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About Renée Watson
Renée Watson is a New York Times bestselling author, educator, and community activist. Her young adult novel, Piecing Me Together (Bloomsbury, 2017) received a Coretta Scott King Award and Newbery Honor. Her children's picture books and novels for teens have received several awards and international recognition. She has given readings and lectures at many renown places including the United Nations, the Library of Congress, and the U.S. Embassy in Japan and New Zealand. Her poetry and fiction centers around the experiences of Black girls and women, and explores themes of home, identity, and the intersections of race, class, and gender.
Her books include young adult novels, Love is a Revolution, Piecing Me Together, This Side of Home, and Watch Us Rise, co-written with Ellen Hagan. Her middle grade novels include the Ryan Hart series, (Ways to Make Sunshine and Ways to Grow Love), Some Places More Than Others, Betty Before X, co-authored with Ilyasah Shabazz, and What Momma Left Me. Her picture book, Harlem’s Little Blackbird: The Story of Florence Mills received several honors including an NAACP Image Award nomination in children’s literature.
One of Renée’s passions is using the arts to help youth cope with trauma and discuss social issues. Her picture book, A Place Where Hurricanes Happen is based on poetry workshops she facilitated with children in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
Renée was a writer in residence for over twenty years teaching creative writing and theater in public schools and community centers throughout the nation. She founded I, Too Arts Collective, a nonprofit that was housed in the home of Langston Hughes from 2016-2019. Watson is on the Council of Writers for the National Writing Project and is a member of the Academy of American Poets’ Education Advisory Council. She is also a writer-in-residence at The Solstice Low-Residency Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College.
Renée grew up in Portland, Oregon, and splits her time between Portland and New York City.
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Books By Renée Watson
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'Without ever shying away from difficult topics such as racism and financial hardship, this is a positive, optimistic story. For readers who are going through tough or troubling times, this book will be a welcome dose of happiness' BookTrust Great Books Guide 2021
Ryan Hart and her family live in Portland, Oregon, and her dad lost his job a while ago. He finally got a new one, but it pays less, and he'll have to work nights. And so they're selling the second car and moving to an (old) new house.
The Harts are an everyfamily – a family with siblings who bicker, parents who don't always get it right, but a family that loves. A family working hard to make it in tough economic times, a family with traditions and culture, a family that tries new things. This is a black family growing up in middle class America.
And Ryan is a girl who has much on her mind – school, family, friends, self-image – but who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks.
Packed with humour and heart alongside meaningful and thoughtful moments, Ryan Hart is the character everyone will want to be best friends with.
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'Some of the places I am still getting to know, some of these places I have known all my life. All of these places made me, are making me.'
All Amara wants for her birthday is to visit her father's family in New York City – Harlem. She can't wait to finally meet her Grandpa Earl and cousins in person, and to stay in the brownstone where her father grew up. Maybe this will help her understand her family – and herself – in a new way. But New York City is not exactly what Amara thought it would be. It's noisy, crowded, confusing, and her cousins can be mean. Plus her father is too busy working to spend time with her and too angry to fix his relationship with Grandpa Earl. Amara can't help wondering, even if she does discover more about where she came from, will it help her know where she belongs?
*A New York Public Library Best Children's Book of 2018!*
*A Washington Post Best Children's Book of 2018*
*A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2018*
In Detroit, 1945, eleven-year-old Betty’s house doesn’t quite feel like home. She believes her mother loves her, but she can’t shake the feeling that her mother doesn’t want her. Church helps those worries fade, if only for a little while. The singing, the preaching, the speeches from guest activists like Paul Robeson and Thurgood Marshall stir African Americans in her community to stand up for their rights. Betty quickly finds confidence and purpose in volunteering for the Housewives League, an organization that supports black-owned businesses. Soon, the American civil rights icon we now know as Dr. Betty Shabazz is born.
Inspired by Betty's real life--but expanded upon and fictionalized through collaboration with novelist Renée Watson--Ilyasah Shabazz illuminates four poignant years in her mother’s childhood with this book, painting an inspiring portrait of a girl overcoming the challenges of self-acceptance and belonging that will resonate with young readers today.
Backmatter included. This title has Common Core connections.
'This stunning book is the story I've been waiting for my whole life; where girls rise up to claim their space with joy and power. I resolve to give a copy to every teenager I know!' Laurie Halse Anderson, New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of SPEAK and SHOUT
'An extraordinary story of two indomitable spirits, the power of friendship, and what leadership looks like in the hands of young people today, Watch Us Rise is the novel we all need right now.' Brendan Kiely, New York Times bestselling co-author of ALL AMERICAN BOYS and TRADITION
Jasmine and Chelsea are best friends on a mission.
Sick of the way that young women are treated even at their 'progressive' New York City high school, they decide to start a Women's Rights Club. One problem - no one shows up. That hardly stops them. They start posting everything from videos of Chelsea performing her poetry to Jasmine's response to being reduced to a racist and sexist stereotype in the school's theatre department. And soon, they've gone viral, creating a platform they never could've predicted.
With such positive support, the Women's Rights Club is also targeted by trolls. But Jasmine and Chelsea won't let their voices - or those of the other young women in their city - be silenced. They'll risk everything to be heard and effect change ... but at what cost?
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'Important and deeply moving' JOHN GREEN
'Timely and timeless' JACQUELINE WOODSON
Jade is a girl striving for success in a world that seems like it's trying to break her.
She knows she needs to take every opportunity that comes her way. And she has: every day Jade rides the bus away from her friends to a private school where she feels like an outsider, but where she has plenty of opportunities.
But some opportunities Jade could do without, like the mentor programme for 'at-risk' girls. Just because her mentor is black doesn't mean she understands where Jade is coming from. Why is Jade always seen as someone to fix? But with a college scholarship promised at the end of it, how can Jade say no?
Jade feels like her life is made up of hundreds of conflicting pieces. Will it ever fit together? Will she ever find her place in the world? More than anything, Jade just wants the opportunity to be real, to make a difference.
NPR's Best Books of 2017
A 2017 New York Public Library Best Teen Book of the Year
Chicago Public Library's Best Books of 2017
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017
Kirkus Reviews' Best Teen Books of 2017
2018 Josette Frank Award Winner
Ryan Hart is caught in the middle. She has an older brother and a new baby sister, and she's in a friendship tug-of-war with two friends who both want to be her best best friend. How can Ryan think about being kind to a classmate who is relentless with his teasing? Or be her signature sunny self when her brother, Ray, pulls the ultimate prank?
But even when it seems like nothing is going her way, Ryan still looks for a way to see the bright side of things, refusing to let anything steal her joy, and finding ways to share it with everyone she meets.
Acclaim for Ways to Make Sunshine:
A New York Times Best Children's Book of the Year | A Parents Magazine Best Book of the Year | A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year | A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year | A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year | A WORLD Magazine Best Book of the Year | An Amazon Best Book of the Year
In this chapter book biography by Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Renée Watson, readers learn about the amazing life of Oprah Winfrey--and how she persisted.
When Oprah Winfrey was growing up, her family expected her to become a maid like her grandmother. But she had different dreams. She went after them and turned her dreams into reality, becoming a media superstar and inspiring countless other people along the way.
Complete with an introduction from Chelsea Clinton, black-and-white illustrations throughout, and a list of ways that readers can follow in Oprah Winfrey's footsteps and make a difference! A perfect choice for kids who love learning and teachers who want to bring inspiring women into their curriculum.
And don’t miss out on the rest of the books in the She Persisted series, featuring so many more women who persisted, including Harriet Tubman, Ruby Bridges, Coretta Scott King, and more!
Praise for She Persisted: Oprah Winfrey:
* "This is a lively introduction to the life of a woman who beat many odds to become successful. . . . A highly recommended addition to this stellar series." --Kirkus Reviews, *STARRED REVIEW*
"A must purchase for all libraries." --School Library Journal
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A young student receives a family tree assignment in school, but she can only trace back three generations. Grandma gathers the whole family, and the student learns that 400 years ago, in 1619, their ancestors were stolen and brought to America by white slave traders.
But before that, they had a home, a land, a language. She learns how the people said to be born on the water survived.
And the people planted dreams and hope,
willed themselves to keep
And the people learned new words
With powerful verse and striking illustrations by Nikkolas Smith, Born on the Water provides a pathway for readers of all ages to reflect on the origins of American identity.
'Renée Watson is a gifted storyteller who brings vibrant new meaning to time and place ... Watson lets us discover that one's true home is rooted in the heart and soul.' Andrea Davis Pinkney, New York Times bestselling author of THE RED PENCIL
Ryan Hart and her family are back in another instalment of stories about a Black girl finding her way and her voice as she grows through change and challenges.
In this book, Ryan finds herself waiting on lots of things -- like for her new sister to be born healthy, for her new recipes to turn out right, for that summer camp trip to go better than she fears!
And of course Ryan is facing these new challenges and new experiences in her classic style -- with a bright outlook and plenty of spirit!
You Save: ₹ 60.40(18%)
'Reading a Renée Watson novel is like having an intimate conversation with a friend' Brandy Colbert
'deftly crafted, big-hearted, beautiful, funny, honest, and inspiring' Nicola Yoon
When Nala Robertson reluctantly agrees to attend an open mic night for her cousin-sister-friend Imani's birthday, she finds herself falling in instant love with Tye Brown, the MC. He's perfect, except . . .
Tye is an activist and is spending the summer putting on events for the community when Nala would rather watch movies and try out the new seasonal flavors at the local creamery. In order to impress Tye, Nala tells a few tiny lies to have enough in common with him. As they spend more time together, sharing more of themselves, some of those lies get harder to keep up. As Nala falls deeper into keeping up her lies and into love, she'll learn all the ways love is hard, and how self-love is revolutionary.
In Love Is a Revolution, plus size girls are beautiful and get the attention of the hot guys, the popular girl clique is not shallow but has strong convictions and substance, and the ultimate love story is not only about romance but about how to show radical love to the people in your life, including to yourself.
'Warm, rich and satisfying' Kirkus
Serenity knows she is good at keeping secrets, and she's got a whole lifetime's worth of them.
Her mother is dead, her father is gone, and she and her brother have to start over again by moving in with their grandparents. At first, things seem like they could be good: a new friend, a new church, a new school.
But when her brother seems to be going down the wrong path, the old fears set in. Will he end up like their dad? Will she end up like their mum?
In this exquisite coming of age story, Serenity discovers it is the power of love that keeps you sure of who you are, and who you will become.
You Save: ₹ 47.77(15%)
The time has come for fat people to tell their own stories. The (Other) F Word combines the voices of Renée Watson, Julie Murphy, Jes Baker, Samantha Irby, Bruce Sturgell, and many others in a relatable, revelatory and inspiring exploration of body image and fat acceptance.
This dazzling collection of art, poetry, essays, and fashion tips is meant for people of all sizes who desire to be seen and heard in a culture consumed by a narrow definition of beauty. By combining the talents of renowned fat YA and middle-grade authors, as well as fat influencers and creators, The (Other) F Word offers teen readers and activists of all ages a tool for navigating our world with confidence and courage.