Friday, March 12, 2021

30. Ways to Grow Love

Ways to Grow Love. (Ryan Hart #2) Renee Watson. Illustrated by Nina Mata. 2021. [April] 192 pages. [Source: Review copy]

First sentence: Nothing is the same. Now that Mom is pregnant, everything has changed. Before school let out for summer, Ms. Colby said to my class, “Have a great summer. I hope you have fun and that it’s full of special moments. I can’t wait to hear all about it next school year.” The way summer is going, I won’t have any great or fun or special moments to share because all the summer plans we made aren’t happening.

Premise/plot: Ryan Hart is going to be a big sister! Yes, Ryan and Ray are getting a little sister. Ryan, our lovely, adorable heroine, is coping. On the one hand, a baby sister has potential certainly. On the other hand, it might bring about some CHANGES to her plans and routines. Will Ryan have the summer of her dreams if everything is baby, baby, baby all the time?

My thoughts: Ways to Grow Love is the second book in a series. Though I haven't read the first book--YET--I warmed up to the heroine quickly. Going to the library is one of Ryan's favorite, favorite, favorite things to do.

"But who can be quick in a wonderland of words and pictures? It’s not that I don’t like spending time with Grandma, it’s just that Mom and I go to the library at the end of every school year and we pick out books and have a book club, just the two of us."

 EXACTLY. Soon my feelings spilled over for the rest of her family and friends. By the end of the novel it was love.

I enjoyed the family dynamics of this one--the relationships the family has with one another. I enjoyed the narration--Ryan is great! 

I enjoyed the fact that faith is built into this one subtly-not-so-subtly. It's not that the novel is preachy--it isn't. It's just that faith is just as present and natural as breathing air. (In this one, Ryan goes to a Christian summer camp with some of her friends. Each cabin has to do a skit and Ryan and her friends choose the parable of the Good Samaritan for their skit.)

I loved the special father-daughter bonding. I've read two books in a row with excellent fathers--I could really love a trend like this if it continues!

“I want to write about one of the memories with my dad, but I don’t know which one to choose.” Ms. Anderson says, “Choose the one that you wish could happen again and again.”

© 2021 Becky Laney of Young Readers

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