Friday, September 18, 2020
Ways to Make Sunshine
by Renée Watson; illus by Nina Mata
192 pages; ages 7 - 10
Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2020
I’m always up for reading a new book by Renée Watson, so her new middle grade novel definitely made it into my summer reading tote. Ways to Make Sunshine is the first book of what looks like a fun series for the younger MG crowd.
Ryan Hart is a fourth-grader who is trying to grow into her name. When someone says Ryan is a boy’s name, she responds, “My name is Ryan and Ryan means ‘king’ and that means I am a leader—” Oooh, I just love this girl!
Ryan loves to cook. Her brother, on the other hand, prefers plain food. He does not, as Ryan puts it, have “adventurous tastebuds.” While Ryan may enjoy adventures in the kitchen, she isn’t so excited about the adventure of moving to a new place. Then she discovers a tin left on a closet shelf, filled with wondrous artifacts, and sets off on a mission to discover who the previous owner was.
I love the slice-of-life moments, like when grandma is straightening Ryan’s hair before Easter Sunday services, the scenes at the market, and friendship worries. Then there’s the angst of what to do for a talent show when your talent is cooking. Scrambling eggs on stage just won’t fly.
I can't wait for the next book in the series!
Always in the Middle, so hop over to see what other people are reading. Review copy provided by the publisher.