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You Should See Me in A Crown

You Should See Me in A Crown

Book - 2020
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Liz Lighty has always done her best to avoid the spotlight in her small, wealthy, and prom-obsessed midwestern high school, after all, her family is black and rather poor, especially since her mother died; instead she has concentrated on her grades and her musical ability in the hopes that it will win her a scholarship to elite Pennington College and their famous orchestra where she plans to study medicine--but when that scholarship falls through she is forced to turn to her school's scholarship for prom king and queen, which plunges her into the gauntlet of social media which she hates and leads her to discoveries about her own identity and the value of true friendships.
Publisher: New York : Scholastic Press, 2020
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781338503265
Call Number: TEEN F JOHN
Characteristics: 324 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

When Liz didn’t get the music scholarship, she runs for prom queen for scholarship money while being one of the only black queer girl in town.

List - New YA Love Stories
SFPL_Teen Jul 31, 2020

A charming Cinderella story with band geeks, anxiety, prom court antics, nuanced insight into class, race, and gender, and of course a happily ever after ending.

From the critics

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Apr 28, 2021

A senior in high school, Liz has her heart set on attending Pennington College, her mother's alma mater. She already has acceptance in the bag, but she is counting on a music scholarship in order to not financially burden her grandparents. However, when the scholarship falls through, and though the idea makes her uncomfortable, Liz opts to run for prom queen in hopes for a chance at the hefty scholarship associated with the crown.

This was a welcome, fun, uplifting story. It could have gone down so many stereotypical paths seen in books and films for teens, but it truly paved its own way (there is one exception, a rather one-dimensional character with zero redeeming qualities, who exists solely to generate necessary conflict). I'll definitely recommend this to my daughter in a few years.

Mar 22, 2021

I love how You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson touches on loss, racism, mental illnesses, the LGBTQ+ community, and privilege in this novel, which is not something I see often combined with a touch of humor. I also really love how Liz Lighty was so hard working throughout the entire book, there wasn’t once where she wallowed in self-pity. Whenever the odds were stacked against her, Liz would hold her head up because that was the “Lighty way.” Liz’s character development was top-notch, she certainly isn’t a perfect human being and made a few judgmental mistakes along the way, but in the end, you really could tell that she learned from them. There was a certain character that I found to be kind of a cliché and was sad when there wasn’t a redemption arc or something to justify her actions, but I liked that the overly-feminine “mean girl” trope wasn’t overplayed with the prom court girls. All in all, this is a great book that perfectly balances modern-day injustices and cute moments with a strong female protagonist for you to root for.

Mar 01, 2021

I loved reading this book and spending time with Liz and her friends. It’s a book full of joy and sweetness and the ups and downs of high school, and it’s a book I wish existed when I was a teenager. I hope it gets into the hands of kids who feel wary of being themselves, and kids who need to see a happy ending for a queer Black girl in a small town.

JCLRachelN Dec 29, 2020

This book was enjoyable from its delightful cover to the last few pages. I found myself rooting for Liz Lighty as she puts her name in for prom queen and navigates friendships, love, and the new attention it brings. Liz is such a great character and I'm glad I picked up this story.

JCLHeatherM Nov 25, 2020

Part of Reese Witherspoon's 'Hello Sunshine' book club, prom season is in full swing in Midwestern Indiana.

Oct 15, 2020

So cute! Definitely worth the read.

VaughanPLShelly Oct 14, 2020

This is easily one of my favourite books of the year! Both teens and adults alike will enjoy this prom-themed rom-com. Despite some of the more heavy subjects that may appear, the author still managed to make this book feel refreshing and hopeful. Highly recommend!

DCLkids Oct 09, 2020

A Great Books for Great Kids staff pick 2020. When Liz loses out on a music scholarship, she is determined to get money for college any way she can. She decides to run for prom queen, even though she has never thought of herself as prom queen material, in the hopes of getting the scholarship money that comes with the crown. Grades 7-8.

KyCCL Oct 04, 2020

If you have ever felt out of place, or been in a high school music group, or gone to high school, you will find something in this book that you can relate to. It is fan-tas-tic!

Sep 30, 2020

i love this book so much omfg

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Mar 22, 2021

brendvduong thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over


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Mar 22, 2021

After spending high school studying here is nothing more Elizabeth “Liz” Lighty wants than to attend Pennington College and follow her late mother’s footsteps. Unfortunately for her, Liz wasn’t granted an orchestra scholarship and doesn’t want to burden her grandparents with the news. All hope seems to be lost until Liz’s brother suggests that she runs for prom queen for a chance to win the $10,000 scholarship. There’s only one problem: Liz has anxiety, and the thought of being in the spotlight terrifies her. Fortunately, she has the support of her campaign manager, little brother, an old friend, and a new maybe (girl)friend to help her through it all.


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