Welcome to Tamcat’s world!
Tamcat, aka the Gap Tooth Smile Girl, is nine years old, fierce, fun, a little chatty, and full of life. Tamcat empowers children to recognize their worth and value, to love themselves, and to use positivity to overcome challenging situations.
Gap Tooth Smile Girl is the story of Tamcat growing up in Philadelphia during a transitional period in the 1960s when African American schools were greatly overcrowded and sorely underfunded; a combination that sought desegregation and busing as probable solutions to a complicated problem.
Left in the wake of this transition were thousands of students like Tamcat who were forced to leave their familiar but poorly resourced neighborhood schools only to be met with sometimes vehement opposition at their newly adopted suburban schools in the form of taunts, isolation, and non-inclusivity, deeply hurtful and traumatic experiences for young children. Gap Tooth Smile Girl is the story of how Tamcat's courage, family, and mentors assisted her in surviving that first, tumultuous year at her new school.
Praise for Gap Tooth Smile Girl
Children can be so cruel. Not because they are inherently mean, they just have not learned the sensitivity that, hopefully, comes with experience and education.
Books like “Gap Tooth Smile Girl” provide that awareness and I hope every child in America reads it. This story is so necessary today in our divisive society for children to learn the hurt that is caused by bullying and racial discrimination.
Not every child rises above the derision like Tamcat. Many are fatally scarred and the lessons of this book can help to change some of society’s systemic flaws.
– The Honorable Harry Williams
Mayor, City of Hardeeville, South Carolina