A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Lots of information about the cultural history of Harlem, New York, the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, and important figures in black history.
To love yourself, know where you came from. Understanding brings redemption and growth.
Positive Role Models
This story focuses on an African American family. All significant characters are black. The book presents a portrait of a family with the capacity to heal and give each other love. There is a family thriving despite the strain of having an incarcerated father.
Products & Purchases
The main character's father works at Nike. There are numerous mentions of Nike the company, with a lot of excitement around an employee event where kids buy the latest releases. There are multiple mentions of specific Nike sneaker products by name.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Some Places More Than Others, by Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Renée Watson (Piecing Me Together), is the story of Amara, an African American girl living in Beaverton, Oregon, who takes a trip with her father to Harlem for her 12th birthday. There she visits her dad's old haunts, the college where her parents met, and sites of New York City. She also meets her cousins and Grandpa Earl for the first time. Her father and his father have been estranged since the day Amara was born, the same day her paternal grandma Grace died. There are a few heavy-handed plugs for Nike sneakers. They set the scene, as Amara's father works at Nike, but they are frequent enough to be noticeable.
Is It Any Good?
This book about family history and relationships charms from its opening chapter. In Some Places More Than Others, Renée Watson weaves a connection between the complicated realities that characterize New York City, the history of black people in America, and one particular loving and lovable family.
New Yorkers and people who love that city will have fun with the details: the line of taxicabs at JFK Airport, Jamaican meat patties, and taking the uptown train by mistake when you're headed downtown. A strength of this book is that it deals with painful emotions without invoking controversial or disturbing situations.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.