"Like Vanessa" Middle Grade Novel

Available Now!

Middle graders will laugh and cry with thirteen-year-old Vanessa Martin as she tries to be like Vanessa Williams, the first black Miss America, by reluctantly entering her school's beauty pageant. Problem is, her father and the resident mean girl think she doesn't stand a chance.



Barnes & Noble

Words Bookstore

Early Buzz

2017 SCBWI Book Launch Award

2018 "Indies Introduce" Selection

2018 Spring Kids Next List

A Spring 2018 Junior Library Guild Selection

Kirkus starred review

Foreword starred review

Booklist starred review

Endorsed by New York Times Bestselling author, Rita Williams-Garcia

and Vanessa Williams, Multi-Platinum Recording Artist & TV/Film Actress

Good Morning America!

A Thanksgiving twist on a classic Haitian New Year's Day tradition...Freedom Soup (with a cranberry apple relish). Freedom Soup honors the world's first independent black republic...Haiti! I'm honored to have written a children's picture book about the backstory of this soup, debuting with Candlewick Press in fall, 2019.

More Of My Work

Forthcoming books...

Middle Grade: Definitely Daphne, Capstone, 2018 (pre-order now!)

Picture Book: Freedom Soup, Candlewick, 2019

Picture Book: Fearless Mary, Albert Whitman & Co, 2019 (pre-order now!)

Picture Book: Panye, Candlewick, 2020

YA: Becoming Beatriz, Charlesbridge, 2019

Freelance Work

Clients include Lee & Low Publishing, Microsoft, Discover, Kaplan University, Pageant Planet, et al. Check out some samples below:

Writer's Digest blog post

"Shame the Stars: Review"

"The Power of Story"

"How to Break into Kidlit"

YA Novel Teacher's Guide

Tara Lazar's Blog 

Discover Blog (Weddings)

Discover Blog (Grad School)

Teaching Diverse Narratives

Curly Hair Blog Post

Pageant Blog Post

Pageant Blog Post #2

Interested in hiring me for a freelance project? Let's connect!