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Like Vanessa

By: Tami Charles

Middle graders will laugh and cry with thirteen-year-old Vanessa Martin as she tries to be like Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America, by reluctantly entering the school beauty pageant. The history behind Vanessa Williams’s Miss America win.

ISBN: 9781580897778

JLG Release: Mar 2018


Sensitive Areas: Violence: Mild Violence, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse, Language: Mild Language, Social Issue: Harsh Realities of Life, Violence: Child Abuse
Topics: African American girls , Newark, New Jersey , Beauty contests , Dysfunctional families , Urban schools , Self-confidence , The 1980s , Family problems , Family life

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Awards & Honors

MRLS Cream of the Crop - 2019
BooklistTop 10 Books of 2018, Historical Fiction for Youth

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Booklist*, Publishers Weekly, The Horn Book Magazine, Kirkus Reviews*

Horn Book

In 1983 Vanessa Martin dreams of becoming Miss America like her just-crowned namesake, Vanessa Williams. The eighth grader confides her thoughts to her diary “Darlene,” and misses her mother, who left when she was a baby. With the help of her teacher, Vanessa participates in a beauty pageant, which challenges her to overcome her shyness, apprec In 1983 Vanessa Martin dreams of becoming Miss America like her just-crowned namesake, Vanessa Williams. The eighth grader confides her thoughts to her diary “Darlene,” and misses her mother, who left when she was a baby. With the help of her teacher, Vanessa participates in a beauty pageant, which challenges her to overcome her shyness, appreciate her dark skin, and explore her secretive family’s past. Waites’s expressive narration captures a wide range of characters—from Pop Pop’s ragged, excitable voice to Vanessa’s exuberance to, after their reconnection, her mother’s weary, abject tone—in an engrossing story of beauty, race, and seeing oneself represented.

Book Details

ISBN

9781580897778

First Release

March 2018

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

F

Trim Size

8 1/4" x 5 1/2"

Page Count

288

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.9; Points: 10;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.5; Points: 15;

Lexile

Level 730L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Charlesbridge

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Violence: Mild Violence, Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco: Drug Use/Abuse, Language: Mild Language, Social Issue: Harsh Realities of Life, Violence: Child Abuse

Topics

African American girls, Newark, New Jersey, Beauty contests, Dysfunctional families, Urban schools, Self-confidence, The 1980s, Family problems, Family life,

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