Parents' Guide to

Ways to Make Sunshine: Ryan Hart, Book 1

By Barbara Saunders, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Girl meets challenges with pluck in charming family tale.

Ways to Make Sunshine: Ryan Hart, Book 1 Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 1 parent review

age 8+

Real World Story

I really like this writing. The book was chosen by our librarian for our 10 y.o. child. As soon as I started reading, I wondered how old the main character was. The reading and story seemed too young for our offspring. I was surprised to see that Ryan is 11! I think this is a great book for the early readers who are ready for chapter books but too young for more mature subject matter.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1 ):
Kids say: Not yet rated

This is a charming book, but it lacks the kind of tension that would make it exceptional. Readers just beginning to venture into chapter books may enjoy the characters. For older readers, the story may not pack enough excitement. In Ways to Make Sunshine, author Renée Watson presents a spirited hero with a likable family. Ryan faces realistic challenges, both big and small: forgetting her lines in the Easter celebration at church, kids teasing her because of her "boy name," and moving to a new, smaller home. However, there isn't much suspense. Many conflicts are completely solved within the scene where they're introduced. The mystery of the canister in the closet fizzles. The stage fright theme doesn't build; it just comes to a forced resolution. The illustrations by Nina Mata are fun and engaging; they add to the appeal for younger readers.

Book Details

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