Author Spotlight: Renée Watson

Updated: Apr 5

About the Author


When Renée Watson was seven years old, she wrote a 21-page story and her teacher told her, “I think you’re going to be a writer one day!” And she was right. Renée’s been writing ever since: poetry, plays, and books.

Renée Watson grew up in Portland, Oregon. Many of her books are inspired by the neighborhood she lived in. When Renée is working on a new book, she makes a playlist of songs she thinks her main character would like and listens to it while she writes. She does most of her writing in her writing nook, surrounded by inspiring quotes, photos of loved ones, and art. All because of her books, Renée has traveled to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Australia, New Zealand, and many places in the United States. Of all the places Renée has traveled to, her two favorite places are Oregon and New York. She loves them so much, she lives in both places—Portland and Harlem.

Renée believes that words are powerful and she wants to use her words to inspire, heal, and change the world.

Books by Renée Watson

Upcoming Release: April 27, 2021

Ryan Hart and her family are back in another installment of stories about a Black girl finding her way and her voice as she grows through change and challenges. In this book, Ryan finds herself wishing for lots of things—like for her new sister to be born healthy, for her new recipes to turn out right, for that camping trip to go better than she fears! And of course, Ryan is facing these new challenges and new experiences in her classic style—with a bright outlook and plenty of spirit!

Inspired to write her own version of the popular series Ramona, Newbery Honor- and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Renée Watson continues her delightful series.

Middle Grade and Young Adult

Picture Books


Nicole A. Johnson is the owner of Baltimore Read Aloud, an independent online bookstore dedicated to promoting diverse books for children. You can learn more at

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