Coming September 17, 2019. Preorder now!
By: Tami Charles
"Forgiveness is a gift."
Readers of Tami Charles’s debut novel, Like Vanessa, will remember neighborhood bad girl, Beatriz Mendez. Beatriz bullied and betrayed Vanessa as they competed for Miss King Middle School, but is Beatriz really bad? Is she stuck in her gang life, or can she break away and pursue her dreams of fame? Every story is deeper than you think.
It’s Beatriz’s birthday—her quinceañara—and she is ready to be treated like royalty. But when her brother, the leader of the Diablos, is gunned down by a rival gang, Beatriz will never be the same again. Her dreams of dancing, her hopes for fame, and her love of music died with Junito.
But when handsome brainiac, Nasser, asks her to join a dance competition with him—one that could land them both a role on Beatriz’s favorite TV show, Fame—Beatriz starts to feel the music again. And Nasser makes her feel alive again. But with her Mami practically catatonic with grief, and her duties with the Junito’s gang, Beatriz’s dreams are put on hold.
Set in 1984, the music, the dancing, and the rhythm of the life of a Puerto Rican teenager in Newark, New Jersey, set up a story of hope and perseverance. By the time Beatriz turns sixteen, she has a much better idea about what her dreams are made of, what she’ll do to achieve them, and how to live the life she wants, rather than a life that someone else decided for her.
Listen to Tami discuss writing, Miss America, and Like Vanessa on Publishers Weekly's KidsCast.
Listen to Tami talk about Like Vanessa on Charlesbridge Unplugged.
Author Bio:Tami Charles, author
Tami Charles is a former elementary school teacher who now writes full-time. She lives in Central New Jersey.
Read more about Tami here.
Listen to our podcast interview with Tami here.
Awards & Honors:
ISBN: 978-1-63289-611-7 EPUB
For information about purchasing E-books, click here.
Ages: 12 and up
Page count: 272
5 1/2 x 8 1/4