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Baby Be-Bop Hardcover – September, 1995

4.6 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
Book 5 of 7 in the Weetzie Bat Series

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Hardcover, September, 1995
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Editorial Reviews

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.

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.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 106 pages
  • Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens Books; 1st edition (September 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060248793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060248796
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,368,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on June 6, 2001
Format: Paperback
In Block's latest venture, she explores the very core of human sexuality through the story of the embracable Dirk. His stunning pride and unshatterable spirit propel him through his confrontation of his homosexual self. Dirk is an amazing character and captures the reader's heart immeadiatly. His heartbreaking loss of his love interest, Pup, his turn to a "punk" nature and his suicide attempt guide the audience through a startlingly beautiful sureal journey as Dirk's ancestors come to his aid to help him accept who he is. The frightening veins of fantasy collide with stark (in)humanity through his confrontations with homophobics, hate and the neo-nazi. This is possibly Block's most triumphant work, encasing skillful characterization artfully blended with a lightspeed plot. For any fanatics of the highly reccommended Baby Be Bop, try Flemming's Mind's Eye.
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By A Customer on September 30, 1999
Format: Paperback
I read the entire collection of Weezie Bat Books (under the volume title of Dangerous Angels) and I couldn't put it down. Block finds a way to deal with true human emotion in such an imaginative and creative way that it becomes almost sureal. She portrays the thoughts and ideas in a non threatening, almost fairytail like way. Yet still, she draws emotion and feeling and captivates her readers. And in the process, teaches them something about themselves. I hope anyone who is afraid to pick up a young adult book and truly enjoy it will like this one.
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Format: Hardcover
I love Baby Be Bop because it beautifully confronts a subject that most people are afraid to touch. Lia Block describes the struggle of a boy from L.A., during what is assumed to be recent times, and how he is having trouble coming to terms with his homosexuality. My favorite aspect of Lia Block's writing is her avante-garde description. I am normally a person who hates reading, but I was unable to put down Baby Be Bop, as well as the preceeding four books of the Weetzie Bat series. The entire Weetzie Bat series is outstanding but only those who can appreciate the subject matter will get a full appreciation of it.
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Format: Paperback
With the three deaths that have happened recently, young people driven beyond the brink from being bullied due to their homosexuality, I was glad when I picked up the final book in the Dangerous Angels series. It gave me some hope.

Baby Be-Bop is a prequel of sorts to Weetzie Bat and tells the story of Dirk McDonald throughout his childhood and entering into adolescence. This is a coming out story of the first order. Dirk realizes from a very young age that he is different and later realizes that he is gay and the ramifications that is going to have for himself and his family.

He agonizes over telling his grandmother Fifi who he worries it will hurt. He struggles with his feelings for his best friend Pup and worries about the effect it will have on their friendship. He gets into trouble, smokes weed, gets a fake ID and sneaks into clubs, dresses as a punk rocker so that no one will mess with him, falls in love and deals with heart break. Baby Be-Bop pulls no punches as Dirk deals with everything from friends that are too afraid to come out of the closet, to finding out that others that are out were not careful and are now suffering from HIV or AIDS.

Finally Dirk ends up struggling with thoughts of suicide and has to find a reason to live, a story that will make him want to live. That's when the magic that is in all of the Dangerous Angels books comes to life and the genie in the lamp appears to give Dirk hope. Baby Be-Bop can be read as a standalone book and if you want to read a magical, fantastical GLBT story then I recommend you read this one. It's short, but to the point. It shows someone being driven to the brink by hatred and being saved by love, hope and understanding.
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Format: Paperback
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. I can see the main character as one who has to go through alot of misery to accept the truth about himself. The writing, in many parts was kind of fantastical but realistic at the same time so it made for a book with great variety. You want to find out if my ideas a right? Find out for yourself and read this cool book :)
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By A Customer on June 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
I LOVE everything Block has ever written. She is my idol. I read her books over and over because there is nothing else like them (If you know od anything e-mail me at: k_jurs@hotmail.com) When I grow up I want to make movies that are exactly like the books and I wouldn't change a thing. My favorite is Weetzie bat just because it is so classic but I also really like Cheroke Bat and the goat guys!
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Format: Paperback
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. Aboslutely heartbreaking and soul-wrenching. Dirk and Duck were my favorites in the Weetzie Bat series, and this was the story I always wanted to hear, exactly the way and wanted to hear it.
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Format: School & Library Binding
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 her beautiful poetic prose style. Great book to read when your going through a hard time and want to know that love and acceptance is out there.
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