{"id":2391581720655,"title":"Becoming Beatriz","handle":"becoming-beatriz","description":"\u003ch6\u003ePaperback edition coming February 1, 2022. Preorder today!\u003c\/h6\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR\/ILLUSTRATOR INFO BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy: \u003ca title=\"Author Tami Charles\" href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/tami-charles\"\u003eTami Charles\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER HEADING BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003e\"Forgiveness is a gift.\"\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER DESCRIPTION BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eReaders of Tami Charles’s debut novel, \u003ci\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/i\u003e, will remember neighborhood bad girl Beatriz Mendez. Beatriz bullied and betrayed Vanessa as they competed for Miss King Middle School, but is Beatriz really bad? Every story is deeper than you think.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhen the day of her quinceañera goes horribly wrong, Beatriz must put aside her dreams of dancing – and getting famous enough to change her life – in order to care for her grieving mami and run her deceased brother's gang.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThen, handsome brainiac new-kid Nasser invites her to compete with him in an ACT-SO dance tournament that could land her a chance to appear on TV and meet her idol, Debbie Allen. Beatriz's dreams are coming back to life. But will the Diablos let her go?\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSet in 1980s Newark, New Jersey, this rhythmic and vital story follows an Afro-Latina high-schooler as she learns to define herself, make peace with her past, and take charge of her own destiny.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/bit.ly\/2zTQzvb\"\u003eListen\u003c\/a\u003e to Tami discuss writing, Miss America, and \u003ci\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/i\u003e on Publishers Weekly's KidsCast.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/charlesbridge.blogspot.com\/2018\/03\/charlesbridge-unplugged-3-tami-charles.html\" target=\"_blank\"\u003eListen\u003c\/a\u003e to Tami talk about \u003cem\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/em\u003e on Charlesbridge Unplugged.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"recommended-books\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIf you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/products\/like-vanessa\"\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/products\/flying-the-dragon\" title=\"Flying the Dragon\"\u003eFlying the Dragon\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - START OF TABS - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e [TABS]\n\u003ch5\u003eWatch the Trailer\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" class=\"youtube-player\" type=\"text\/html\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/_wKcqhBNE4g\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" allowfullscreen=\"\" width=\"420\" height=\"315\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DOWNLOADABLES BELOW - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDownloadables\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: left;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"Becoming Beatriz book cover\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/becoming-beatriz-cvr.jpg?2327248224598137924\" style=\"display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/becoming-beatriz-hires.zip?463\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Cover\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/becoming-beatriz-excerpt.pdf?v=1614776971\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Excerpt\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/becoming-beatriz-discussion-guide.pdf?v=1614766684\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Discussion Guide\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAuthor \u0026amp; Illustrator\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eTami Charles, author\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTami Charles is a former elementary school teacher who now writes full-time. She lives in Central New Jersey.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca title=\"Author Tami Charles\" href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/tami-charles\"\u003eRead more\u003c\/a\u003e about Tami here.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/charlesbridge.blogspot.com\/2018\/03\/charlesbridge-unplugged-3-tami-charles.html\" target=\"_blank\"\u003eListen to our podcast interview\u003c\/a\u003e with Tami here.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - ENTER AWARDS \u0026 HONORS BELOW - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAwards \u0026amp; Honors\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e2019 Junior Library Guild Selection\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e2019 \u003ci\u003eKirkus Reviews\u003c\/i\u003e Best Young Adult Books Selection\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eNCSS\/CBC Notable Social Studies Book\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - ENTER REVIEWS BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eEditorial Reviews\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/star-fade.gif?18127980511287865543\"\u003e \u003cstrong\u003eKirkus Reviews, \u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e, starred review\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIt's 1984, and 15-year-old Beatriz Mendez knows there is a rule she cannot break: \"blood in, blood out.\" Members of the Diablos, a Puerto Rican gang in her neighborhood of Newark, N.J., get jumped as initiation--and leaving the gang usually means being killed in the streets. Beatriz's older brother, Juan \"Junito,\" is the leader of the Diablos; when he and Beatriz are attacked by the Haitian Macoutes, a rival gang, Junito is gunned down and Beatriz is beaten. Having watched her brother die, Beatriz's priorities shift drastically. Her dream of becoming a dancer like Debbie Allen is put on hold as the pressure to return to the gang builds--\"time to start thinking 'bout getting back in the game, princesa\"--forcing her to think about the street violence in which she has taken part.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\n\nWith Junito gone, the Diablos' new leader, DQ, has big plans to up the ante in the fight against the Macoutes. As Beatriz tries to break ties with the Diablos, and begins a friendship with a new boy at school named Nasser, someone starts leaving her photographs with mysterious messages written in Creole. Slowly losing the trust of the Diablos, with the danger of being jumped by the Macoutes at every turn, Beatriz is torn between finding a form of safety in her old life and escaping violence by embracing her love of dance.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\n\nTami Charles's beautifully written follow-up to \u003ci\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/i\u003e creates a believable character in Beatriz, one with an intensity of spirit likely to draw in fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Tiffany D. Jackson. With its realistic portrayal of life in Newark in the 1980s, Charles's author's note reveals the parts of her own life that inspired Beatriz's story. —Clarissa Hadge, bookstore manager, Trident Booksellers \u0026amp; Cafe, Boston, Mass.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\n\nDiscover: In this rhythmic teen read, after witnessing her brother's death, 15-year-old Beatriz must choose between her life as a gang member or moving forward to a life without violence as a dancer.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/star-fade.gif?18127980511287865543\"\u003e \u003cstrong\u003eKirkus Reviews, \u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e, starred review\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn a city where \"cocaine is king,\" can a teenage gang leader dare to dream of another life? Newark, New Jersey. 1984. Beatriz Mendez and her older brother, Junito, lead the powerful Latin Diablos gang. Everything changes on Beatriz's 15th birthday when a Haitian gang leaves Junito for dead and Beatriz badly injured. A \u003ci\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/i\u003e (2018) spinoff, this page-turner opens dramatically with a visceral fight scene that introduces a fierce protagonist. Beatriz is a Spanglish-speaking Puerto Rican badass with \"a blade tucked inside [her] cheek…to use on anybody who tries to step.\" In the aftermath of Junito's death, Beatriz struggles to maintain her standing as a Diabla, raise her grades (mostly D's and F's), and support her grief-stricken zombie of a mother. Though \"dancing ain't gonna pay the bills,\" she allows her childhood dream of becoming a dancer to glimmer through her tough exterior each week when watching her favorite TV show, \u003ci\u003eFame\u003c\/i\u003e. Told in the first person, this narrative is full of passion and humor, with flashbacks rooted in Beatriz's beloved salsa music. Realistic newsprint clips effectively add context. A friendship\/romance with a new boy contributes depth while avoiding predictability. As Beatriz transcends her trauma and self-doubt—\"No such thing as a gangbanger turned famous dancer\"—readers experience a necessary portrayal of a young Afro Latina woman who makes her own path, one that isn't straightforward, told in an extremely realistic voice. Inspiring and fresh.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eBooklist\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBeatriz, first introduced in Charles’ \u003ci\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/i\u003e (2018), wanted to dance and become famous for it, until the day of her fifteenth birthday, when a rival gang drove by her family’s bodega and murdered her brother, Junito. He’d been the head of the Diablos, and Beatriz a blossoming Diabla, though she still harbored her dreams of meeting Debbie Allen and making her Fame dreams come true. After her brother was taken from her, though, she stopped dancing. It takes her a year of floating along with the Diablos and trying to do what she thinks Junito would have wanted before she goes back to dreaming and, ultimately, becoming whom she was meant to be. Though the situations and story line are heavy, and the average modern reader might not easily relate to a gang in the ’80s, Beatriz’s often funny, descriptive first-person narrative is a welcoming avenue into her story. Readers with diverse backgrounds will feel at home with Beatriz’s identities as Latina, Black, and American, and everyone will be cheering her on, right up until the satisfying, heartwarming end.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eForeword Reviews\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFifteen-year-old Beatriz Mendez lives a split life between school and gang life, caring for her mother and enforcing gang rules, dancing with an attractive Haitian boy, and carrying a razor blade tucked in her cheek. Set in the 1980s, Tami Charles’s gritty \u003ci\u003eBecoming Beatriz\u003c\/i\u003e shows Beatriz’s limited choices and the strength she finds to create new ones.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e Beatriz, her brother Junito, and her mother leave Puerto Rico for New York City to escape her father’s abuse. Junito turns to dealing to augment the scarce income from their bodega. He forms and heads a gang, the Diablos, which leads to his death in the book’s opening pages. His mother’s grief renders her a vague, emotionally absent character.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e The dancing that once defined Beatriz now feels worlds away. Beatriz is also in New York at a time when Fame was at its height and Debbie Allen served as the toughest taskmaster every dancer ever wanted. The only remaining bond between Beatriz and her mother is the television show, and the power of hope that is defined within it is evoked by the plot. Tryouts come to the city, and Beatriz is lured back to dance. But gang life—blood in, blood out, the trap set for Beatriz with her gang initiation at twelve—still looms.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e Beatriz is an intense lead, fully aware of the fact that the people and things that she loves could destroy her. Her narration is sympathetic, even through difficult events. She wriggles through narrower and narrower choices, always striving to find another way.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e In the tough and hopeful \u003ci\u003eBecoming Beatriz\u003c\/i\u003e, gangs and hatred can destroy families from the inside out, but talent and grit help people to heal and rise.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eSchool Library Journal\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIt is the mid-1980s and Beatriz worships the TV show Fame. Her mom brought Beatriz and her brother, Junito, to New Jersey from Puerto Rico to escape their abusive father who particularly targeted Junito for not being masculine enough. Beatriz dreams of dancing professionally like her inspiration, Debbie Allen, but when Junito is murdered by Haitian gang leaders, she steps up her involvement with the Diablos, their Newark gang. A Shakespearean twist brings the beautiful and nerdy Haitian Nasser into Beatriz’s life. Nasser’s multifaceted brilliance inevitably wins Beatriz’s heart and leads her back to her passion and commitment to music. Family and school dynamics are spot-on as authority figures range from completely clueless to vitally aware. The language is improbably tame at times for a girl who conceals a razor blade in her cheek every day, but the accurate and immersive ‘80s music, fashion, and historical references outweigh these scattered lapses. Some of the Spanish dialogue is defined by context, but English monolingual readers may need to translate a few phrases or miss out on details. Similar to \u003ci\u003eThe Hate U Give\u003c\/i\u003e, this book offers readers painful and intimate experiences with injustice through an intensely effective first-person narrative. VERDICT Compelling romance with insightful commentary on racial, cultural, and LGBTQ discrimination alongside the realistic depiction of gang dependency and its impact.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DETAILS BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDetails\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHardcover\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-58089-778-5\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eE-book\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-63289-611-7 EPUB\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor information about purchasing E-books, \u003ca title=\"E-book\" href=\"http:\/\/charlesbridge.myshopify.com\/pages\/e-books\"\u003eclick here\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAges: 12 and up\u003cbr\u003ePage count: 272\u003cbr\u003e5 \u003csup\u003e1\u003c\/sup\u003e\/\u003csub\u003e2\u003c\/sub\u003e x 8 \u003csup\u003e1\u003c\/sup\u003e\/\u003csub\u003e4\u003c\/sub\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n[\/TABS]","published_at":"2017-08-29T11:32:01-04:00","created_at":"2019-01-23T15:40:20-05:00","vendor":"Charlesbridge","type":"Children's Book","tags":["Browse by Fiction\/Nonfiction_Fiction","Browse by Format_Chapter Book","Browse by Language_English","Browse by Subject_Diversity","Browse by Subject_Life Lessons \u0026 Skills","girl","teen"],"price":1299,"price_min":1299,"price_max":1799,"available":true,"price_varies":true,"compare_at_price":null,"compare_at_price_min":0,"compare_at_price_max":0,"compare_at_price_varies":false,"variants":[{"id":21321236250703,"title":"Hardcover","option1":"Hardcover","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"97785","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":false,"featured_image":null,"available":true,"name":"Becoming Beatriz - Hardcover","public_title":"Hardcover","options":["Hardcover"],"price":1799,"weight":283,"compare_at_price":null,"inventory_quantity":9,"inventory_management":"shopify","inventory_policy":"continue","barcode":"9781580897785","requires_selling_plan":false,"selling_plan_allocations":[]},{"id":39509914157135,"title":"Paperback","option1":"Paperback","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"41828","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":false,"featured_image":null,"available":true,"name":"Becoming Beatriz - Paperback","public_title":"Paperback","options":["Paperback"],"price":1299,"weight":283,"compare_at_price":null,"inventory_quantity":0,"inventory_management":"shopify","inventory_policy":"continue","barcode":"9781623541828","requires_selling_plan":false,"selling_plan_allocations":[]}],"images":["\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/becoming-beatriz-cover.jpg?v=1586785574"],"featured_image":"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/becoming-beatriz-cover.jpg?v=1586785574","options":["Title"],"media":[{"alt":"Becoming Beatriz book cover","id":2449511153743,"position":1,"preview_image":{"aspect_ratio":0.691,"height":868,"width":600,"src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/becoming-beatriz-cover.jpg?v=1570216158"},"aspect_ratio":0.691,"height":868,"media_type":"image","src":"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/becoming-beatriz-cover.jpg?v=1570216158","width":600}],"requires_selling_plan":false,"selling_plan_groups":[],"content":"\u003ch6\u003ePaperback edition coming February 1, 2022. Preorder today!\u003c\/h6\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR\/ILLUSTRATOR INFO BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy: \u003ca title=\"Author Tami Charles\" href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/tami-charles\"\u003eTami Charles\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER HEADING BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003e\"Forgiveness is a gift.\"\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER DESCRIPTION BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eReaders of Tami Charles’s debut novel, \u003ci\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/i\u003e, will remember neighborhood bad girl Beatriz Mendez. Beatriz bullied and betrayed Vanessa as they competed for Miss King Middle School, but is Beatriz really bad? Every story is deeper than you think.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eWhen the day of her quinceañera goes horribly wrong, Beatriz must put aside her dreams of dancing – and getting famous enough to change her life – in order to care for her grieving mami and run her deceased brother's gang.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eThen, handsome brainiac new-kid Nasser invites her to compete with him in an ACT-SO dance tournament that could land her a chance to appear on TV and meet her idol, Debbie Allen. Beatriz's dreams are coming back to life. But will the Diablos let her go?\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eSet in 1980s Newark, New Jersey, this rhythmic and vital story follows an Afro-Latina high-schooler as she learns to define herself, make peace with her past, and take charge of her own destiny.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/bit.ly\/2zTQzvb\"\u003eListen\u003c\/a\u003e to Tami discuss writing, Miss America, and \u003ci\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/i\u003e on Publishers Weekly's KidsCast.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/charlesbridge.blogspot.com\/2018\/03\/charlesbridge-unplugged-3-tami-charles.html\" target=\"_blank\"\u003eListen\u003c\/a\u003e to Tami talk about \u003cem\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/em\u003e on Charlesbridge Unplugged.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"recommended-books\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIf you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/products\/like-vanessa\"\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/products\/flying-the-dragon\" title=\"Flying the Dragon\"\u003eFlying the Dragon\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - START OF TABS - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e [TABS]\n\u003ch5\u003eWatch the Trailer\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ciframe title=\"YouTube video player\" class=\"youtube-player\" type=\"text\/html\" src=\"https:\/\/www.youtube.com\/embed\/_wKcqhBNE4g\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" allowfullscreen=\"\" width=\"420\" height=\"315\" frameborder=\"0\"\u003e\u003c\/iframe\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DOWNLOADABLES BELOW - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDownloadables\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: left;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"Becoming Beatriz book cover\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/becoming-beatriz-cvr.jpg?2327248224598137924\" style=\"display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/becoming-beatriz-hires.zip?463\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Cover\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/becoming-beatriz-excerpt.pdf?v=1614776971\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Excerpt\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/becoming-beatriz-discussion-guide.pdf?v=1614766684\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Discussion Guide\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAuthor \u0026amp; Illustrator\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eTami Charles, author\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eTami Charles is a former elementary school teacher who now writes full-time. She lives in Central New Jersey.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca title=\"Author Tami Charles\" href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/tami-charles\"\u003eRead more\u003c\/a\u003e about Tami here.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/charlesbridge.blogspot.com\/2018\/03\/charlesbridge-unplugged-3-tami-charles.html\" target=\"_blank\"\u003eListen to our podcast interview\u003c\/a\u003e with Tami here.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - ENTER AWARDS \u0026 HONORS BELOW - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAwards \u0026amp; Honors\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e2019 Junior Library Guild Selection\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003e2019 \u003ci\u003eKirkus Reviews\u003c\/i\u003e Best Young Adult Books Selection\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eNCSS\/CBC Notable Social Studies Book\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - ENTER REVIEWS BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eEditorial Reviews\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/star-fade.gif?18127980511287865543\"\u003e \u003cstrong\u003eKirkus Reviews, \u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e, starred review\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIt's 1984, and 15-year-old Beatriz Mendez knows there is a rule she cannot break: \"blood in, blood out.\" Members of the Diablos, a Puerto Rican gang in her neighborhood of Newark, N.J., get jumped as initiation--and leaving the gang usually means being killed in the streets. Beatriz's older brother, Juan \"Junito,\" is the leader of the Diablos; when he and Beatriz are attacked by the Haitian Macoutes, a rival gang, Junito is gunned down and Beatriz is beaten. Having watched her brother die, Beatriz's priorities shift drastically. Her dream of becoming a dancer like Debbie Allen is put on hold as the pressure to return to the gang builds--\"time to start thinking 'bout getting back in the game, princesa\"--forcing her to think about the street violence in which she has taken part.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\n\nWith Junito gone, the Diablos' new leader, DQ, has big plans to up the ante in the fight against the Macoutes. As Beatriz tries to break ties with the Diablos, and begins a friendship with a new boy at school named Nasser, someone starts leaving her photographs with mysterious messages written in Creole. Slowly losing the trust of the Diablos, with the danger of being jumped by the Macoutes at every turn, Beatriz is torn between finding a form of safety in her old life and escaping violence by embracing her love of dance.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\n\nTami Charles's beautifully written follow-up to \u003ci\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/i\u003e creates a believable character in Beatriz, one with an intensity of spirit likely to draw in fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Tiffany D. Jackson. With its realistic portrayal of life in Newark in the 1980s, Charles's author's note reveals the parts of her own life that inspired Beatriz's story. —Clarissa Hadge, bookstore manager, Trident Booksellers \u0026amp; Cafe, Boston, Mass.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\n\nDiscover: In this rhythmic teen read, after witnessing her brother's death, 15-year-old Beatriz must choose between her life as a gang member or moving forward to a life without violence as a dancer.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cimg src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/star-fade.gif?18127980511287865543\"\u003e \u003cstrong\u003eKirkus Reviews, \u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e, starred review\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIn a city where \"cocaine is king,\" can a teenage gang leader dare to dream of another life? Newark, New Jersey. 1984. Beatriz Mendez and her older brother, Junito, lead the powerful Latin Diablos gang. Everything changes on Beatriz's 15th birthday when a Haitian gang leaves Junito for dead and Beatriz badly injured. A \u003ci\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/i\u003e (2018) spinoff, this page-turner opens dramatically with a visceral fight scene that introduces a fierce protagonist. Beatriz is a Spanglish-speaking Puerto Rican badass with \"a blade tucked inside [her] cheek…to use on anybody who tries to step.\" In the aftermath of Junito's death, Beatriz struggles to maintain her standing as a Diabla, raise her grades (mostly D's and F's), and support her grief-stricken zombie of a mother. Though \"dancing ain't gonna pay the bills,\" she allows her childhood dream of becoming a dancer to glimmer through her tough exterior each week when watching her favorite TV show, \u003ci\u003eFame\u003c\/i\u003e. Told in the first person, this narrative is full of passion and humor, with flashbacks rooted in Beatriz's beloved salsa music. Realistic newsprint clips effectively add context. A friendship\/romance with a new boy contributes depth while avoiding predictability. As Beatriz transcends her trauma and self-doubt—\"No such thing as a gangbanger turned famous dancer\"—readers experience a necessary portrayal of a young Afro Latina woman who makes her own path, one that isn't straightforward, told in an extremely realistic voice. Inspiring and fresh.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eBooklist\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBeatriz, first introduced in Charles’ \u003ci\u003eLike Vanessa\u003c\/i\u003e (2018), wanted to dance and become famous for it, until the day of her fifteenth birthday, when a rival gang drove by her family’s bodega and murdered her brother, Junito. He’d been the head of the Diablos, and Beatriz a blossoming Diabla, though she still harbored her dreams of meeting Debbie Allen and making her Fame dreams come true. After her brother was taken from her, though, she stopped dancing. It takes her a year of floating along with the Diablos and trying to do what she thinks Junito would have wanted before she goes back to dreaming and, ultimately, becoming whom she was meant to be. Though the situations and story line are heavy, and the average modern reader might not easily relate to a gang in the ’80s, Beatriz’s often funny, descriptive first-person narrative is a welcoming avenue into her story. Readers with diverse backgrounds will feel at home with Beatriz’s identities as Latina, Black, and American, and everyone will be cheering her on, right up until the satisfying, heartwarming end.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eForeword Reviews\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFifteen-year-old Beatriz Mendez lives a split life between school and gang life, caring for her mother and enforcing gang rules, dancing with an attractive Haitian boy, and carrying a razor blade tucked in her cheek. Set in the 1980s, Tami Charles’s gritty \u003ci\u003eBecoming Beatriz\u003c\/i\u003e shows Beatriz’s limited choices and the strength she finds to create new ones.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e Beatriz, her brother Junito, and her mother leave Puerto Rico for New York City to escape her father’s abuse. Junito turns to dealing to augment the scarce income from their bodega. He forms and heads a gang, the Diablos, which leads to his death in the book’s opening pages. His mother’s grief renders her a vague, emotionally absent character.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e The dancing that once defined Beatriz now feels worlds away. Beatriz is also in New York at a time when Fame was at its height and Debbie Allen served as the toughest taskmaster every dancer ever wanted. The only remaining bond between Beatriz and her mother is the television show, and the power of hope that is defined within it is evoked by the plot. Tryouts come to the city, and Beatriz is lured back to dance. But gang life—blood in, blood out, the trap set for Beatriz with her gang initiation at twelve—still looms.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e Beatriz is an intense lead, fully aware of the fact that the people and things that she loves could destroy her. Her narration is sympathetic, even through difficult events. She wriggles through narrower and narrower choices, always striving to find another way.\u003cbr\u003e\u003cbr\u003e In the tough and hopeful \u003ci\u003eBecoming Beatriz\u003c\/i\u003e, gangs and hatred can destroy families from the inside out, but talent and grit help people to heal and rise.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eSchool Library Journal\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIt is the mid-1980s and Beatriz worships the TV show Fame. Her mom brought Beatriz and her brother, Junito, to New Jersey from Puerto Rico to escape their abusive father who particularly targeted Junito for not being masculine enough. Beatriz dreams of dancing professionally like her inspiration, Debbie Allen, but when Junito is murdered by Haitian gang leaders, she steps up her involvement with the Diablos, their Newark gang. A Shakespearean twist brings the beautiful and nerdy Haitian Nasser into Beatriz’s life. Nasser’s multifaceted brilliance inevitably wins Beatriz’s heart and leads her back to her passion and commitment to music. Family and school dynamics are spot-on as authority figures range from completely clueless to vitally aware. The language is improbably tame at times for a girl who conceals a razor blade in her cheek every day, but the accurate and immersive ‘80s music, fashion, and historical references outweigh these scattered lapses. Some of the Spanish dialogue is defined by context, but English monolingual readers may need to translate a few phrases or miss out on details. Similar to \u003ci\u003eThe Hate U Give\u003c\/i\u003e, this book offers readers painful and intimate experiences with injustice through an intensely effective first-person narrative. VERDICT Compelling romance with insightful commentary on racial, cultural, and LGBTQ discrimination alongside the realistic depiction of gang dependency and its impact.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DETAILS BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDetails\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHardcover\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-58089-778-5\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eE-book\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-63289-611-7 EPUB\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor information about purchasing E-books, \u003ca title=\"E-book\" href=\"http:\/\/charlesbridge.myshopify.com\/pages\/e-books\"\u003eclick here\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAges: 12 and up\u003cbr\u003ePage count: 272\u003cbr\u003e5 \u003csup\u003e1\u003c\/sup\u003e\/\u003csub\u003e2\u003c\/sub\u003e x 8 \u003csup\u003e1\u003c\/sup\u003e\/\u003csub\u003e4\u003c\/sub\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n[\/TABS]"}

Becoming Beatriz

Paperback edition coming February 1, 2022. Preorder today!

By: Tami Charles

"Forgiveness is a gift."

Readers of Tami Charles’s debut novel, Like Vanessa, will remember neighborhood bad girl Beatriz Mendez. Beatriz bullied and betrayed Vanessa as they competed for Miss King Middle School, but is Beatriz really bad? Every story is deeper than you think.

When the day of her quinceañera goes horribly wrong, Beatriz must put aside her dreams of dancing – and getting famous enough to change her life – in order to care for her grieving mami and run her deceased brother's gang.

Then, handsome brainiac new-kid Nasser invites her to compete with him in an ACT-SO dance tournament that could land her a chance to appear on TV and meet her idol, Debbie Allen. Beatriz's dreams are coming back to life. But will the Diablos let her go?

Set in 1980s Newark, New Jersey, this rhythmic and vital story follows an Afro-Latina high-schooler as she learns to define herself, make peace with her past, and take charge of her own destiny.

Listen to Tami discuss writing, Miss America, and Like Vanessa on Publishers Weekly's KidsCast.

Listen to Tami talk about Like Vanessa on Charlesbridge Unplugged.

Maximum quantity available reached.

Tami Charles, author

Tami Charles is a former elementary school teacher who now writes full-time. She lives in Central New Jersey.

Read more about Tami here.

Listen to our podcast interview with Tami here.

  • 2019 Junior Library Guild Selection
  • 2019 Kirkus Reviews Best Young Adult Books Selection
  • NCSS/CBC Notable Social Studies Book

Kirkus Reviews, , starred review

It's 1984, and 15-year-old Beatriz Mendez knows there is a rule she cannot break: "blood in, blood out." Members of the Diablos, a Puerto Rican gang in her neighborhood of Newark, N.J., get jumped as initiation--and leaving the gang usually means being killed in the streets. Beatriz's older brother, Juan "Junito," is the leader of the Diablos; when he and Beatriz are attacked by the Haitian Macoutes, a rival gang, Junito is gunned down and Beatriz is beaten. Having watched her brother die, Beatriz's priorities shift drastically. Her dream of becoming a dancer like Debbie Allen is put on hold as the pressure to return to the gang builds--"time to start thinking 'bout getting back in the game, princesa"--forcing her to think about the street violence in which she has taken part.

With Junito gone, the Diablos' new leader, DQ, has big plans to up the ante in the fight against the Macoutes. As Beatriz tries to break ties with the Diablos, and begins a friendship with a new boy at school named Nasser, someone starts leaving her photographs with mysterious messages written in Creole. Slowly losing the trust of the Diablos, with the danger of being jumped by the Macoutes at every turn, Beatriz is torn between finding a form of safety in her old life and escaping violence by embracing her love of dance.

Tami Charles's beautifully written follow-up to Like Vanessa creates a believable character in Beatriz, one with an intensity of spirit likely to draw in fans of Elizabeth Acevedo and Tiffany D. Jackson. With its realistic portrayal of life in Newark in the 1980s, Charles's author's note reveals the parts of her own life that inspired Beatriz's story. —Clarissa Hadge, bookstore manager, Trident Booksellers & Cafe, Boston, Mass.

Discover: In this rhythmic teen read, after witnessing her brother's death, 15-year-old Beatriz must choose between her life as a gang member or moving forward to a life without violence as a dancer.

Kirkus Reviews, , starred review

In a city where "cocaine is king," can a teenage gang leader dare to dream of another life? Newark, New Jersey. 1984. Beatriz Mendez and her older brother, Junito, lead the powerful Latin Diablos gang. Everything changes on Beatriz's 15th birthday when a Haitian gang leaves Junito for dead and Beatriz badly injured. A Like Vanessa (2018) spinoff, this page-turner opens dramatically with a visceral fight scene that introduces a fierce protagonist. Beatriz is a Spanglish-speaking Puerto Rican badass with "a blade tucked inside [her] cheek…to use on anybody who tries to step." In the aftermath of Junito's death, Beatriz struggles to maintain her standing as a Diabla, raise her grades (mostly D's and F's), and support her grief-stricken zombie of a mother. Though "dancing ain't gonna pay the bills," she allows her childhood dream of becoming a dancer to glimmer through her tough exterior each week when watching her favorite TV show, Fame. Told in the first person, this narrative is full of passion and humor, with flashbacks rooted in Beatriz's beloved salsa music. Realistic newsprint clips effectively add context. A friendship/romance with a new boy contributes depth while avoiding predictability. As Beatriz transcends her trauma and self-doubt—"No such thing as a gangbanger turned famous dancer"—readers experience a necessary portrayal of a young Afro Latina woman who makes her own path, one that isn't straightforward, told in an extremely realistic voice. Inspiring and fresh.

Booklist

Beatriz, first introduced in Charles’ Like Vanessa (2018), wanted to dance and become famous for it, until the day of her fifteenth birthday, when a rival gang drove by her family’s bodega and murdered her brother, Junito. He’d been the head of the Diablos, and Beatriz a blossoming Diabla, though she still harbored her dreams of meeting Debbie Allen and making her Fame dreams come true. After her brother was taken from her, though, she stopped dancing. It takes her a year of floating along with the Diablos and trying to do what she thinks Junito would have wanted before she goes back to dreaming and, ultimately, becoming whom she was meant to be. Though the situations and story line are heavy, and the average modern reader might not easily relate to a gang in the ’80s, Beatriz’s often funny, descriptive first-person narrative is a welcoming avenue into her story. Readers with diverse backgrounds will feel at home with Beatriz’s identities as Latina, Black, and American, and everyone will be cheering her on, right up until the satisfying, heartwarming end.

Foreword Reviews

Fifteen-year-old Beatriz Mendez lives a split life between school and gang life, caring for her mother and enforcing gang rules, dancing with an attractive Haitian boy, and carrying a razor blade tucked in her cheek. Set in the 1980s, Tami Charles’s gritty Becoming Beatriz shows Beatriz’s limited choices and the strength she finds to create new ones.

Beatriz, her brother Junito, and her mother leave Puerto Rico for New York City to escape her father’s abuse. Junito turns to dealing to augment the scarce income from their bodega. He forms and heads a gang, the Diablos, which leads to his death in the book’s opening pages. His mother’s grief renders her a vague, emotionally absent character.

The dancing that once defined Beatriz now feels worlds away. Beatriz is also in New York at a time when Fame was at its height and Debbie Allen served as the toughest taskmaster every dancer ever wanted. The only remaining bond between Beatriz and her mother is the television show, and the power of hope that is defined within it is evoked by the plot. Tryouts come to the city, and Beatriz is lured back to dance. But gang life—blood in, blood out, the trap set for Beatriz with her gang initiation at twelve—still looms.

Beatriz is an intense lead, fully aware of the fact that the people and things that she loves could destroy her. Her narration is sympathetic, even through difficult events. She wriggles through narrower and narrower choices, always striving to find another way.

In the tough and hopeful Becoming Beatriz, gangs and hatred can destroy families from the inside out, but talent and grit help people to heal and rise.

School Library Journal

It is the mid-1980s and Beatriz worships the TV show Fame. Her mom brought Beatriz and her brother, Junito, to New Jersey from Puerto Rico to escape their abusive father who particularly targeted Junito for not being masculine enough. Beatriz dreams of dancing professionally like her inspiration, Debbie Allen, but when Junito is murdered by Haitian gang leaders, she steps up her involvement with the Diablos, their Newark gang. A Shakespearean twist brings the beautiful and nerdy Haitian Nasser into Beatriz’s life. Nasser’s multifaceted brilliance inevitably wins Beatriz’s heart and leads her back to her passion and commitment to music. Family and school dynamics are spot-on as authority figures range from completely clueless to vitally aware. The language is improbably tame at times for a girl who conceals a razor blade in her cheek every day, but the accurate and immersive ‘80s music, fashion, and historical references outweigh these scattered lapses. Some of the Spanish dialogue is defined by context, but English monolingual readers may need to translate a few phrases or miss out on details. Similar to The Hate U Give, this book offers readers painful and intimate experiences with injustice through an intensely effective first-person narrative. VERDICT Compelling romance with insightful commentary on racial, cultural, and LGBTQ discrimination alongside the realistic depiction of gang dependency and its impact.

Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-58089-778-5

E-book
ISBN: 978-1-63289-611-7 EPUB

For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 12 and up
Page count: 272
5 1/2 x 8 1/4