Ways to Make Sunshine
Published April 28, 2020
About Ways to Make Sunshine
Ryan Hart loves to spend time with her friends, loves to invent recipies, and has a lot on her mind—school, self-image, and family. Her dad finally has a new job, but money is tight. That means changes like selling their second car and moving into a new (old) house. But Ryan is a girl who knows how to make sunshine out of setbacks. Because Ryan is all about trying to see the best. Even when things aren’t all she would wish for—her brother is infuriating, her parents don’t understand, when her recipies don’t turn out right, and when the unexpected occurs—she can find a way forward, with wit and plenty of sunshine.
Every book I’ve ever read by Renée Watson has made me fall in love with the story and the characters, and WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE was no different! I had so much fun reading about Ryan and her family.
The relationships between characters felt real and vivid. Ryan has to navigate changes in her friendships following her family’s move to a new house. Her relationship with her brother was great, too. I loved her whole family.
I think the best part of the story, for me, was the journey Ryan makes in coming to understand herself. At the beginning, she tries to embrace being a leader by doing her own thing and standing apart. But through facing challenges and obstacles, she begins to take charge in a different way– to bring others with her, whether it’s into an impromptu parade or in encouraging another performer to go on stage with her.
All in all, WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE is another triumph. I hope kids everywhere get to meet and fall in love with Ryan and her family too!
Recommended for Ages 8 to 12
Ryan and her family are black.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
References to attending church on Easter.
Note: This post contains affiliate links, which do not cost you anything to use, but which help support the costs of running this blog. I received a free copy of WAYS TO MAKE SUNSHINE in exchange for my honest review.