Books By Miss America Winners
Being Miss America: Behind the Rhinestone Curtain
by Kate Shindle
For nearly a hundred years, young women have competed for the title of Miss America—although what it means to wear the crown and be our “ideal” has changed dramatically over time. The Miss America Pageant began as a bathing beauty contest in 1920s Atlantic City, New Jersey, sponsored by businessmen trying to extend the tourist season beyond Labor Day. In the post–World War II years, the pageant evolved into a national coronation of an idealized “girl next door,” as pretty and decorous as she was rarely likely to speak her mind on issues of substance. Since the cultural upheavals of the 1960s, the pageant has struggled to find a balance between beauty and brains as it tries to remain relevant to women who aspire to become leaders in the community, not hot babes in swimsuits.
Yes, You Can, Heather! The Story of Heather Whitestone, Miss America 1995
Daphne Gray, Gregg Lewis (Contributor)
We heartily recommend this book which shares the inspiring story of her rise from the devastating loss of her hearing to become the first woman with a physical challenge to win the Miss America title. Full-color photo section. Recommended as a gift for contestants who are struggling with losses or self-doubt, and new contestants who question if their dreams can become reality.
During the 1994 Miss America Pageant, Heather Whitestone challenged the limits of her profound deafness to capture both the pageant crown and America’s heart. Heather’s ballet interpretation of Sandi Patty’s “Via Dolorosa” drew repeated ovations from her spellbound audience as she danced to music she could not hear. That night, Heather became the 75th Anniversary Miss America, the first physically challenged Miss America in the pageant’s history – and eventually, one of the most popular Miss Americas ever.
Amazing Win, Amazing Loss: Miss America Living Happily, EVEN After
by Angela Perez Baraquio
Through personal anecdotes, Angie’s unique story is intertwined in these lessons that will inspire young adults, especially women living with unfulfilled dreams. Yet her story is universal. She teaches readers how to find their unique path and to see themselves as strong, beautiful beings, deserving of joy and a satisfying life, amidst any obstacles they may encounter. Angela will encourage and help readers evaluate where they are today and learn ways to write their own success story and live happily, EVEN AFTER tremendous success and tragedy.
Listening with My Heart
Heather Whitestone. Her name has become synonymous with incredible determination and unprecedented achievement. In Listening with My Heart, Heather tells her own story and the stories of others who have inspired her, proving that with hard work, perseverance, and faith, each of us can move mountains. Profoundly deaf since she was eighteen months old, Heather strove to live a normal life, and refused to listen to the voices of discouragement that many of us so often hear, no matter what problems confront us. She wouldn’t listen to the doctor who said she wouldn’t develop beyond third-grade abilities, or to those who said she would never dance ballet, or even speak. She did, however, hear the encouraging spirit of her family and followed the guidance of her own heart’s dreams. Struggling through her difficulties, she was sustained by every success–no matter how small–and ultimately became Miss America 1995.
More Grace than Glamour: My Life As Miss America And Beyond
by Jane Jayroe
From her home in Laverne, Oklahoma, to the Atlantic City, New Jersey, stage where she was crowned the new Miss America in 1966 at age 19, Jayroe has worked with author and historian Bob Burke to share her life?the ups and the downs. After a year of rigorous schedules, responsibilities, and commitments as Miss America, Jane returned to a life of her own. Her personal life included marriage, motherhood, divorce, and ultimately finding the love of her husband, real estate broker Gerald Gamble, in the early 1990s. Her successful professional career boasts spokesperson, actress, television news anchor and host, and Oklahoma Secretary of Tourism. Jane?s life of public service to causes and organizations to better the life of Oklahomans is immeasurable. Her constant Faith provided support during the turbulent times and jubilation in the good. This is the story of one of Oklahoma?s favorite daughters.
Miss America, 1945: Bess Myerson’s Own Story
Part biography, part cultural history, this book evokes America in the thirties and forties while revealing the story of a poor Jewish girl from the Bronx and her encounter with prize and prejudice after becoming Miss America. From Library Journal… “This is a highly flattering account of the most important year in Myerson’s life, 1945, when she won the title of Miss America. She was the first Jewish woman to do so. All the backstage drama of that postwar pageant is recounted, along with her own nervousness and unlikely background. Dworkin contends that subsequent disputes between would-be managers and some anti-Semitic rejection soured the year of glory. Myerson then threw herself into humanitarian campaigns and found some brief security in marriage. Though competently written, with an attempt at historical context, this subjective work is for specialized collections only.”
Heather Whitestone (Today’s Heroes Series)
By Daphne Gray (Author), Gregg Lewis (Author)
Presents the life of the first woman to win the Miss America title while suffering from a physical disability. Review: “I bought this book for my daughter who is very hard of hearing. I wanted to give her encouragement that she’s not alone in her loss and to encourage her to ‘reach for the stars’ and not let her loss hold her back from anything. Thank you to both Heather and the writer for making it possible for me to do that. It’s hard to be different when you’re a teenager!”
Believing the Promise
by Heather Whitestone
Heather Whitestone. Her name has become synonymous with incredible determination and unprecedented achievement. Profoundly deaf since she was eighteen months old, Whitestone strove to live a normal life, refusing to listen to the voices of discouragement that often confronted her. She ignored the doctor who said she wouldn’t develop beyond third-grade abilities and those who said she would never dance ballet or speak. She did, however, follow the guidance of her own heart’s dreams to triumph over her difficulties. Sustained by every success — no matter how small, she ultimately became Miss America 1995. Through all her struggles, Whitestone became empowered by her conviction to seek God first in all her actions, and in so doing, she had faith in God’s promise to, in turn, provide for her.
In “Believing The Promise,” a moving collection of thought-provoking wisdom, Whitestone shares insight into her personal sources of strength through devotional readings that inspire perseverance, courage, and faith. Beginning with a quote from Scripture, each of the more than one hundred devotions shows how we can all move mountains if we just stay true to our dreams.