News from Renée

Finding the Vision for
Some Places More Than Others

Renée joins Some Places More Than Others illustrator Shadra Strickland for a conversation on storytelling, design, and the importance of diverse representation on book covers.

Click image above to read the full article.

With Some Places More Than Others, it was very important for me to have Portland, and Harlem represented on the cover and I love how you did that. The back of the cover is just as important as the front and really tells the story. It may seem like such a small thing, but I’m telling you, people in Oregon will recognize Portland and that really does mean something. We talk a lot in the kid lit community about the importance of young people being seen. I think this applies to underrepresented places as well. I want teens in Oregon to see this cover and see their home truly represented.”

-Renée Watson, School Library Journal, 2019


Well-Read Black Girl Selects
Some Places More Than Others for Fall Book Club

Some Places More Than Others is a Well-Read Black Girl book club pick for fall! American Booksellers Association is partnering with founder, Glory Edim, to bring book club meetings to independent bookstores with the goal of amplifying diverse voices & supporting emerging writers of color. Email to host a book club.


Fortified Through Words:
A Lesson in Owning Our Stories

“I believe there are many ways to speak. We all have a choice to use or not use our voices. To engage or to keep to ourselves. When I teach writing workshops with young people, we talk about our artistic voices. We talk about how what we create is a way of speaking up for what we believe. We talk about our everyday voices, how we can be kind with our words, how we can use our words to bring comfort to someone. I push my students to read widely, to take in stories they relate to and don’t relate to. I encourage my students to write their world. As it is, as it can be. I invite students to speak their truths.”

-Renée Watson, International Literacy Association, 2019

ABOUT ILA Conference 2019: New Orleans

At ILA 2019, you’ll learn how to create and grow a thriving culture of literacy in your school, district, and community—one that inspires and empowers students and teachers and sets them up for greater success.

▪ A FOCUS ON LITERACY: ILA 2019 offers a robust and well-rounded program of research-based and peer-reviewed sessions on hot topics and best practices in literacy.

▪ AN EMPHASIS ON EQUITY: ILA believes that literacy is the pathway to equity in education, and it drives everything we do—including this conference, which will help you create an inclusive learning environment.

▪ RESEARCH + PRACTICE: ILA 2019 is where research meets practice. Here you’ll find evidence-based ideas for classroom instruction and community engagement.

Renée will take the stage at the ILA General Session on October 11th.


Renée’s Bookshelf

Want to know what Renée’s reading? Click on the image below to order Renée’s new favorites.

From We Need Diverse Books, the organization behind Flying Lessons & Other Stories, comes another middle-grade short story collection--this one focused on exploring acts of bravery--featuring some of the best own-voices children's authors, including R. J. Palacio (Wonder), Rita Williams-Garcia (One Crazy Summer), Linda Sue Park (A Long Walk to Water), and many more.

Not all heroes wear capes. Some heroes teach martial arts. Others talk to ghosts. A few are inventors or soccer players. They're also sisters, neighbors, and friends. Because heroes come in many shapes and sizes. But they all have one thing in common: they make the world a better place.

Published in partnership with We Need Diverse Books, this vibrant anthology features thirteen acclaimed authors whose powerful and diverse voices show how small acts of kindness can save the day. So pay attention, because a hero could be right beside you. Or maybe the hero is you.

AUTHORS INCLUDE: William Alexander, Joseph Bruchac, Lamar Giles, Mike Jung, Hena Khan, Juana Medina, Ellen Oh, R. J. Palacio, Linda Sue Park and Anna Dobbin, Cynthia Leitich Smith, Ronald L. Smith, Rita Williams-Garcia, and short-story contest winner Suma Subramaniam


Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich is the author of the 8th Grade Superzero, which was named a Notable Book for a Global Society and a Notable Social Studies Trade Book for Young People. She also writes nonfiction, including Above and Beyond: NASA's Journey to Tomorrow, and Someday is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins. She is the coauthor of the middle grade novel Two Naomis, which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and is a Junior Library Guild selection, and its sequel, Naomis Too. She is a member of the Brown Bookshelf and the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. She has contributed to numerous anthologies for children, teens, and educators, holds an MA in education, and writes frequently on literacy-related topics for Brightly. Visit her online at


For a full list of Renée’s events visit
Stay tuned for Some Places More Than Others book tour dates!