This debut book is a must read


Leah Johnson poses with her first book You Should Me in a Crown and her first article in the Spotlight during a visit to Ben Davis last year.

Allison Flores, staff writer

Leah Johnson was not a prom queen in high school but her debut book about becoming a prom queen is drawing rave reviews around the country. And with good reason.

Johnson, a 2012 Ben Davis graduate, is author of You Should See Me in a Crown, a teenage romantic comedy — romcom as Johnson likes to call it — with numerous references to life on the west side of Indy. 

Johnson started her writing career as a Ben Davis student in Spotlight, the school newspaper. She’s determined and passionate about writing. Johnson teaches creative writing in Sarah Lawrence college in Manhattan.

Johnson attended Indiana University to continue her writing journey and ended up with a masters degree. Johnson isn’t afraid to report anything. She would gladly take on the stories nobody wanted to do in college. Being so passionate towards her goal and with hard work, Johnson was able to make her dream come true.

“You have to work at your craft and don’t be afraid to tackle any topic,” Johnson said.

Exactly what she said is exactly what she did. Because of that she was even able to write for Wall Street and had her first book published. 

You Should See Me in a Crown is an amazing book. It’s a romance  full of humor and its references throughout made it all the more better. The fictional school our hero attends in the book includes a Commons and she mentions Mass Ave. and Rick’s Boatyard as places students hang out and also refers to the Indianapolis Colts and Pacers throughout the book.

The book is based in Indiana and is about Liz Lighty, a likeable senior at Campbell High School just outside of Indianapolis.

The character is easily relatable to many people. You Should See Me in a Crown is about a young black woman who is doing everything she can to go to her dream college. She’s got the grades and talent to attend Pennington College, all she needs is the scholarship.

Lighty would do everything she could do to make it into her dream college. Even though the scholarship never came and so she decides to get it another way — she can get the scholarship if she wins prom queen.

What Lighty goes through on her journey to be queen — and yes she ends up queen — is exciting and funny. Johnson tells a great story and her attention to detail is obvious throughout the book. Johnson also successfully writes about controversial topics — Lighty comes out as lesbian and has to deal with friends and enemies who have a difficult time dealing with that fact.

This is a must-read book for any Ben Davis student, partially because it was written by one of our own and partially because the story is endearing, funny and truthful. It would make an awesome Netflix movie.

Johnson has received high praise for the book around the country. Her promotional tag line for the book is “All is fair in love and prom,” but I say “all is fair is reading books by Leah Johnson”. Our media center has a copy of the book. Get it when you can. You won’t be disappointed.