Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Weetzie Bat

Bibliographic Information: Block, F. L.  (1989).  Weetzie bat.  New York: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0-06-073625-9

Plot Summary: Weetzie Bat, an offbeat, punk rock chick, meets Dirk one day and is immediately wrapped up in his super cool world. Although Weetzie Bat and Dirk's relationship seems to have some romantic undercurrents, she soon finds out that Dirk is gay. Instead of being disappointed to lose a potential soul mate, Weetzie is excited by the prospect of searching for soul mates, or duck hunting, together. Dirk's love for Weetzie gets her through the tough rift between her parents and the constant absence of her father.

Before they know it a strange turn of events, and a chance encounter with a genie changes the course of their entire lives only bringing Weetzie Bat and Dirk's friendship closer together than ever before.

Critical Evaluation:
A recurring motif in Weetzie Bat was the father figure, or absence of one. Father figures have a special significance in the way that each character is eternally either searching for a father figure, avoiding becoming one, or wanting to become one.

Starting with Weetzie's father who is only sometimes around (due to his divorcing her mom), leaving Weetzie craving for more fatherly love and searching to create her own "perfect" family. This influences the decisions that she makes throughout the story as she replaces her father's love with the love of her guy friends, particularly Dirk. Dirk also lacks a father figure and feels that he may never become a father himself due to being gay. Weetzie later uses this knowledge to her advantage when her lover, My Secret Agent Lover Man (MSALM), refuses to have a baby with her because he fears the world to be a horrible of a place. MSALM may be the only character that seems to understand the seriousness of becoming a father and the impact of the world on a child. Weetzie, deciding to do as she wants, circumvents MSALM wishes and goes ahead and has a child with Dirk and his boyfriend, Duck. Weetzie truly believes that they can all share the baby, that it can be "..all of ours" (p. 46). Weetzie's constant preoccupation with making sure her child has many fathers greatly reflects the disappointment she faces at never really having her father around. Weetzie seems to believe that by having three fathers her child, Cherokee, will never miss out on the experience of having a father.

Reader’s Annotation:
Sometimes love, and magic, comes in all shapes and sizes making dreams come true.

Information About the Author: Francesca Lia Block grew up in Los Angeles, California and only left once to attend University of California, Berkeley (, 2012). Block finds much of her inspiration from her children, pets and LA ( 2012). Block considers her books to be "contemporary fairytales with an edge" (Block: Bio, 2012). Block is known for her mixture of realistic novels with a fantasy flare. Block is also known for approaching tougher subjects of teen life, such as homosexuality, drugs, and, difficult home lives.

Block continues to write novels and has written over 40 original works (Block: Books, 2012). Weetzie Bat alone garnered Block recognition and awards from several different places (Follet Titlewave, 2012). These awards/recognitions include:  ALA Notable Children's Award 1995, Margaret A. Edwards Award 2005, and recognition in Booklist, Hornbook, and several others. 

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Contemporary, Cross over

Subgenre: Sexual Identity

Curriculum Ties
: Tie into a discussion on punk subculture and the fantastical.

Booktalking Ideas:

1). Why does Weetzie Bat try to have so many fathers for Cherokee?
2). Do you think My Secret Agent Lover man should change to accommodate to Weetzie Bat?

Reading Level/Interest Age: Lexile Reading Level: 960/ YA (Follett's Titlewave, 2012)

Challenge Issues: This book includes premarital sex, gay characters, and underage drug and alcohol abuse. I would use the following items to defend this book if it was challenged:

1) Refer to Library Bill of Rights, see items: I, II, and III (
2) Refer to San Diego Public Library collection policy - ( 
Original site: The American Library Association (ALA) Freedom to Read/View Statement (
3) Refer to California School Library Association (CSLA), Model School Library Standards - September 2010 ( PDF: (
4) Refer t0 American Association for School, Librarians Standards for the 21st Century Learner (
5) Contact Office of Intellectual Freedom for any further support, 800-545-2433, ext. 4223 or
6) Refer to legitimate book reviews, such as: School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book and others; found on either Academic Search Premier, Follett's TITLEWAVE, or

Why did you include this book in the titles you selected?:
I chose this book because of its mixture of fantasy and punk rock realistic culture. This book will spurn a lot of discussion about where Weetzie Bat's "real life" ends and her fantasy life begins.

Reference Page:

Block, F. L.  (2012). Bio. Retrieved July 12, 2012 from

Block, F. L.  (2012). Books. Retrieved July 12, 2012 from

Follett's Titlewave. (2012).  Weetzie bat (paperback). Retrieved July 11, 2012 from Follett's Titlewave iPhone App.  (2012).   Francesca Lia Block.  Retrieved July 12, 2012 from

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