Books by Renée Watson

BETTY BEFORE X by Ilyasah Shabazz
CHILDREN'S
Released: Jan. 2, 2018

"A personal, political, and powerful imagining of the early life of the late activist. (Historical fiction. 10-14)"
A passion for social justice blossoms during the middle school years for the girl who grew up to become Dr. Betty Shabazz. Read full book review >
PIECING ME TOGETHER by Renée Watson
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Feb. 14, 2017

"A timely, nuanced, and unforgettable story about the power of art, community, and friendship. (Fiction. 12 & up)"
Sixteen-year-old Jade dreams of success beyond her neighborhood despite the prejudices that surround her. Read full book review >
THIS SIDE OF HOME by Renée Watson
YOUNG ADULT
Released: Feb. 3, 2015

"Here's hoping Watson's teen debut will be followed by many more. (Fiction. 12-16)"
The summer before Maya and Nikki's senior year of high school brings new challenges as their previously all-black neighborhood becomes attractive to other ethnic groups. Read full book review >
HARLEM'S LITTLE BLACKBIRD by Renée Watson
CHILDREN'S
Released: Oct. 23, 2012

"Her brief life is well worth celebrating, and here it is done well. (Picture book/biography. 3-8)"
Watson's biographical distillation of the life of jazz singer and dancer Florence Mills is endearing and affectionate, at just the right level for very young readers. Read full book review >
WHAT MOMMA LEFT ME by Renée Watson
CHILDREN'S
Released: July 1, 2010

"Warm, rich and satisfying. (recipe) (Fiction. 10-14)"
After her mother's death at the hands of her abusive father, African-American eighth grader Serenity Evans and her younger brother go to live with their loving grandfather, a pastor, and grandmother, a church volunteer, in this enlightening debut novel. Read full book review >
A PLACE WHERE HURRICANES HAPPEN by Renée Watson
CHILDREN'S
Released: June 22, 2010

"The characters are fictional, but the impact of the hurricane on people's lives is real as conveyed through these children's eyes. (Picture book. 7-10)"
"We're from New Orleans, a place where hurricanes happen." Read full book review >