“It’s good to be pretty. I’m really lucky.” So begins the story of thirteen-year-old Olivia, or Liv, who started winning beauty pageants at age three. Lately she’s been wondering, however, if that’s all she is. She gets a chance to find out when she meets a runaway named Dan and they embark on a trip to Chicago, each determined to uncover family secrets. This story of two teens from very different backgrounds making their way in a world preoccupied with physical appearance sparkles with wry humor, romance, and a revealing behind-the-scenes glimpse at the world of beauty pageants.
About the Author
Gina Willner-Pardo is the author of 15 books, including Jason and the Losers and Figuring Out Frances, which won the Bank Street College of Education Josette Frank Award. She lives with her family in the San Francisco Bay Area.
"This is a sweet and gentle offering."
"Willner-Pardo deftly captures the complexity of adolescence as these resilient teens endeavor to define their identities and establish control over their lives."
"Willner-Pardo gives Olivia a realistically conflicted narrative voice . . . [Olivia's] growth is organic and genuine."
"Messages about obsession with physical beauty, the complexities of parent-child relationships, and being true to oneself abound in this self-actualization story, but Willner-Pardo delivers them poignantly."
"This coming-of-age novel will strike a resonant chord with middle school girls."
—School Library Journal
"A good choice for a junior-high book group."