Oh Riverdale – I have a special place in my heart for you, but I think your teenaged residents could use some time away from town quarantines and drug induced hallucinations and really horrible parenting. Luckily, YALSA’s 2019 award winners and nominees have books to help your beleaguered high school students cope with all the drama. (Warning: Season 3 Spoilers)
Like Vanessa by Tami Charles
Publication Date: March 13, 2018
It’s 1983 and the first black woman has just been crowned Miss America.
Thirteen-year-old Vanessa wishes she could be beautiful and confident like Vanessa Williams. At home, she struggles with an absent mother, a distant father, and a grandfather who loves her but loves the bottle more. So when Vanessa’s choir teacher encourages her to use her beautiful voice to compete in the middle school’s beauty pageant, Vanessa must face the most difficult relationship in her life: herself.
Since I got so much positive feedback from last month’s Glee edition of “What Would They Read?,” I thought I would continue with a few more characters. I actually had some recommendations in the comments section which I plan to include in this post.
Last month I tackled reading options for Finn, Rachel, and Quinn. In order to include as many characters as possible, I’m going to do a quick Reader’s Advisory for several more people.
Santana Lopez – I’m going to start this off with one of the recommendations left in last month’s comments section. While Santana does not appear to be a very big reader, she would definitely find some common ground in Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina (2014 Top Ten Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers). In Medina’s book, Piddy discovers that Yaqui, a girl she doesn’t eve know, has decided to target her in an aggressive bullying situation. Santana would like the book not only because of the strong anti-bullying sentiments she developed while protecting Kurt, but also because of the strong Latina characters with whom she can relate culturally.
Tina Cohen-Chang – As we all know, Principal Figgins has revealed his dislike for Tina’s wardrobe, stating that it makes her look like a vampire. I assume Tina would appreciate a few vampire novels once in a while. In particular, I would give her Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber. While this is a bit of an oldie in the YA perspective (it came out in 2003), I believe that Tina would breathe new life into the title. In Vampire Kisses, Raven is an outcast who dresses in all black and dreams of someday becoming a vampire. When new neighbors move in next door, Raven can’t help but notice that they do not venture out during the daytime and Alexander, the teenaged son, hangs out in the cemetery quite frequently. This could be Raven’s chance to embrace the afterlife of a vampire.