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2018 CSK Author Award Acceptance by Renée Watson

I know what it’s like to feel invisible. This is strange because in a place like Oregon you’d think a plus-size girl like me, with dark brown skin and natural hair, would stand out. But, growing up in Portland, so many times my white friends would tell me they didn’t see me as black, saying, […]

Profile of 2018 CSK Author Award winner Renée Watson

I was going to a gathering at Renée Watson’s apartment in Harlem, but I hadn’t met her before. I don’t like meeting new people, and I was a little worried that Renée might be all Mariah, coolly giving me “I don’t know her” vibes when I appeared on her doorstep. Okay, no, I wasn’t really […]

Five questions for Ilyasah Shabazz with Renée Watson

Malcolm X’s daughter Ilyasah Shabazz presented a fictionalized account of her father’s young-adulthood in 2015’s X: A Novel (Candlewick, 14 years and up; written with Kekla Magoon). Her new book, Betty Before X (Farrar, 11–14 years), written with 2018 CSK Author Award winner Renée Watson, and with a younger audience in mind, explores the life […]

Review of Piecing Me Together

Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson Middle School, High School    Bloomsbury    264 pp. 2/17    978-1-68119-105-8    $17.99 e-book ed.  978-1-68119-106-5    $12.99 At her mother’s prodding, Jade has spent her high school career preparing herself for success. That has included taking every opportunity offered to her: a scholarship to the prestigious (and mostly white; Jade is African […]