Like Vanessa by Tami Charles
All I can say is thank goodness the ’80s are back in fashion, because this gem of a book is best read sitting in front of a TV tray in a recliner. Inspired by Vanessa Williams’ 1983 Miss America win, a headstrong and pushy teacher, and a supportive and scheming grandfather, Vanessa Martin braves the small-town pageant circuit, the potential disappointment of her father, and the challenge of being dark skinned. Vanessa touches the dreamer spirit in all of us, and I cheered her on right through to the end.
–Kim Bissell, Broadway Books, Portland, OR
This is a great anti-bullying book precisely because it has no text and so never gets preachy. It leaves it up to young readers to figure out cause and effect for themselves, and the book is all the better for it.
(These recommendations were featured in Shelf Awareness.)