Wednesday 16 December 2020

Mini-Review! - Some Places More Than Others by Renée Watson

'Some Places More Than Others' on a background of paving

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'Some Places More Than Others' book cover with young Black girl walking down a street

Title: Some Places More Than Others*

Author: Renée Watson

Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Middle Grade/MG (Kids)

The Verdict:

This book was on my 'From My TBR: 15 Young Adult and Middle Grade Books By Black Authors' post that I wrote a little while back, and I happened to see it when I was browsing my library's digital doo-dah. 

So, of course, I borrowed it! 

Some Places More Than Others is the sweet and enjoyable story of Amara, a young Black girl from Oregon who has never met her father's New York family. 

After a lot of prodding, her family finally allow her to go along to Harlem with her father when he heads to New York on a business trip.

It's simple, but it manages to add in all sorts of family issues, as well as a lovely infusion of Black history along the way.

This book is also #OwnVoices for Black American representation.

As with my previous Renée Watson read, Piecing Me Together, this is beautifully written, and manages to tie in all sorts of issues without becoming overly heavy. 

This is a lighter read - in length and subject matter - than Piecing Me Together,* which is plenty appropriate, given this is MG rather than YA.

There were a couple of missed opportunities here, though, to both address an issue, and not leave a plot thread hanging.

Those points were the discussion of natural hair, and dispute over traditional gender roles.

Amara and her cousin have some issues over their differing hair, with Amara's being straightened and her cousin's being natural. 

And as Amara herself is confused over what the problem is, it would've been nice to see some resolution there.

The traditional gender roles was partly addressed, but not as fully as it needed to be (imho.)

This is disappointing because Amara's dislike of dresses and 'girly' fashion, as well as her church insisting that women don't wear trousers to services, could have been explored in a way that's affirming for everyone.

Given Amara's levels of discomfort when made to wear a dress, a full discussion with both parents would've been nice.

All in all, though, Some Places More Than Others is cute, well-written, and just plain lovely!

Content Warnings:

- family issues

- grief/bereavement

- estrangement

- miscarriage and problem pregnancies

- pressure to conform to gender roles

- references to racism, slavery, and other painful aspects of Black history

#OwnVoices reviews:

If you have an #OwnVoices review of this book that you'd like me to link here (or you want your review removed from the list,) please let me know.

Buy Now USA* - Goodreads - Author's Site


Have you read Some Places More Than Others*?

Has your library got digital thingies for you to use?

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  1. I can't wait to read this! Renee Watson is so reliably great, and it's always a treat to have a new one of her books to read.

  2. I've read Piecing Me Together by Watson, and I enjoyed it. I also think the cover of this novel is great. I'm glad you liked this book, Cee! I think I might add it to my tbr.

    1. I hope you enjoy it if you end up reading it Em! :)

  3. Sounds nice, even if it could have handled some issues a little better. Sounds like a good read though and some important representation!!

    1. Like I said, it felt more of a missed opportunity than a problem :) It's great! <3

  4. Glad this turned out to be sweet, despite a couple issues you had. I love how colorful and pretty the cover is!

  5. I would have loved to have read this when I was younger. It's not great that the issues could have been dealt with better but it would make for a great discussion piece with a young person!

    Corinne x

    1. It's not that the issues were dealt with badly, it just felt like a missed opportunity *shrugs*

      It is a *great* book! :)

      Thanks for the comment <3

  6. oh I like the topics of this book! And I haven't read MG in ages! I'll add it to that self. Hope all is well with you Cee it has been a while!

    1. Daniela, hi! Things are about as well as can be expected with me - how are you?

      Hope you enjoy this book! <3


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