This Side of Home

We all want to see our communities flourish. With Oregon’s growth and change in population, the impacts of development can seem like improvement to some residents yet negatively affect others. This piece of young adult fiction by award-winning Oregon author, Renee Watson, tells the story of twin sisters navigating such circumstances in their neighborhood. Maya and Nikki used to agree on almost everything but find themselves disagreeing about the path to progress for their community. One sister is deeply passionate about her community and its history. The other champions all that is new and changing. Watson masterfully allows the reader to experience the conflict through her writing and come to their own conclusions.

352 pages. ©2017.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted April 11, 2022


Such a lovely and empowering book. I absolutely loved this read!


Review posted March 22, 2022




Review posted February 10, 2022


First of all, I love that this author is from Portland! It makes it so much more of an experience to the reader if you can picture where things are taking place. This book brings up a lot of relevant issues of today: gentrification, alcohol abuse, difficulties in schools, etc. I really enjoyed the book; how it was written, what it was written about, and the characters. Definitely recommend the read!


Review posted February 9, 2022


This is such a cute book. I love all her work, so real and it hits home

Melissa Smith-Hohnstein

Review posted January 17, 2022


This is my favorite book of Renee Watson I have read so far. I was brought to tears a couple times I found it very relevant and timely. I think the content is for mature teens and young adults but I also would recommend it to some of our parents who have adopted transracially. I loved it!


Review posted November 16, 2021


Being from Portland I really appreciated the book and all the Portland references. I thought it was a beautiful story that included very real experiences of growing up in a white city as a black person and what it is like to watch your city/ neighborhood become gentrified. I like that there are moments of history mentioned and very real social experiences and feelings throughout the book. Beautifully written and great character development.