This Side of Home by Renée Watson came to me via one of Quarterly’s YA boxes. It’s the first book from that box I finished. Now I am motivated (though I have a number of books to read first) to read more Renée Watson. I’m excited to have another author of color on my radar.
Watch the video for a summary and the Sticky Note Review, or scroll down for the Instagram photo and sticky note text.
The comments on the Instagram photo remind me why I do Sticky Note Reviews. I feel like they’re quick and accessible. And that’s great. It’s also a bonus when your cousin leaves you a comment saying she’s already bought the book.
Looking for a diverse read with complicated relationships – familial, romantic, interracial, and intraracial? This one does all of that. I don’t know anything about gentrification in Portland, but I felt like Watson did a great job presenting multiple perspectives on this – from Maya’s desire for things to remain the same, to the principal’s desire to change the reputation of the neighborhood high school. The girls have differencing points of views on patronage at new businesses in the community. Naturally, wisdom comes from a community elder – so though some things change, others remain exactly the same. I also loved that we see Maya struggle – especially with interracial dating – from both cultural and loyalty standpoints. Two thumbs up for showing complexities of people and situations.
More Sticky Note Reviews…