Ways to Make Sunshine
Ways to Make Sunshine

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Annotation: From Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson comes the first book in a young middle grade ... more
Catalog Number: #212562
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Hot Title Hot Title
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 192
Availability: Available
New Title: Yes
ISBN: Publisher: 1-547-60056-X Perma-Bound: 0-605-25234-3
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-547-60056-4 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-25234-9
Dewey: Fic
Language: English
Reviews:
Kirkus Reviews
Ryan Hart is navigating the fourth grade and all its challenges with determination.Her mom named her Ryan because it means "king," and she wanted Ryan to feel powerful every time she heard her name; Ryan knows it means she is a leader. So when changes occur or disaster strikes, budding chef Ryan does her best to find the positive and "make sunshine." When her dad is laid off from the post office, the family must make adjustments that include moving into a smaller house, selling their car, and changing how they shop for groceries. But Ryan gets to stay at Vernon Elementary, and her mom still finds a way to get her the ingredients she needs to practice new recipes. Her older brother, Ray, can be bossy, but he finds little ways to support her, especially when she is down—as does the whole family. Each episodic chapter confronts Ryan with a situation; intermittently funny, frustrating, and touching, they should be familiar and accessible to readers, as when Ryan fumbles her Easter speech despite careful practice. Ryan, her family, and friends are black, and Watson continues to bring visibility to both Portland, Oregon, generally and its black community specifically, making another wonderful contribution that allows black readers to see themselves and all readers to find a character they can love.Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet! (Fiction. 8-10)
Publishers Weekly
In this series opener, a loose reimagining of Ramona Quimby-s exploits, Watson (Some Places More Than Others) adroitly captures the uncertainty of growing up amid change through the eyes of an irrepressible black girl. Fourth grader Ryan Hart-s name means -king,- and her parents encourage her to live up to it (-Dad is always telling me our people come from royalty... their strength is running through my veins-). Ryan tries her best, but it-s hard sometimes, as when classmates tease her about having -a boy-s name- and when her father loses his job, precipitating the family-s move to a smaller, -not new at all- home. Despite the changed
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
Ryan Hart is navigating the fourth grade and all its challenges with determination.Her mom named her Ryan because it means "king," and she wanted Ryan to feel powerful every time she heard her name; Ryan knows it means she is a leader. So when changes occur or disaster strikes, budding chef Ryan does her best to find the positive and "make sunshine." When her dad is laid off from the post office, the family must make adjustments that include moving into a smaller house, selling their car, and changing how they shop for groceries. But Ryan gets to stay at Vernon Elementary, and her mom still finds a way to get her the ingredients she needs to practice new recipes. Her older brother, Ray, can be bossy, but he finds little ways to support her, especially when she is down—as does the whole family. Each episodic chapter confronts Ryan with a situation; intermittently funny, frustrating, and touching, they should be familiar and accessible to readers, as when Ryan fumbles her Easter speech despite careful practice. Ryan, her family, and friends are black, and Watson continues to bring visibility to both Portland, Oregon, generally and its black community specifically, making another wonderful contribution that allows black readers to see themselves and all readers to find a character they can love.Move over Ramona Quimby, Portland has another neighbor you have to meet! (Fiction. 8-10)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*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 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 t 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.
Reading Level: 3.0
Interest Level: 3-6

From Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award winner Renée Watson comes the first book in a young middle grade series about Ryan Hart, a girl who is pure spirit, kindness, and sunshine. Ryan Hart has a lot on her mind--school, self-image, and especially family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means some changes, like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. As her brother says when he raps about her, she's got the talent that matters most: it's a talent that can't be seen, she's nice, not mean! Ryan is all about trying to see the best in people, to be a good daughter, a good sister, a good friend. But even if her life isn't everything she would wish for, when her big brother is infuriating, her parents don't quite understand, and the unexpected happens, she always finds a way forward, with grace and wit. And plenty of sunshine. Acclaimed author Renée Watson writes her own version of Ramona Quimby, one starring a Black girl and her family, in this start to a charming new series.


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