Dangerous Angels

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Dangerous Angels
Author Francesca Lia Block
Country USA
Language English
Genre Young adult fiction
Publisher Harper Collins Publishers
Publication date
1998
Media type Print (paperback, e-book)
Pages 478 (1st edition)
ISBN 0-06-440697-0
OCLC 526057852

Dangerous Angels is a young adult fiction series by Francesca Lia Block. It consists of seven novels: Weetzie Bat, Witch Baby, Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, Missing Angel Juan, Baby Be-Bop, Necklace of Kisses, and Pink Smog: Becoming Weetzie Bat. The stories are about Weetzie Bat and her friends and family's lives in Los Angeles including witches, genies, and ghosts on their journeys to find acceptance, love, and a connection.

Plots[edit]

Weetzie Bat: Weetzie Bat meets her best friend Dirk, who happens to be gay, at school and together they have grand adventures around Los Angeles comforting each other when they get hurt on their quest to find their ducks, or soul mates. Grandma Fifi gives Weetzie a genie lamp which gives her three wishes which are granted and their lives change forever with unforeseen ramifications.

Witch Baby: Witch Baby, a purple eyed girl who lives with Weetzie Bat, My-Secret-Agent-Lover-Man, and the rest of the kin does not know where she belongs in the world. As she tires of tormenting her sister, Cherokee, Witch Baby happens to meet a boy Angel Juan who she instantly knows is her soul mate and through him realizes what a family should be. She goes on a quest to find her mother in hopes of finding out where she belongs, to find out that her mother really does not care about her. In the end she misses her family and realizes it is with them she belongs.

Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys: The grown-ups in the family are off filming their new movie, leaving Cherokee to look after Witch Baby who has locked herself in the shed refusing to eat because she misses Angel Juan so desperately. To leer her out Cherokee makes her a pair of wings, which transform Witch Baby. The girls decide to start a band with Angel Juan and Raphael, but when they go to perform they all freeze. Cherokee makes the rest of the band members magical items which makes them into one of the hottest bands, until they get caught up in the world of drugs, sex, and jealousy. Cherokee takes away the magical gifts after realizing what it has done to them, making them re-examine their choices.

Missing Angel Juan: Angel Juan left for New York City and Witch Baby is desperately missing him, and when he stops writing she knows something has happened to him. She goes in search of him staying at the apartment of Weetzie Bat’s deceased father, Charlie Bat, which happens to be haunted by him. Together the ghost of Charlie Bat and Witch Baby trace Angel Juan’s steps to a ‘man’ named Cake who she must rescue him from without getting herself captured as well.

Baby Be-Bop: A prequel to the other stories, it takes you on the journey of Dirk’s life before meeting Weetzie Bat. While living with Grandma Fifi in high school Dirk struggles with his sexuality and how to come out to Pup, his best friend and who he thinks is his soul mate. Though Pup feels the same he refuses to come out and starts dating a girl leaving Dirk heartbroken. After being beat up by a bunch of anti-gay guys he crashes at home and starts dreaming of his ancestors, which help him come to terms with who he is through their life stories.

Major themes[edit]

The major theme throughout the stories combined to make Dangerous Angels is “tolerance through love.” [1] Individual stories have more individualized themes etched within them. Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys is about the importance loved ones and the natural and spiritual worlds.[2] Witch Baby’s magical story is about the “danger of denying life's pain.” [3] Weetzie Bat is a transcendent coming of age story.[4] The strong theme of Missing Angel Juan Cart states best as, “love, in its infinite varieties, is both humankind's natural estate and heart-magic strong enough to redeem any loss.” [5] In Baby Be-Bop the theme is finding love for oneself and is “a safety net of words for readers longing to feel at home with themselves.”[6]

Award Year Result
Shrout Fiction Award 1986 Winner[7]
Emily Chamberlain Cook Poetry Award 1986 Winner[8]
Best Books of the Year Citation ALA 1986 Winner[9]
YASD, Best Book Award, Recommended Books for Reluctant Young-Adult Readers 1989 Winner[10]
Phoenix Award, 2009 Winner[11]
Recommended Books for Reluctant Young-Adult Readers, 1990 Citation[12]
ALA Best Books of the Year 1991 Winner[13]
Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers 1991 Citation[14]

Literary significance and reception[edit]

All of the short books that are combined to make Dangerous Angels received great reviews when they were published. Osborn says of Weetzie Bat, “Weetzie and her friends live like the lilies of the field, yet their responsibility to each other and their love for the baby show a sweet grasp of the realities that matter.”[15] Block manages to bring the most important things in life, family and love to the front of the novel making other life matters secondary, which readers find enchanting. In 2005 Block received the Margaret A. Edwards Award, “for outstanding contributions to young adult readers”, for the Weetzie Bat books.[16]

Publication history[edit]

Explanation of the novel's title[edit]

The title of this book comes from a quote from Weetzie Bat: “‘Love is a dangerous angel,’ Dirk said.” [p. 11] [17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ramsay , Ellen. "Witch Baby." School Library Journal. 37. (1991): 277. Print.
  2. ^ Richmond, Gail. "Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys." School Library Journal. 38. (1992): 274. Print.
  3. ^ Ramsay , Ellen. "Witch Baby." School Library Journal. 37. (1991): 277. Print.
  4. ^ Hearne, Betsy. "Weetzie Bat." New York Times Book Review 21 05 1989, Print.
  5. ^ Cart, Michael. "Missing Angel Juan." School Library Journal. 39. (1993): 148. Print.
  6. ^ Morrow , Claudia. "Baby Be-Bop." School Library Journal. 41. (1995): 218. Print.
  7. ^ "Francesca Lia Block (1962-)." Something about the Author. Vol. 213. Detroit: Gale, 2010. 11-17. Something About The Author Online. Gale. Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. 7 April 2011 <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/SATA_Online/iulib_iupui/BH2178135006>
  8. ^ "Francesca Lia Block (1962-)." Something about the Author. Vol. 213. Detroit: Gale, 2010. 11-17. Something About The Author Online. Gale. Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. 7 April 2011 <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/SATA_Online/iulib_iupui/BH2178135006>
  9. ^ "Francesca Lia Block (1962-)." Something about the Author. Vol. 213. Detroit: Gale, 2010. 11-17. Something About The Author Online. Gale. Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. 7 April 2011 <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/SATA_Online/iulib_iupui/BH2178135006>
  10. ^ "Francesca Lia Block (1962-)." Something about the Author. Vol. 213. Detroit: Gale, 2010. 11-17. Something About The Author Online. Gale. Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. 7 April 2011 <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/SATA_Online/iulib_iupui/BH2178135006>
  11. ^ Crime Writers of Canada www.crimewriterscanada.com. Retrieved 2 February 2011.
  12. ^ "Francesca Lia Block (1962-)." Something about the Author. Vol. 213. Detroit: Gale, 2010. 11-17. Something About The Author Online. Gale. Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. 7 April 2011 <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/SATA_Online/iulib_iupui/BH2178135006>
  13. ^ "Francesca Lia Block (1962-)." Something about the Author. Vol. 213. Detroit: Gale, 2010. 11-17. Something About The Author Online. Gale. Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. 7 April 2011 <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/SATA_Online/iulib_iupui/BH2178135006>
  14. ^ "Francesca Lia Block (1962-)." Something about the Author. Vol. 213. Detroit: Gale, 2010. 11-17. Something About The Author Online. Gale. Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. 7 April 2011 <http://galenet.galegroup.com/servlet/SATA_Online/iulib_iupui/BH2178135006>
  15. ^ Osborne , Anne. "Weetzie Bat ." School Library Journal. 35. (1989): 116. Print.
  16. ^ "Margaret A. Edwards Award." Young Adult Library Services Association. American Library Association, 2010. Web. 5 Apr 2011. <http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/yalsa/booklistsawards/margaretaedwards/maeprevious/05block.cfm>.
  17. ^ "Reading Guide for Dangerous Angels from HarperCollins Publishers." HarperCollins Publishers. HarperCollins Publishers, 2010. Web. 2 Mar 2011. <http://www.harpercollins.com/author/authorExtra.aspx?isbn13=9780064406970&displayType=readingGuide>.