The Victoria in My Head

by Janelle Milanes

Middle class, Cuban American Victoria is a sophomore at a private New York high school... read more

Middle class, Cuban American Victoria is a sophomore at a private New York high school she attends on scholarship. She is quiet, responsible, and does everything her counselor suggests to get into Harvard, since going to Harvard has always been her parents’ dream for her. She’s also feeling edgy by the sameness of her days. Still, Victoria, who loves to sing in the privacy of her room, is dismayed when her best friend signs her up to audition for a student rock band. She’s even more dismayed when she gets the job. Her bandmates include cute guitarist Strand, with his love-them-and-leave-them reputation; fierce looking drummer Krina; and serious Levi, the bass player. If Victoria’s heart beats faster around Strand, it’s Levi who clearly likes her, and soon they’re a couple—her first boyfriend, although she doesn’t feel much spark. But it’s Strand who volunteers to be her partner rehearsing for her cousin’s quinceañera court. Wonderfully complex characterizations and relationships with her culturally diverse friends and family distinguish this compelling, at times laugh- out-loud funny debut novel in which music is a seamless part of the narrative. The story also dives deeper as Victoria tries to figure out what attraction and love feel like; tries to keep the band a secret from her parents (she fails); and tries to understand what a future following her own dreams might look like. (Age 12 and older)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2018

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