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Some Places More Than Others

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  444 ratings  ·  152 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
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Average rating 4.32  · 
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 ·  444 ratings  ·  152 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 ☠️ Hecka Wicked ☠️ 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.

SOME PLACES MORE THAN OTHERS is about a twelve-year-old black girl na
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 cousins
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
Colby Sharp
Apr 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Newbery alert! This one is special.
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.
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 h
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
Sherry Guice
Really great book! Wonderful family story of love and forgiveness...can span grade levels.
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 tha/>"I
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 wa
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 busine
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Shaye Miller
It’s rare to read a book with so few pages that can tackle very difficult topics and yet leave the reader feeling such resolve. Watson did just that in Some Places More than Others. Amara lives in Beaverton, Oregon with her mother and father. She’s an only child and has watched her mom go through multiple miscarriages. Her mom is finally pregnant again with a little girl and Amara doesn’t quite know how she feels about this pregnancy since she’s long past hoping for a sibling.

Melissa Mcavoy
4 1/2 stars. Amara is an only child, raised by two loving parents in Portland Oregon where her dad is a shoe designer for Nike. While she talks on the phone with her Dad's extended family, who live in Harlem, she has never met them and longs to see where her dad is from. Two forces drive Amara to set her heart on joining her dad on a business trip to New York: Her family is expecting a new baby sister and her inspired homeroom teacher has assigned a yearlong 'suitcase project' on identity. All t ...more
Cassie Thomas
Jun 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I laughed. I cried. I laughed again. I cried again. SERIOUSLY LOVED. This story is one of the true meaning of forgiveness and family. 🏙All Amara wants for her birthday is to go to Harlem to meet her dads family, but what she uncovers is that there are secrets in her family that have to get sorted through before her dad goes to visit her Grandpa Earl. I love the way Renee took you to NY as if you were really experiencing it too for the first time. Renee takes you through family dysfunction with g ...more
Kendall Ball
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review is based on an advance copy of the book received from NetGalley.

Some Places More Than Others is a simple story about a young girl discovering her roots. I was very excited to see Renee Watson was writing a middle grade novel and it did not disappoint! The Harlem setting is vivid and the characters well-developed. The story follows Amara on her visit to Harlem as she completes a school project, learns about her father’s childhood, and mends a broken familial relationship. The histori
Aug 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to @netgalley and @bloomsburypublishing for the advance Kindle copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5. I just love Renee Watson, and this is a wonderful story about family and identity for middle school readers. When Amara is assigned a family history project in school, she sees an opportunity to do what she has always wanted - convince her parents to take her to visit her father’s childhood home in Harlem. There, she meets her grandfather, to whom her father h
Jennifer Mangler
Sep 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grades
So beautiful. There is so much to love about this book: it's focus on family, the joy in connection, and the power in knowing where you come from. I so loved the moment when Amara began to feel a connection to her history and thought "I wonder if my ancestors saw me coming." It was such a powerful moment for her that I had to stop reading and savor it for a moment.
Aug 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Renee Watson is a treasure and she is currently doing for black girls what Walter Dean Myers did for black boys. Her stories are relatable and tell a story and teach a lesson and this one is no different. Amara's journey to discover her roots and complete a school project is not earth-shattering, but the lessons learned about being family run deep.
Destiny Henderson
It's consistent. I really enjoy Watson's work. Here, she effortlessly weaves together a story of family and missed expectations with a loving celebration of African-American history. Love it!

I've never been to New York, but this feels like it.

(view spoiler) ...more
Kary H.
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I loved every thing about this book. What an amazing voice we get in Amara. The sense of place, the role of family and memory, the themes of forgiveness and acceptance....this book is highly recommended.
Rick Sanchez
Another perfect read for my NY book collection! One of my first reads set in Harlem, and what it says about the value of family is so raw and honest! The inner-city descriptions were as accurate as the real thing. One of my faves this year!
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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,