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Like Vanessa by Tami Charles
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Like Vanessa

by Tami Charles

Other authors: Vanessa Brantley Newton (Illustrator)

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» See also 3 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Personally, I do not agree with the practice of beauty pageants so I was not excited about reading this book, but I was engaged from the beginning and I was relieved by the end. This is not just some boring tale about the ugly duckling who turns into a swan through the magic of cosmetics and diet... it's about the metamorphosis of the protagonist into something bigger, better and more beautiful than she expected. It's a story that is more about the beauty within, of love, family and acceptance of all it's forms. A must read for anyone who needs a boost of confidence but definitely for girls who need to know that beauty is more about your inner self, rather than what's on the outside. ( )
  kpolhuis | Jul 2, 2018 |
Literary merit: Fantastic
Characterization: Great
Recommend: Yes
Level: Older Middle School

A historical fiction novel set in the 1980’s right after Vanessa Williams is crowned the first Miss America. 13 almost 14-year-old Vanessa Martin watches on her TV when a black girl is finally crowned Miss America. It gives Vanessa a hope she has never felt before. Maybe she too could be Miss America someday. Vanessa is African American with dark skin, full figured and as always felt out of place. But when her middle school decides to host its first pageant with a little coercion from her grandfather and teacher she decides to enter. Vanessa has the best singing voice at her school and a desire to win. To finally show that beauty comes in all forms.
This is a beautiful novel that explores beauty, diversity, and so much more. It is a novel that also talks about alcoholism, family abandonment, sex, puberty, abuse, poverty, and drug dependency. For these reasons this book is intended for older middle school audiences and beyond. This book is an amazing positive story that looks at diversity, acceptance, LGBT issues, and poverty. Vanessa’s voice is full of hope for young girls as she tries to figure out her way in the world. This is a must read historical fiction that will resonate with teens today. A must buy for all public libraries. ( )
  SWONroyal | Jun 25, 2018 |
LIKE VANESSA by Tami Charles tells the story of an African American eighth-grader pursuing her pageant dreams.

Set in 1983, Vanessa Martin is thrilled when Vanessa Williams is crowned the first black Miss America. When her music teacher encourages her audition for the school’s pageant, she’s reluctant. However, over time she develops the confidence to compete. Told through first person narratives along with beautiful poetry and journal entries, readers will be drawn into Vanessa’s quest.

Librarians will find a large audience for this story of family and friendship. The elements of poverty, racism, and family secrets add depth to the story. Of particular note is the evolving relationship between Vanessa and her music teacher.

Published on March 13, 2018 by Charlesbridge. ARC courtesy of the publisher. ( )
  eduscapes | May 26, 2018 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Many other reviewers stole my adjectives I would use for this book. As a coming of age tale I found it enlightening, and encouraging, that it took place in 1980s Newark, New Jersey. Not exactly the easiest place to grow up in. Hopefully this will encourage other writers to take on coming of age stories that are set in lower income cities and the like. ( )
  Galina98 | Apr 2, 2018 |
I may be a bit biased because i did become apart of this team because my friend has a friend and I love both of them! (: It hits shelves 3.13.18.
I love this book. It belongs in the #WeNeedDiverseBooks cannon alongside books like [b: The Hate U Give|32075671|The Hate U Give|Angie Thomas|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1476284759s/32075671.jpg|49638190] and [b: Dear Martin|24974996|Dear Martin|Nic Stone|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1495747080s/24974996.jpg|44640226]
Vanessa Martin has one dream: to become Miss America just Like Vanessa Willaims. Obviously, (because Caucasians hate us cause they ain't us), Vanessa is discouraged by her choir teacher and classmates.
If that isn't enough to get you to read it, let it be said that it's literally one of the few Middle-Grade novels to attack the issue of drug use head-on.
I haven't even read the full book yet and i know that at the end of the novel, I'll realize that in a lot of ways we all want to be LIKE VANESSA ( )
  WokeNerdWriter | Mar 27, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tami Charlesprimary authorall editionscalculated
Newton, Vanessa BrantleyIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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It is 1983 and Vanessa Martin, a thirteen-year-old African American girl in Newark's public housing, dreams of following in the footsteps of the first black Miss America, Vanessa Williams; but with a dysfunctional family (mother in jail, father withdrawn, drunken grandfather, gay cousin) the odds are against her--until a new teacher at school organizes a beauty pageant and encourages Vanessa to enter.… (more)

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