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Beauty Queens
Contributor(s): Bray, Libba
ISBN: 0439895979     ISBN-13: 9780439895972
Publisher: Scholastic Pr
    OUR PRICE: $17.09  
Product Type: Hardcover - Other Formats
Published: May 2011
Annotation: When a plane crash strands thirteen teen beauty contestants on a mysterious island, they struggle to survive, to get along with one another, to combat the island's other diabolical occupants, and to learn their dance numbers in case they are rescued in time for the competition.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Beauty contests; Fiction.
Survival; Fiction.
Castaways; Fiction.
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: 2011002321
Lexile Measure: 690
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 10-12, Age 15-18
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.75" W x 1.50" (1.12 lbs) 396 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 144241
Reading Level: 4.4   Interest Level: Upper Grades   Point Value: 15.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q53199
Reading Level: 5.3   Interest Level: Grades 9-12   Point Value: 24.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):
Libba Bray is the author of the 2010 Printz Award winning Going Bovine, and the acclaimed Gemma Doyle trilogy. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2011 Fall)
Teen beauty pageant contestants whose plane has crashed use their "can-do" spirit to survive on what they assume is a deserted island. (Actually, it's home to a government conspiracy.) The book is a smart, wickedly funny send-up of pageant culture; Bray also goes deeper to show how our culture's insidious focus on female perfection keeps girls from being who they are. Copyright 2011 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #4)
It's The Lord of the Flies with sparkle and hair-straightening irons. Except here, the castaways, teen beauty pageant contestants whose plane has crashed en route to competition, don't degenerate into savagery; they use their "can-do" Miss Teen Dream spirit to survive -- even thrive -- on what they assume is a deserted island. (Actually, it's home to a government conspiracy.) Oh, and the straightening irons? They use those to catch fish. At first, Bray's novel seems to be simply a smart, wickedly funny send-up of pageant culture. Of course Miss Teen Dream Texas emerges early on as the self-proclaimed leader. She plans for the girls to find food and shelter while still practicing their dance routines and interview skills because, as she says, "in the pageant of life, a girl picks up fallen sequins and turns them into a brand-new dress of awesome." Yet though the jokes fly thick as unplucked brows, Bray also goes deeper into each character to show how our culture's insidious focus on female perfection keeps girls from being who they are. Away from the media images generated by The Corporation (satirical Corporation-run "commercial breaks" appear throughout), a transgender contestant finds love with a reality TV pirate while a girl whose family is from India gets to drop the grateful-immigrant act the judges expect. Escaping civilization -- the best thing that could happen to a teenage girl? Sure looks that way. christine m. heppermann Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2011 March #3)

Bray follows her Printz Award–winner, Going Bovine, with an only slightly less absurd premise in this out-there satire about a planeload of teen beauty queens who crash onto a (not so) deserted island. Lord of the Flies with an evening gown competition, anyone? Led by the indefatigable Miss Texas, Taylor Rene Krystal Hawkins, the 14 surviving contestants must rely on competitive moxie. Despite the large cast, Bray makes the Misses distinctive, though each is more a stand-in for a particular brand of diversity than a fully dimensional teenager (one's black, one's deaf, one's gay, one is a boy in the process of becoming a girl). Poor Miss New Mexico stands out because she has a serving tray embedded in her forehead. ("Bangs are the new black!") Halfway through the ordeal, a boat full of shirtless, reality TV pirates runs aground, allowing for some smoking hot scenes. Fun footnotes, contestant profiles, and scripted commercial breaks are interspersed. There's a lot of message, but every time the story veers toward sermonizing, Bray corrects with another crack about our media-saturated, appearance-obsessed, consumer-driven society. Ages 13–up. (May)

[Page ]. Copyright 2010 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2011 July)

Gr 9 Up—Whip-smart social commentary, surreal plot elements, and feminist themes come together in this bizarre and brilliant story about a group of beauty pageant contestants stranded on a remote island after a plane crash. Undaunted by disaster, the teens hone their survival skills as they practice dance routines and pageant interviews, while a ruthless corporation secretly plans to use them as pawns in an arms deal with an insane dictator. Beneath an entertaining veneer of witty dialogue and comic absurdity lies a thought-provoking exploration of society's expectations for how young women should look, feel, think, and act. Wry footnotes lampoon the media and pop culture, while hilariously scripted "commercial breaks" interrupt the narrative, leading readers to question the pervasiveness of self-improvement products that make consumers feel inadequate. Using multiple points of view to tell the story, Bray rises admirably to the challenge of developing a large cast of characters. Each pageant contestant possesses much more than surface-level beauty, and even the most stereotypically ditzy girl offers unique and unexpected strength. Readers from all backgrounds will identify with the representation of various religions, ethnicities, and sexual orientations among the characters. Occasional strong language and a frank approach to sex may make this novel most appropriate for older teens. The empowering theme of self-acceptance and the affirming message that women should not underestimate themselves or others makes this novel a potentially life-changing book for budding feminists.—Allison Tran, Mission Viejo Library, CA

[Page 92]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.