Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Some Places More Than Others” as Want to Read:
Some Places More Than Others
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Some Places More Than Others

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  737 ratings  ·  205 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
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published September 3rd 2019 by Bloomsbury Children's Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Some Places More Than Others, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Some Places More Than Others

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  737 ratings  ·  205 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Some Places More Than Others
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 ⚡ Aspiring Evil Overlord ⚡ Campbell

Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest

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.

Olivia-Savannah  Roach
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
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
Colby Sharp
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Newbery alert! This one is special.
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.
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.
Afoma Umesi
Sep 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
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!
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
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 ...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
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
Really great book! Wonderful family story of love and forgiveness...can span grade levels.
A really great read. #ownvoices #weneeddiversebooks Authentic and affecting.
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 Harlem,
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 ...more
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
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.
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.
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a slow, quiet book with tons of heart that made me misty eyed more than once toward the end.
This one was a 3.5 for me, and unlike most of the other reviewers on here, I didn't like it as much as the author's earlier Piecing Me Together. While I appreciated the parts dealing with the protagonist, Amara's growing awareness of her cultural and familial heritage, there were elements that seemed too heavy-handed and/or predictable to me. Still, for its intended audience, the book will certainly speak volumes as it describes experiences and feelings with which they are likely to be familiar. ...more
Kelsey Buckley
Jan 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
I have struggled with reading the past two months because of exhaustion, anxiety, and too much to do/too many decisions to make. Glad I could kick off 2020 with a nice (and short) middle grade book!

Great book for identity and family exploration. I love how it includes some prompts and ideas in the back of the book for readers or teachers. Recommended for 5th-8th grade students.
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book makes me want to explore my own family roots.
Watson captures young people's need to know their roots and where they come from no matter how much their parents may want to shield them from this truth because of their own baggage. While this book has a kind of perfect middle school ending, the underlying truth is there for everyone but especially young folks of color. The beauty of Harlem and NYC and Black Joy is preserved in this book and my favorite part, the teacher-y part is the poetry. Son to Mother and the Suitcase poems have Linda ...more
Stephany  Pachowka
Nov 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-books
Some Places More Than Others follows a young girl from Oregon to Harlem. There she explores the city, the past and present of her family, and her roots. “Everything and everyone has a story, a beginning.”
Cheriee Weichel
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am a Renée Watson fan, so I was ecstatic when NetGalley approved my request to review this book. It will be released September 3, 2019. Preorder a copy or two for your library.

Amara is the only child in her middle class urban family. Her mother is expecting a new baby, but since there have been numerous miscarriages, Amara reists getting excited about it. She has solid friendships and is mostly happy to be where she is. Her mother is happy to live in Colorado, and could care less about
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • More to the Story
  • Look Both Ways
  • Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers
  • I Can Make This Promise
  • My Jasper June
  • Indian No More
  • Maybe He Just Likes You
  • For Black Girls Like Me
  • Lalani of the Distant Sea
  • Stargazing
  • Roll with It
  • Count Me In
  • My Life as an Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Other Words for Home
  • Beverly, Right Here
  • White Bird
  • Give and Take
  • Chirp
See similar books…
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