Baby Be-Bop Library Binding – Sep 1995
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From Publishers Weekly
Embroidering her prose with lushly romantic imagery, Block returns to the world of Weetzie Bat for this keenly felt story. A prequel of sorts to Weetzie Bat, the novel opens while Weetzie's best friend Dirk is still a child, lying on his mat at naptime. "Dirk had known it since he could remember"-known, that is, that he is gay. Tenderly raised by Grandma Fifi, famous for her pastries and her 1955 Pontiac convertible, Dirk struggles with love and fear: "He wanted to be strong and to love someone who was strong; he wanted to meet any gaze, to laugh under the brightest sunlight and never hide." After his first heartbreak, with his closest friend (who cannot accept Dirk's love nor his own for Dirk), Dirk battles more fiercely for identity; beaten up by a gang of punks, he slumps into semiconsciousness and is visited by his ancestors, each telling a haunting, lyrical tale of love, faith and self-acceptance. What might seem didactic from lesser writers becomes a gleaming gift from Block. Her extravagantly imaginative settings and finely honed perspectives remind the reader that there is magic everywhere. Ages 12-up.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From School Library Journal
Grade 10 Up?A prequel to the popular books about Weetzie Bat and her circle of quirky friends and relatives. This novel is about her best pal, Dirk, in his pre-Weetzie days. He's in high school (in L.A., of course), living with Grandma Fifi and struggling with how to come out to his best friend and soulmate. Although Dirk never does tell Pup he's gay, Pup feels the sexual tension between them: "'I love you, Dirk,' Pup said. 'But I can't handle it.'" In reaction, Dirk takes to slam dancing in punk joints. When a gang of gay bashers beats him up, he drags himself home and passes out. While he's unconscious, long-dead relatives he's never known come to him in what seem to be dreams; when he wakes in the hospital, he realizes that his grandmother has been telling him stories. Out of her comforting words about how others in his family have insisted on being themselves, his battered brain fashions hopeful hallucinations, including one of his future lover. His visions assure him that "There was love waiting; love would come." Block writes distinctively and convincingly, interweaving the hallucination scenes smoothly. She makes the power of stories felt?and here, more purposefully than ever before, she weaves a safety net of words for readers longing to feel at home with themselves. Gay teens in particular need this book. All fans of the series will relish meeting nice-guy Dirk as the tender Baby Be-Bop.?Claudia Morrow, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
There are just plain too many teenager-aimed books nowadays that have this sort of choppy, half-conscious, half-delirious, not quite stream of consciousness style (if you can call it that) of writing. It's been done so often, starting from years ago, that it is no longer shocking, surprising, dynamic, breathtaking, etc. It's just bad writing. I'll have to disagree with any of the reviews on this page that say that Block's writing is beautiful imagery or prose, etc. It's not.
There are a great many coming-of-age books that deal with people and sexuality that actually have intelligence and heart, and still manage to have good grammar and sentences that flow logically from one to the next. Read one of those instead.
Most recent customer reviews
I love everything Francesca Lia Block has written (except maybe The Hanged Man), but this one has to be my favorite. I could read it forever. Read morePublished on March 28 2003 by Emma
this is by far my favorite FLB book, i think she captures the feelings of isolation and loneliness that comes with coming out and coming to terms with homosexuality so well and in... Read morePublished on April 24 2002
I read the entire collection of Weezie Bat Books (under the volume title of Dangerous Angels) and I couldn't put it down. Read morePublished on Sept. 30 1999
This book is one jiven' story with a bunch of other stories in it to reveal secrets and emotions of the wonderfully thought out characters. Read morePublished on Nov. 24 1998