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Publisher's Summary

Middle graders will laugh and cry with 13-year-old Vanessa Martin as she tries to be like Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America, by reluctantly entering her own beauty pageant. 

In this semiautobiographical 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.

©2018 Tami Charles (P)2018 Recorded Books

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Very empowering story!!!! 😃😃

I like how Vanessa wasn’t very confident in herself at first and had a secret dream, and when she heard about the pageant she got that confidence that she never knew she had. I would recommend this to anybody who feels like they can never do something because of the way the look or because other people say you can’t, that they can go after that dream and do what ever they would like.

Channie Waites voice fit into Vanessa’s character and she has a nice smooth sounding voice so you can understand her.

Vanessa is 13 so it is going to have some”13 year old stuff” in it, so if your 9-10+ I would read it.