Kesia Ryan-Webster began writing Freshman Year shortly after she completed her own freshman year of high school. Several years later, Kesia joined with her mom, Anita Ryan-Webster, to weave together this fast-paced story. The African-American mother/daughter duo has focused on some hot issues, including gang violence, bullying in schools, and the fear of not belonging. They have written Tiara’s story from the heart, with firsthand knowledge of the subject matter.
Freshman Year: Bullies Beware
Tiara Johnson is on top of the world. Talented, driven, and popular, she’s just led the Boston Middle School track team to victory. But when Tiara’s parents announce that they’re relocating to Washington, DC, Tiara’s world — and her place in it — turns upside down. Instead of going to high school in the fall with her friends, Tiara will be transferring to Skidmore Prep, a very elite institution in DC where most of the students have known each other since pre-k.
Determined to find a place for herself in her new environment, Tiara begins to make friends and earns a coveted spot on the Skidmore tennis team. Not everyone, however, is pleased with Tiara’s arrival. Alicia Blackstone takes her insecurities out on Tiara when Tiara outperforms her on the tennis courts. With the help of her cronies, Alicia launches a campaign of bullying and rumor mongering. Can Tiara stop Alicia’s clique from destroying the next four years of her life?