Review of You Should See Me in a Crown

You Should See Me in a Crown
by Leah Johnson
High School    Scholastic    336 pp.    g
6/20    978-1-338-50326-5    $17.99
e-book ed.  978-1-338-50362-3    $10.99

Senior Liz Lighty has successfully stayed out of the spotlight and off of Campbell County High School’s new social networking app, Campbell Confidential. Being poor and Black in affluent Campbell has made her feel like an outsider. But when she is denied a seat in Pennington College’s orchestra and a music scholarship at the institution, she decides to run for prom queen for the scholarship money that comes with winning. With the help of her best friend, she plans to become prom queen material. What Liz doesn’t expect is to fall in love with another contender for the crown and to reconnect with her former best guy friend. Teen readers will relate to Liz’s journey of self-discovery and acceptance. Despite themes of poverty, racism, and homophobia, the book remains lighthearted. Liz’s snarky first-person narration adds to the humor, and references to popular culture help create an authentic teen voice. Screenshots from a cellphone introduce each week of competition and underscore the power of social media in the lives of teens today.

From the November/December 2020 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Nicholl Denice Montgomery

Nicholl Denice Montgomery is currently working on a PhD at Boston College in the curriculum and instruction department. Previously, she worked as an English teacher with Boston Public Schools.

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