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Weetzie Bat (Dangerous Angels)
By Francesca Lia Block
ISBN: 978-0-06-200740-7
Publisher: Harper Teen, an imprint of HarperCollins
Date of Publication: 1989

Reader’s Annotation:
Weetzie Bat juggles friendship and love in the enchanted city of Los Angeles.

Plot Summary:
Published in 1989, Francesca Lia Block’s tale of romance and friendship proves a mythical, whimsical tale set in the heart of Los Angeles. Weetzie Bat and her best friend Dirk must endure the challenges of love and friendship as they struggle to understand what it means to be an individual in a large and strange world.

Critical Evaluation:
Block’s work has known its share of controversy, primarily due to the wide range of topics presented in the less than 100 page story; sexual abuse, homosexuality, teen pregnancy, and substance abuse. Block presents Los Angeles as both a fantasy land in which dreams can come true and as a harsh reality in where pain is part of even the most happiest of existence. While the material might have a whimsy tone in terms of writing style, it’s because of said writing style that the story becomes endearing. Block’s story is meant to show how a family can be created and how a city can become a playground. Overall, despite the large issues presented, the story is a fairytale and is a fun fast read for anyone interested in magical realism.

Information about the Author:
From Francesca Lia Block’s Webpage, a lifelong resident of Los Angeles, Block is the author of over thirty books. Renouned for her realistic portayl of the city of Los Angeles, Block’s stories have been called mythical, with shades of magical realism scattered throughout her tales.

Francesca Lia Block on Twitter

A recent interview with Francesca Lia Block with the Los Angeles Review of Books

Genre:
Realistic Fiction, Magical Realism, Romance

Curriculum Ties:
Modern Mythology, City Histories

Booktalking Ideas:
Why does Weetzie and her friends feel that Los Angeles is a magical place?
What makes a book a fantasy or a realistic title?

Reading Level/Interest Age:
Weetzie Bat was originally published for adult audiences. It has now found a home amongst young adult readers. A suggested age range for this book would be fifteen and up.

Challenging Issues:
Block’s Los Angeles fairytale has been challenged several times since it’s publication. Issues such as homosexuality, teen pregnancy, and substance abuse have been the more cited reasons for the challenges.

The American Library Association’s Guide to Library Materials Challenges is a great resource if the book is challenged in the future.

Why was this book chosen?
Weetzie Bat was another book that I was assigned to read for my Materials for Young Adults course through San Jose State University. The book was a short read (less than a 100 pages) but the material included in the book was very dense. The various issues the characters endure are relate-able to any age group.

weetzie

Reference:
Block, F.L. (n.d.). Bio. Retrieved from http://www.francescaliablock.com/bio

Kirkus Reviews. (1989). Weetzie Bat. Retrieved from https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/francesca-lia-block/weetzie-bat/

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