When I learned that Ways to Make Sunshine by Renée Watson would be released on April 28th, I tried convincing myself that I could wait until the summer months to indulge. At the end of April, it arrived on my doorstep unexpectedly – a birthday surprise! In other words, it was readily available for virtual book talks, and waiting six weeks to read it myself was an impossible task. I am confident that Ryan H-A-R-T will steal your H-E-A-R-T, as she did mine. Let’s rewind to the moment I first shared this book with a fourth grader in the spring, as I’m sure it will also tug on your heart strings.
Miss Quimby: “I was wondering something since it’s Friday. We’re not doing First Chapter Friday right now as a whole class, but I know how much you love it. Someone sent me a brand new book for my birthday in the mail, and. . .”
Miss Quimby: “This just came out on Tuesday, and it’s by the same author that wrote Some Places More Than Others. I wondered if you would like me to do a personal First Chapter Friday today. How does that sound?”
Reader: “I think I NEED that book. When you find a good cover, that’s what you need!”
Miss Quimby: “They say don’t judge a book by its cover, but sometimes it’s hard to turn a book away when it has an awesome cover like this one.”
Now, fast forward through the reading of Chapter 1: The Girl Who Could Be King.
“I want it!” she exclaimed, her arm stretched high above her head. Her reaction was authentic, just as if I were in my rocking chair and she on the rug surrounded by classmates. She shared, “I love it already!”
This reader’s energy was the motivation I needed to transition First Chapter Friday into the virtual world for all fourth graders. I just wish I could have handed my copy off to an eager reader through my computer screen!
I do know the reader above did in fact get her hands on it. Ways to Make Sunshine was her first read of the summer, and she has a few words to share:
I recommend this book to readers who love mystery and realistic fiction. I love this book because the title says a lot about the whole book itself. It can be a fast read or a slow read. Happy reading!