Bound To Stay Bound

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 Like Vanessa
 Author: Charles, Tami

 Publisher:  Charlesbridge (2018)

 Classification: Fiction
 Physical Description: 284 p.,  21 cm

 BTSB No: 207634 ISBN: 9781580897778
 Ages: 10-14 Grades: 5-9

 Williams, Vanessa -- Fiction
 African Americans -- Fiction
 Beauty contests -- Fiction
 Family problems -- Fiction
 Family life -- New Jersey -- Newark -- Fiction
 School stories
 Self-confidence -- Fiction
 Newark (N.J.) -- History -- 20th century -- Fiction
Historical Fiction
Family Life

Price: $20.76

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footsteps of the first black Miss America, Vanessa Williams; but with a dysfunctional family (mother in jail, father withdrawn, drunken grandfather, gay cousin) the odds are against her--until a new teacher at school organizes a beauty pageant and encourages Vanessa to enter.

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Accelerated Reader Information:
   Interest Level: MG
   Reading Level: 4.90
   Points: 10.0   Quiz: 193702
Reading Counts Information:
   Interest Level: 6-8
   Reading Level: 4.50
   Points: 15.0   Quiz: 72748

   Kirkus Reviews (+) (01/15/18)
   Booklist (+) (03/01/18)
 The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/04/18)
 The Hornbook (00/03/18)

Full Text Reviews:

Booklist - 03/01/2018 *Starred Review* Vanessa William’s 1983 win as the first black Miss America doesn’t make the crown feel much closer to 13-year-old Vanessa Martin. Being raised in rundown Newark, New Jersey, young Vanessa feels too unpretty to even consider entering her school’s beauty pageant, despite her amazing singing voice. Only at the urging of her new music teacher, who happens to be in charge of the pageant, does Vanessa finally agree to participate, facing many challenges in the process. There is something retro in the execution and sincerity of Charles’ semiautobiographical debut novel. With its ’80s “inner-city” setting and young black protagonist, guided to a better sense of self by a do-gooder white teacher, the story only needs to seat its characters backward on school chairs to check all this genre’s boxes. However, Charles evades the clichés and imbues Vanessa with an inner life that’s so real and personal it’s hard to deny the charm, heartbreak, and triumph of her story. Additionally, the protagonist has a fractured and flawed, but loving, family at her back, which acts as a bulwark against her insecurities and drives the narrative to its hopeful, graceful conclusion. Best of all is that, with some support, Vanessa ultimately finds strength in herself and goes on to be the greatest architect of her dreams. Superb. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.

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