October 10th, 2021 by Karen
Have you ever gotten so mad at your sibling that you played a prank on them? Have you ever moved to a new house that didn’t feel quite like home? Have you ever felt singled out at a party with your classmates? Have you ever felt nervous making a big speech in public? Have you ever been teased about your name? Have you ever participated in your school’s talent show?
Maybe you haven’t had ALL of those experiences, but I bet that you’ve had some of them — and that’s why I think you’ll like Ryan Hart just as much as I did! She’s the main character in Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson, which follows Ryan and her family as they make some major changes in their lives.
After Ryan’s dad loses his job, they move to a smaller house and adjust to new routines. But fortunately, Ryan gets to stay at the same school (where she is in 4th grade). And a lot of other things also stay the same. For example, her older brother, Ray, is just as bossy and annoying as ever! Good thing Ryan has friends to hang out with and parents who support her experiments in the kitchen as an aspiring chef.
If you’re a fan of the Ramona Quimby books, the Vanderbeeker series, or Boy by Roald Dahl, then I think you’ll really enjoy Ways to Make Sunshine. This book doesn’t have one big story to it — more like lots of little stories, just like regular life. And I think that’s what makes the book so great! I could totally relate to Ryan’s experiences, and I look forward to seeing what she does next in the sequel, Ways to Grow Love.
Have YOU read any of the Ryan Hart books yet? If so, please leave a comment with your thoughts! What was your favorite part?
Karen still gets nervous making speeches in public. She likes writing a lot better. That way, she can take her time — and she doesn’t have to worry what she looks like. It’s always nice to do things in pajamas, don’t you think?