Supporting your high street Find out how »
Basket Image


Children's Book of the Month

A fabulously feel good, authentic Middle Grade gem featuring a sunshine-spirited heroine and her loving family

- LoveReading4Kids



Ways to Make Sunshine

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.

Meet the Author Renee Watson

Renée Watson is a New York Times bestselling author, educator, and activist. Renée is the Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Author Award-winning author of the novels Ways to Make Sunshine, Some Places More Than Others, Watch Us Rise, co-written with Ellen Hagan, Piecing Me Together, This Side of Home, What Momma Left Me, Betty Before X, co-written with Ilyasah Shabazz, and two picture books: Harlem's Little Blackbird and A Place Where Hurricanes Happen.

She has given readings and lectures at many renowned places including the United Nations, the Library of Congress, and the U.S. Embassy in Japan. The New York Times calls Renée’s writing, “charming and evocative.” Her poetry and fiction often centres around the experiences of Black girls and women, and explores themes of home, identity, and the intersections of race, class, and gender. One of Renée’s passions is using the arts to help youth cope with trauma and discuss social issues.

Renée has worked as a writer in residence for over twenty years teaching creative writing and theatre in public schools and community centres throughout the nation. Her articles on teaching and arts education have been published in Rethinking Schools and Oregon English Journal. She is currently a writer-in-residence at The Solstice Low-Residency Creative Writing Program of Pine Manor College.

Renée is the founder of I, Too, Arts Collective, a non-profit committed to nurturing underrepresented voices in the creative arts. She has also worked as a consultant within the non-profit sector, specifically around teaching for social justice and the role of art in social justice, providing professional development workshops and leadership trainings to artists, staff, executives, and board of directors. Some of her clients include Carnegie Hall, DreamYard, Lincoln Center, RAW Art Works, and Literary Arts.

Renée grew up in Portland, Oregon and currently lives in New York City.

Also by Renee Watson   |  View All