Last Thursday crowd on Alberta St. in Portland

Last Thursday crowd on Alberta St. in Portland

Alex Johnson/OPB

Portland, along with many other cities in the country, is trying to figure out how to deal with gentrification. It’s a tricky subject — where the flip side of economic prosperity can be the loss of affordable homes and a sense community. Portland’s adults haven’t come up with a good way to address the problems of gentrification — which makes it seem like a tough topic for kids. But Renee Watson’s new book for young adults “This Side of Home” doesn’t shy away from the issue. 

Watson’s story is drawn from her own experiences growing up in Northeast Portland and watching her neighborhood become more affluent — and more white. OPB’s Weekend Edition host John Sepulvado spoke with Watson at the Wordstock book festival earlier this month.


  • Renee Watson: Author of “This Side of Home” which was nominated for the best fiction for young adults by the American Library Association.