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Baby Be-Bop by Francesca Lia Block

Baby Be-Bop (1995)

by Francesca Lia Block

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Weetzie Bat (5)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
332954,824 (3.85)5
Dirk MacDonald, a sixteen-year-old boy living in Los Angeles, comes to terms with being gay after he receives surreal storytelling visitations from his dead father and great-grandmother.

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» See also 5 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
My first Block. Totally stands alone. I will read more, though. Brilliant and beautiful. I'm speechless, sorry. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Jun 6, 2016 |
This book is sort of a prequel to the first in the series " Weetzie Bat". It is told through Weetzie's best friend Dirk and his fear of who he is. It deals with learning to love yourself and accepting who you are. ( )
  DeweyEver | Mar 18, 2014 |
From Amazon: 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.
  rschwed | Oct 5, 2013 |
5Q 3P (my codes)
Electric language, shimmering imagery, and fantastical optimism. Francesca's prose glitters and pulses with the energy of the raves frequented by Dirk. There's a rhythm to her sentences that captivates the reader, in this heartbreaking story of unaccepted love and desperate longing for acceptance and love. Dirk is a teenage boy who lives with his ethereal grandmother "in her cottage with the steep chocolate frosting roof, the birdbath held by a nymph, and the seven stone dwarfs in the garden" (p. 9). Dirk loves Pup, Pup is afraid to love anyone but girls. And so Dirk hides and reshapes himself and goes on long drives out into the night. Magic crackles in the background of most of the book, with occasional flares of realization and illumination. When an act of horrific violence brings Dirk low, he learns the importance of story--the difference between "de-story" and "re-story." Life might just be better now. Teens might need a little push to get into the book, but those that stick with it will yearn for more. ( )
  jelizabethmills | May 13, 2013 |
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. ( )
  exlibrisbitsy | Oct 15, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Francesca Lia Blockprimary authorall editionscalculated
Diaz, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Dirk had known it since he could remember.
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Average: (3.85)
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