Like Vanessa

Like Vanessa

Book - 2018
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In this semi-autobiographical debut novel set in 1983, Vanessa Martin's real-life reality of living with family in public housing in Newark, New Jersey is a far cry from the glamorous Miss America stage. She struggles with an incarcerated mother she barely remembers, a grandfather dealing with addiction and her own battle with self-confidence. But when a new teacher at school coordinates a beauty pageant and convinces Vanessa to enter, Vanessa's view of her own world begins to change. Vanessa discovers that her own self-worth is more than the scores of her talent performance and her interview answers, and that she doesn't need a crown to be comfortable in her own skin and see her own true beauty.
Publisher: Watertown, MA : Charlesbridge, [2018]
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9781580897778
1580897770
Branch Call Number: j F CHARLES
Characteristics: 284 pages ; 22 cm

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LPL_MargoM Oct 31, 2018

In 1983, Vanessa Williams is the first woman of color to win the Miss America pageant. At the same time, 13 year old Vanessa Martin prepares to compete in her first pageant at her middle school. With help from her grandfather, cousin, and a teacher at school (plus inspiration provided by the amaz... Read More »


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LPL_MargoM Oct 31, 2018

In 1983, Vanessa Williams is the first woman of color to win the Miss America pageant. At the same time, 13 year old Vanessa Martin prepares to compete in her first pageant at her middle school. With help from her grandfather, cousin, and a teacher at school (plus inspiration provided by the amazing Vanessa Williams) Vanessa works towards a crown she's always dreamed about. Meanwhile, Vanessa looks into the mystery of her missing mother who her father no longer talks about.

Honestly, anything I say about this book either gives away part of the plot or doesn't do this book justice. You will love Vanessa, her intelligence, her drive, and her amazing support system. You will love the fantastic writing of author Tami Charles. This book is, in real life, 100% Vanessa Williams approved.

The print version of the book and the audiobook are fantastic. I personally listened to the audiobook in my car and would drive around longer than I needed to in order to finish chapters. Again, anything I have to say doesn't do this book justice. Vanessa Martin is a fantastic character and it's a pleasure to read about her.

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