to the YA title, WATCH US RISE, that I really wanted to see more of her work. SOME PLACES MORE THAN OTHERS seemed like another title that would explore identity, heritage, and growing up in a positive and interesting way, delving in deeper to serious issues rather than merely scratching at the surface as so many books aimed at teens seem to do.

Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Some Places More Than Others is basically the middle grade book I needed in my childhood and never had. I would’ve loved it. We have a black, female main character who is learning about her family history and what it means to be herself. And it is an absolutely fantastic book.

We have to start off with talking about the black representation which is done so well in this book. Not only do we get some moments with black hair, where Amara’s mother oils her hair, or when she discusses hair with her c
Bookriot Giveaway win!

3.5 Stars!

Some Places More Than Others is a middle grade book so I am obviously not the target audience for this book, being as I am a 33 year old woman with no kids. Some Places More Than Others is a good book. Very simplistic but it is a middle grade book, so its perfect for the target age group.

Nine or ten year old me would have loved this book. I know I would have given it 5 stars and I would have made my mom take me to the library to get the rest of Renee Watson's bo
Colby Sharp
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Newbery alert! This one is special.
Jan 24, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Some Places More Than Others was a good read, but after What Momma Left Me I was slightly underwhelmed. Momma was simple but powerful at the same time. This one was a tad simpler and a slightly less powerful. It teaches important lessons - that honesty and truth are important values, that relationships need communication to function, that parents aren't perfect. I finished this book on the tube and had to hold back tears, so there were definitely parts that I loved. But overall it did not manage ...more
I took a bath and devoured this book in one sitting, which was just what I needed. This was such a deeply loveable book.
Brandy Painter
Nov 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent story of family and friendship for modern MG readers. Nothing earth-shattering or tragic happens. It is a story about girl trying to figure out her history and family's past. She has loving parents and a great home, but like every human ever, she is searching for her place in it all and trying to discover her identity independent of them and also how she fits with them. Renée Watson does an excellent job of developing character and place as she always does. ...more
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
"...some things are intangible, and yet, you carry them with you." p.26

"I'm proud of our people, how we've survived what should have destroyed us." p.130

"...I think about how much I love words. How mighty powerful they are." p. 182
Afoma (Reading Middle Grade)
I ADORED THIS BOOK. I shamelessly confess to tearing up many times in the second half and yearning to know my own family’s history as Amara learned hers. The need for that connection is summed up in this quote:

"I want to feel like that. Like I am connected to something, like there’s a history keeping me moving, living. Like the journey I am on has many footprints, many stories coming with me (pp. 103-104)."

Renée Watson’s Some Places More Than Others is a quiet, immersive, and resonant novel that
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My only complaint is I wish this had been longer! I already tweeted this, but: Renee Watson books literally nourish my soul and I’m so glad they exist for Black kids everywhere to feel that love and strength for our people and culture and our stories.
Dee Dee G
Sep 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
I read this in less than a day. Nice book about family and forgiveness for middle school readers.
Stephanie Fitzgerald
Aug 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Middle-grade readers and teachers
Wow! What a wonderful book about family relationships, and finding out about one’s roots. I was especially impressed with the idea of “The Suitcase Project”. If this book had been around when I was homeschooling my boys, I would definitely have had them do that! I would like to do the Suitcase Project myself!😃
I will be highly recommending this book to middle-grade readers and teachers!
Alex  Baugh
All Amara Baker wants for her twelfth birthday is to accompany her father, a Nike executive, on his next business trip to New York so she can get to know his side of the family better. Maybe she can even learn why her dad hasn't spoken to his dad since the day she was born, which also happened to be the day her father's mother, Grandma Grace, passed away. But Amara's mother, nearing the end of her pregnancy, is not willing to let her go.

Adding to Amara's desire to know that side of her family is
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's a really beautiful novel about family, history, and culture. Watson lets us into Amara's soul, where we discover how the places our hearts call home are the most important. I love Renée Watson, and I recommend this book to readers who like diverse characters and rich plots! ...more
Karly Grice
Longer review to come, but this book is EVERYTHING! Parents, teachers, children should all put this on your tbr list immediately!
Ms. Yingling
May 28, 2019 rated it liked it
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

Amara lives in Beaverton, Oregon with her mother, who is a fashion designer and runs a boutique, and her father, who is an executive for Nike and travels a lot. He also gets good deals on the latest shoes, which is great for Amara, who is a bit of a sneakerhead. She doesn't appreciate her mother's clothing, preferring a more casual style. She knows that her father and grandfather, who lives in Harlem, NYC, don't talk much, but she really wants to visit the city an
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Amara grew up outside of Portland, Oregon, which she does love, but she's always been so curious about her dad's hometown of New York, specifically Harlem. After pestering and bothering her parents about this, they finally agree she can accompany her father on a business trip to the city, when she's assigned a project at school about family and where she comes from. This way she can finally meet her grandfather and cousins. Along the way she discovers her father and his father haven't spoken sin ...more
Aug 16, 2019 added it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Amara wants nothing more than to go to New York City with her dad for her 12th birthday. She's hoping to meet her family there and get to know the places where her father grew up. But, Amara's mom isn't keen on her daughter going. A school assignment, wherein Amara is asked to build a suitcase that gives insight into her heritage and family history, might be the catalyst to make it happen. It's not, as Amara's mother relents outside the assignment, but the assignment makes an opportunity for Ama ...more
Aug 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley and Bloomsbury for an eARC of this book.

Wow. I'm really blown away by how much story is packed into a little over 200 pages. This is the kind of book I want to see more of in #mglit, but it takes a very talented author to do it as well as Renee Watson has in SOME PLACES MORE THAN OTHERS.

I've heard a number of people say that we need more stories that focus on the lives of Black characters that aren't rooted in slavery, pain, and stereotypes. This is the story of a young gi
Richelle Robinson
Aug 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
"Shelly's Book Corner received a review copy from Amazon Vine and voluntarily provided an honest review. This does not affect the opinion of the book or the content of the review.''

This was a well written coming of age story. Amara visits the best place ever aka New York City and learns all about herself and family. This story took me on a trip down memory lane as I lived in the Bronx when I was younger and remember the 4 train fondly. I also want to visit the Schomburg Center after reading this
Sherry Guice
Sep 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sweet-books
Really great book! Wonderful family story of love and forgiveness...can span grade levels.
Liza Wiemer
This is a novel I'd recommend to every middle grade student. It should also be in every class library. Loved the MC, Amara and her exploration of her family's history, Black history, and of Harlem with her cousins, grandfather, and father.

A quick, engaging read!
Rebecca | Velvet Opus
This book just melted my heart! Such a heartwarming story about 12 year old Amara, her suitcase project and discovering her roots in NYC. It made me nostalgic for the first time I visited NYC and Amara's story was so heartfelt. A perfectly cozy, warm read full of feels ✨ ...more
Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
I feel like I can just give any Renee Watson book 5 stars before I even start it.  I love her writing and story telling so much.  This book is middle grade, but perfect for anyone to read.  

Amara is getting ready to turn twelve years old.  All she wants is to go see her family in Harlem.  She's never met her grandpa or cousins.  Only her aunt has visited in Oregon.  Amara's mom is pregnant and doesn't like New York.  Her father who works for Nike is always going on business trips.  He grew up in
Laura Gardner
Jul 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This is a wonderful coming of age story about a young girl who is exploring her roots (both her family and her race). Amara is Black and lives in Portland, Oregon with her mother and father. Amara is a sneakerhead; luckily her father works for Nike and she gets new shoes on a regular basis. Amara's life is about to change; she has a new sister on the way. She's afraid of being displaced by this new baby and struggling with the fact that she doesn't know her extended family very well. A school pr
Jan 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diverse-lit
Amara stands on the precipice of becoming a pre-teen she decides her family needs to exapand further than just a new baby, and include, her New York family most of whom she's never met. Mom finally agrees, and Amara soon discovers that a 12 year rift exists between her dad and her granddad. During their visit Amara discovers more about the father she, loves, the family she yearns for, and a history that helps solidify her purpose. This story shows how the humility, persistence, forgiveness and t ...more
Apr 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I ended up loving this book! It took me a little bit, but I really fell in love once Amara visited New York. I loved watching her meet her extended family and start to understand where her . dad came from. I think Watson did an excellent job bringing up the concept of establishing your own identity as a young adult and how that can conflict with your parents' identities. Although short, I think this book has a lot to discuss and would be a great conversation starter for my 6th graders. ...more
Aug 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mg-books
SOME PLACES MORE THAN OTHERS by Renée Watson was one of my favorite reads this year. I felt like I was with Amara on every step of her trip to NYC. I loved getting a peak into her family and the rivers and roots that made up her life. Being with her made me want to find out more about what's in my suitcase. My students are going to relate to Amara's story and journey to find out more. ...more
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Renée Watson is the author of the children’s picture book, A Place Where Hurricanes Happen (Random House, June 2010), which was featured on NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams. Her middle grade novel, What Momma Left Me debuted as the New Voice for 2010 in middle grade fiction by The Independent Children's Booksellers Association.

Renée’s one woman show, Roses are Red, Women are Blue, debuted at N

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