Cover image for Weetzie Bat
Title:
Weetzie Bat
Author:
Block, Francesca Lia.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Tenth anniversary edition.
Physical Description:
113 pages ; 16 cm
Summary:
Follows the wild adventures of Weetzie Bat and her Los Angeles friends, Dirk, Duck, and My-Secret-Agent-Lover-Man.
General Note:
"A Charlotte Zolotow book."
Language:
English
Reading Level:
960 Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC High School 6.3 5 Quiz: 13334 Guided reading level: NR.
Subject Term:
ISBN:
9780064408189
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Frank E. Merriweather Library X Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Young Adult
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Summary

Summary

Ten years ago Francesca Lia Block made a dazzling entrance into the literary scene with what would become one of the most talked-about books of the decade: "Weetzie Bat." This poetic roller coaster swoop has been repackaged with a sleek new design and is available in both hardcover and paperback editions. Rediscover the magic of "Weetzie Bat," Ms. Blocks sophisticated, slinkster-cool love song to L.A.the book that shattered the standard, captivated readers of all generations, and made Francesca Lia Block one of the most heralded authors of the last decade.


Author Notes

Francesca Lia Block was born in Los Angeles, California on December 3, 1962. She graduated from the University of California Berkeley and wrote her first book, Weetzie Bat, while a student there. It was published in 1989. Her other young adult works include Baby Be-Bop, Violet and Claire, How to (Un)cage a Girl, and The Waters and the Wild. She is also the author of the Weetzie Bat series. She has won several awards including the Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Library Association in 2005 and the Phoenix Award.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This gentle, punky love story, a revered YA novel that deserves an adult readership, features a cast of embattled teens who mirror Lamb's Dolores in their unconventionality and their sturdy ability to withstand various slings and arrows.


Publisher's Weekly Review

An offbeat heroine shares a Hollywood cottage with three equally quirky companions; in PW 's words, ``Block's first book is related in a breezy, knowing voice; her strange and sparkling tribute to growing up in L.A. is a rare treat for those sophisticated enough to appreciate it.'' Ages 12-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


School Library Journal Review

Gr 10 Up-- A brief, off-beat tale that has great charm, poignancy, and touches of fantasy . Weetzie, now 23, is a child of Hollywood who hated high school but loves the memories of Marilyn Monroe and Charlie Chaplin, plastic palm-tree wallets, and the roller-skating waitresses at Tiny Naylor's. She wears a bleached-blond flattop and Harlequin sunglasses, covers her '50s taffeta dresses in glittery poetry, and sews fringe down the sides of her minis in sympathy with the plight of the Indian. Nobody understands her, least of all her divorced bicoastal parents, until she meets Dirk, who takes her slamdancing at the hot clubs in L.A. in his red '55 Pontiac. When he tells her he's gay, they decide to go ``duck-hunting'' together. He meets his ideal blond surfer, and Weetzie finds her Secret Agent Lover Man. They all move in together, make movies that become underground successes, and have a baby. This recreates the ambiance of Hollywood with no cynicism, from the viewpoint of denizens who treasure its unique qualities. Weetzie and her friends live like the lillies of the field, yet their responsibility to each other and their love for the baby show a sweet grasp of the realities that matter. As in Rosemary Wells' None of the Above (Dial, 1974), these kids spend no time considering college or career. Their only priority is finding love and keeping it once they find it. `` `I don't know about happily ever after. . .but I know about happily,' Weetzie Bat thought.'' --Anne Osborn, Riverside Public Library, Calif. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Weetzie Bat Chapter One The reason weetzie bat hated high school was because no one understood. They didn't even realize where they were living. They didn't care that Marilyn's prints were practically in their backyard at Graumann's; that you could buy tomahawks and plastic palm tree wallets at Farmer's Market, and the wildest, cheapest cheese and bean and hot dog and pastrami burritos at Oki Dogs; that the waitresses wore skates at the Jetson-style Tiny Naylor's; that there was a fountain that turned tropical soda-pop colors, and a canyon where Jim Morrison and Houdini used to live, and all-night potato knishes at Canter's, and not too far away was Venice, with columns, and canals, even, like the real Venice but maybe cooler because of the surfers. There was no one who cared. Until Dirk. Dirk was the best-looking guy at school. He wore his hair in a shoe-polish-black Mohawk and he drove a red '55 Pontiac. All the girls were infatuated with Dirk; he wouldn't pay any attention to them. But on the first day of the semester, Dirk saw Weetzie in his art class. She was a skinny girl with a bleach-blonde flat-top. Under the pink Harlequin sunglasses, strawberry lipstick, earrings dangling charms, and sugar-frosted eye shadow she was really almost beautiful. Sometimes she wore Levi's with white-suede fringe sewn down the legs and a feathered Indian headdress, sometimes old fifties' taffeta dresses covered with poetry written in glitter, or dresses made of kids' sheets printed with pink piglets or Disney characters. "That's a great outfit," Dirk said. Weetzie was wearing her feathered headdress and her moccasins and a pink fringed mini dress. "Thanks. I made it," she said, snapping her strawberry bubble gum. "I'm into Indians," she said. "They were here first and we treated them like shit." "Yeah," Dirk said, touching his Mohawk. He smiled. "You want to go to a movie tonight? There's a Jayne Mansfield film festival. The Girl Can't Help It." "Oh, I love that movie!" Weetzie said in her scratchiest voice. Weetzie and Dirk saw The Girl Can't Help It, and Weetzie practiced walking like Jayne Mansfield and making siren noises all the way to the car. "This really is the most slinkster-cool car I have ever seen!" she said. "His name's Jerry," Dirk said, beaming. "Because he reminds me of Jerry Lewis. I think Jerry likes you. Let's go out in him again." Weetzie and Dirk went to shows at the Starwood, the Whiskey, the Vex, and Cathay de Grande. They drank beers or bright-colored canned Club drinks in Jerry and told each other how cool they were. Then they went into the clubs dressed to kill in sunglasses and leather, jewels and skeletons, rosaries and fur and silver. They held on like waltzers and plunged in slamming around the pit below the stage. Weetzie spat on any skinhead who was too rough, but she always got away with it by batting her eyelashes and blowing a bubble with her gum. Sometimes Dirk dove offstage into the crowd. Weetzie hated that, but of course everyone always caught him because, with his black leather and Mohawk and armloads of chain and his dark-smudged eyes, Dirk was the coolest. After the shows, sweaty and shaky, they went to Oki Dogs for a burrito. In the daytime, they went to matinees on Hollywood Boulevard, had strawberry sundaes with marshmallow topping at Schwab's, or went to the beach. Dirk taught Weetzie to surf. It was her lifelong dream to surf'along with playing the drums in front of a stadium of adoring fans while wearing gorgeous pajamas. Dirk and Weetzie got tan and ate cheese-and-avocado sandwiches on whole-wheat bread and slept on the beach. Sometimes they skated on the boardwalk. Slinkster Dog went with them wherever they went. When they were tired or needed comforting, Dirk and Weetzie and Slinkster Dog went to Dirk's Grandma Fifi's cottage, where Dirk had lived since his parents died. Grandma Fifi was a sweet, powdery old lady who baked tiny, white, sugar-coated pastries for them, played them tunes on a music box with a little dancing monkey on top, had two canaries she sang to, and had hair Weetzie envied'perfect white hair that sometimes had lovely blue or pink tints. Grandma Fifi had Dirk and Weetzie bring her groceries, show her their new clothes, and answer the same questions over and over again. They felt very safe and close in Fifi's cottage. "You're my best friend in the whole world," Dirk said to Weetzie one night. They were sitting in Jerry drinking Club coladas with Slinkster Dog curled up between them. "You're my best friend in the whole world," Weetzie said to Dirk. Slinkster Dog's stomach gurgled with pleasure. He was very happy, because Weetzie was so happy now and her new friend Dirk let him ride in Jerry as long as he didn't pee, and they gave him pizza pie for dinner instead of that weird meat that Weetzie's mom, Brandy-Lynn, tried to dish out when he was left at home. One night, Weetzie and Dirk and Slinkster Dog were driving down Sunset in Jerry on their way to the Odyssey. Weetzie was leaning out the window holding Rubber Chicken by his long, red toe. The breeze was filling Rubber Chicken so that he blew up like a fat, pocked balloon. At the stoplight, a long, black limo pulled up next to Jerry. The driver leaned out and looked at Rubber Chicken. "That is one bald-looking chicken!" The driver threw something into the car and it landed on Weetzie's lap. She screamed. "What is it?" Dirk exclaimed. A hairy, black thing was perched on Weetzie's knees. "It's a hairpiece for that bald eagle you've got there. Belonged to Burt Reynolds," the driver said, and he drove off. Weetzie put the toupee on Rubber Chicken. Really, it looked quite nice. It made Rubber Chicken look just like the lead singer of a heavy-metal band. Dirk and Weetzie wondered how they could have let him go bald for so long. "Weetzie, I have something to tell you," Dirk said. "What?" "I have to wait till we get to the Odyssey." At the Odyssey, Weetzie and Dirk bought a pack of cigarettes and two Cokes. Dirk poured rum from the little bottle he kept in his jacket pocket into the Cokes. They sat next to the d.j. booth watching the Lanka girls in spandy-wear dancing around. "What were you going to tell me?" Weetzie asked. "I'm gay," Dirk said. "Who, what, when, where, how -- well, not how," Weetzie said. "It doesn't matter one bit, honey-honey," she said, giving him a hug. Dirk took a swig of his drink. "But you know I'll always love you the best and think you are a beautiful, sexy girl," he said. "Now we can Duck hunt together," Weetzie said, taking his hand. Weetzie Bat . Copyright © by Francesca Block. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

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