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Young Adult Novel by Bay Ridge Prep Teacher Published by Simon & Schuster
Posted 09/14/2017 06:58PM

A new young adult novel by a Bay Ridge Prep teacher has been published by Simon & Schuster. "The Victoria in My Head", written by Lower School teacher Janelle Milanes, was released on September 19. A launch party at local Bay Ridge bookstore The Bookmark Shoppe was held that night to celebrate the book's release. Along with Janelle's friends and family, many Bay Ridge Prep families and staff members attended and to hear Janelle talk about the process that led to her writing "The Victoria in My Head".

The main character of the book, Victoria Cruz, inhabits two worlds. In one, she is a rock star, thrashing the stage with her husky voice and purple-streaked hair. In the other, currently serving as her reality, Victoria is a shy teenager with overprotective Cuban parents, who sleepwalks through her life at the prestigious Evanston Academy.

Reading young adult fiction is what turned Janelle’s love of books into an obsession.

"The young adult genre covers a variety of genres and appeals to a wide audience for a reason: so many of the issues teens face are relatable to adults," she said. "The anxiety, the insecurity, the need for belonging - these feelings never completely go away, even as you enter adulthood. Part of what drew me into writing young adult fiction is the authenticity of it. There is an honesty to young adult literature that is rarely equaled in any other type of book."

Janelle says while she dabbled in writing as a child, then later in high school and college, it was only later in life that she buckled down to finish a book.

"When I became a teacher, one of my major goals was to instill a passion for writing in my students," she said. "I've been so excited to share my experiences with them. They have gone along on this journey with me - from writing the book itself, to editing, to securing an agent and receiving an offer, and now to seeing the book in stores."

"The Victoria in My Head" is now available from Simon & Schuster and most major book retailers.

Founded in 1998, Bay Ridge Prep is an independent, K-12 college preparatory school offering exceptional courses and intimate class sizes in a socially-mature and positive environment.


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Bay Ridge Prep is an independent, private, co-ed, day school accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools. Serving students in Kindergarten thru Grade 12 from all across the New York City area, Bay Ridge Prep is located in Brooklyn and dedicated to enriching intellectual curiosity, creativity, and emotional intelligence through a student-centered community that values the unique talents and learning styles of each person.



About Us

Bay Ridge Prep is a co-ed, K-12 independent school in Brooklyn, New York, that is home to 400 students and over 100 faculty spread across two buildings.  With a student-centered environment and fresh approach to education, Bay Ridge Prep provides an enriching academic experience in a socially mature environment.


Bay Ridge Prep is selective in admissions and prospective students go through a formal application process.  What we look for most in an applicant is a student who will benefit from our programs and make a positive impact on our community.


Bay Ridge Prep students get their first taste of hands-on learning in Kindergarten, when they become owners and operators of their own bakery.  By high school, they are deeply engaged in courses like Science, Research & Design - a three-year class that offers the opportunity to conduct original, independent research.


Led by experienced arts educators with advanced degrees in art, music and theater, the arts program recognizes that creative expression is a vital and integral part of a student’s development.


Home to nine championships in the last seven years, Bay Ridge Prep Athletics offers students an opportunity to explore physical challenges and develop leadership and teamwork skills.

Student Life

Student life is more than just classes, clubs and team sports.  Bay Ridge Prep is proactive in making every day life for students engaging, positive and enjoyable. 


Giving to Bay Ridge Prep has a profound impact on the daily lives of our students and helps give the school's administration the flexibility and financial resources to address spontaneous needs in and out of the classroom such as undertaking new programs and facility upgrades.


Bay Ridge Prep Alumni can be found everywhere.  Our newest alums are at some of the best colleges and graduate programs in the country and older alums are professionals in the fields of medicine, law, media, education, finance and more.

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