Sunday, January 13, 2013

Miss America: Beauty Pageant Books

Last night was the Miss America pageant. I probably should have done this list yesterday, but in my world Perrault's birthday totally takes precedence. Luckily YA lit is filled with beauty queens and tiaras.


Beauty Queens by Libba Bray. When the plane carrying all of the Miss Teen Dream USA Pageant contestants crash lands on a desert island, the handful of survivors is torn between survival and perfecting their interview answers. In this hilarious satire, The Corporation runs the show and the girls have some lessons to learn about the true nature of beauty.

The Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill S. Alexander. Austin is sick of the town bully and sick of her over-protective member. This year is going to be different. She joins the Future Farmers of America to meet new friends, starts raising a chicken, and has her sights set on being Prosper County's next sweetheart.

Crowned by Julie Linker. Presley's mother can't afford to send her to college, and she doesn't have the grades for a merit scholarship. What Presley does have is a killer smile and pretty face. But Megan has the money and connections and has been competing forever. After years of being rivals, the girls will stop at nothing to win.

Whip It by Shauna Cross. Bliss is forced to enter beauty pageants by her obsessed mom, even though she hates them. To find a release, she secretly joins a roller derby league and tries to balance her two lives. Originally published with the title Derby Girl.


Major Crush by Jennifer Echols. After quitting the pageant circuit, Virginia tries out for drum major. She'd be the first girl ever to get it. Drew's family has been drum major for generations. When they end up having to share the position, tension and sparks fly.

Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot. Katie has told many, many lies. Like, in order to become Quahog Princess, she's told everyone how much she loves clams. (She hates them.) She has two boyfriends. She doesn't even like her best friend, but these lies are what keep her life perfect. But then Tommy returns to town, and he knows the truth about everything.

Snow Queen by Emma Harrison. Aubrey's excited to go to Vermont with her best friend Christie, until she finds out that Christie has entered both of them in the Snow Queen pageant. Aubrey goes with it to help Christie win, but a mean girl and a cute guy awaken her competitive side and now Aubrey wants to win the crown for herself.

The Fairest by Anne E. Schraff. Tubman High School is have a Princess of the Fair contest, to pick the student who most embodies the qualities of Harriet Tubman. The contest quickly turns nasty as Jasmine's willing to go too far to win.


Never Sit Down in a Hoopskirt and Other Things I Learned in Southern Belle Hell by Crickett Rumley. After Jane gets expelled from boarding school for the 13th time, she's back living with her grandmother in Bienville, Alabama. Her grandmother makes her enter the Magnolia Maid Pageant, just like Jane's mother. But when Jane makes it to court, along with someone who lives in a trailer, and someone who isn't white, the whole town freaks out.

Prettiest Doll by Gina Willner-Pardo. Olivia's been doing pageants since the age of 3 and is starting to wonder if people will ever see her as more than a pretty face, if Mama will still love her if she stops. When she meets runaway Danny, she goes with him to Chicago, as they both try to find some answers and closure to difficult chapters in their lives.

Rebel McKenzie by Cadice Ransom. 12-year-old Rebel McKenzie can't wait to go to Ice Age Kids' Dig and Safari. But then the fridge breaks and everything goes pear-shaped. Instead of digging next to real paleontologists, she's stuck in her sister's mobile home park, babysitting her nephew. But, when she discovers there's money to be had in winning a beauty pageant, she jumps at the chance to get back to the Ice Age Dig where she belongs.

What are your favorite books about the pageant life?

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