|Ways to make sunshine|
Author: Watson, Renee
The Hart family of Portland, Oregon, faces many setbacks after Ryan's father loses his job, but no matter what, Ryan tries to bring sunshine to her loved ones.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.50
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 508493
Kirkus Reviews (+) (02/15/20)
School Library Journal (03/20/20)
Booklist (+) (03/15/20)
The Hornbook (00/03/20)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 03/15/2020 *Starred Review* A beautifully rendered series of vignettes à la Beezus and Ramona (Cleary, 1955) featuring a Black girl developing into her own personhood, this is a strong start to a new middle-grade series by Newbery Honor Book author Watson (Piecing Me Together, 2017). Each chapter pulls the reader into the mind of Ryan Hart, a vivacious child navigating her family’s changing circumstances after her father loses his job and finds a midnight shift position that pays less. Petty squabbles with her older brother, her mother’s moods, and the family’s move to a much smaller house all introduce new challenges for Ryan to overcome. And overcome she does, with personality and spirit reminiscent of some of the most well-loved heroines in classic juvenile fiction tales. These stories do not shy away from the dynamics of race and girlhood—in one particularly realistic scene, Ryan is told not to get her recently straightened hair wet at a pool party and feels ashamed of the way it changes after she does—but they do not skimp on levity or spunkiness either. The few illustrations sprinkled throughout add a lot to the depiction of a childhood rich in familial love and Black girl magic. More than a window into the everyday experiences of children of color, this ensures that African American girls in particular feel seen.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Watson is no stranger to critical acclaim or best-seller lists, and her latest should have no trouble finding a ready audience. - Copyright 2020 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 03/20/2020 Gr 3–5—In this first installment in a contemporary realistic African American middle grade series, Ryan Hart's family must relocate to another part of Portland, OR, because her dad isn't making as much money as he once did. Ryan is young girl confident in her gifts; she especially loves to cook. She is also capable of standing up for herself, particularly when she is teased for having a name more commonly given to boys. And she has a lively imagination; Ryan and her best friend, KiKi, get creative indoors when the Grand Floral Parade gets rained out, and prepare for the school talent show together. The theme of loving family and friends even through difficult times will resonate with readers. Cheerful black-and-white illustrations enhance the story and convey Ryan's effervescent personality. Watson deftly weaves the faith of her characters into her work. From Easter speeches to African American hair care, this book will give those whose lives are like Ryan's an opportunity to feel seen. For those whose lives are different, this book provides a clear window into a nuclear family dealing with familiar topics in a unique way. VERDICT A solid addition to realistic middle grade fiction with warm, loving family relationships.—Kristin Lee Anderson, Jackson County Library Services, OR - Copyright 2020 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 03/15/2020 - Copyright 2020 Booklist.