Block, Francesca Lia 1962-
Block, Francesca Lia 1962-
Block, Francesca Lia 1962-
Born December 3, 1962, in Hollywood, CA; daughter of Irving Alexander (a painter) and Gilda (a poet) Block; married Chris Schuette (an actor), December 5, 1998; children: Jasmine Angelina, Samuel Alexander. Education: University of California, Berkeley, B.A., 1986. Politics: Democrat.
Author and screenwriter.
Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Writers Guild of America, Phi Beta Kappa.
Shrout Fiction Award, University of California, Berkeley, 1986; Emily Chamberlain Cook Poetry Award, 1986; Best Books of the Year citation, American Library Association (ALA), Best of the 1980s designation, Booklist, YASD Best Book Award, and Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers citation, all 1989, all for Weetzie Bat; Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers citation, 1990, for Witch Baby; ALA Best Books of the Year citation, Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers citation, Best Books citation from the New York Times, and Best Fifty Books citation from Publishers Weekly, all 1991, all for Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys; Best Books of the Year citations from School Library Journal and ALA, and Recommended Books for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, all 1993, all for Missing Angel Juan; Margaret A. Edwards Award, 2005, for lifetime contribution in writing for young adults; numerous other awards.
"WEETZIE BAT" SERIES
Weetzie Bat, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1989.
Witch Baby, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1990.
Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1991.
Missing Angel Juan, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1993.
Baby Be-Bop, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1995.
Dangerous Angels: The Weetzie Bat Books, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.
Beautiful Boys: Two Weetzie Bat Books (includes Missing Angel Juan and Baby Be-Bop), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.
Goat Girls: Two Weetzie Bat Books (includes Witch Baby and Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2004.
Necklace of Kisses, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2005.
Ecstasia, New American Library (New York, NY), 1993, Penguin (New York, NY), 2004.
Primavera (sequel to Ecstasia), New American Library (New York, NY), 1994, Penguin (New York, NY), 2004.
The Hanged Man, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1994.
I Was a Teenage Fairy, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1998.
(With Hillary Carlip) Zine Scene, Girl Press, 1998.
Violet and Claire, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1999.
Nymph, Circlet Press, 2000.
Echo, Joanna Cotler Books (New York, NY), 2001.
Wasteland, Joanna Cotler Books (New York, NY), 2003.
Psyche in a Dress, Joanna Cotler Books (New York, NY), 2006.
(With Carmen Staton) Ruby, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2006.
Blood Roses, Joanna Cotler Books (New York, NY), 2008.
How to (Un)Cage a Girl, Joanna Cotler Books (New York, NY), 2008.
Quakeland, Manic D Press (San Francisco, CA), 2008.
Moon Harvest (poetry), illustrated by father, Irving Block, Santa Susanna Press (Northridge, CA), 1978.
Season of Green (poetry), illustrated by Irving Block, Santa Susanna Press (Northridge, CA), 1979.
Girl Goddess #9: Nine Stories, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1996.
The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2000.
Guarding the Moon: A Mother's First Year (autobiography), HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
Contributor of short stories to anthologies, including Am I Blue?, edited by Marion Dane Bauer, 1994; When I Was Your Age, edited by Amy Ehrlich, 1994; and Soft Tar, 1994. Developer of soap operas for USA and MTV networks.
Block's books have been translated into seven languages, including French, Italian, German, and Japanese.
Only a few years after her first publication, Francesca Lia Block had carved out a unique piece of literary turf for herself and the characters she has created. With the publication of Weetzie Bat, she set the agenda for a new direction in young adult novels for the 1990s: stories of the Los Angeles subculture replete with sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll—stories for adults and young adults alike. With a cast of characters ranging from Weetzie Bat, a punk princess in pink, to her lover, My Secret Agent Lover Man, and her best friend Dirk and his boyfriend, to their common offspring, Witch Baby and Cherokee, Block's novels create post-modernist fairy tales where love and art are the only cures in a world devoid of adult direction. Praised and criticized for her edgy tales of urban adventure, Block was somewhat in awe of her instant success and of the stir her books created.
But reach people her stories have. Block's "technicolor lovesong to Los Angeles," as Publishers Weekly commentator Diane Roback described Weetzie Bat, sold steadily through several printings and has been translated into seven languages, including French, Italian, German, and Japanese. There have been several sequels to that original novel, each one focusing on a different character and exploring new variations on the theme of the curative power of love and art.
There is something a little magical about Block's life as well. Born in Hollywood, the center of the modern fairy-tale industry, she was exposed to the power of art and creativity from an early age. Her parents were both artists: her father, who died in 1986, was a well-known painter and teacher and one-time special-effects technician and writer for Hollywood studios; her mother is a poet who once wrote a children's poetry book. Books were always part of her life. In addition to traditional childhood favorites such as Charlotte Zolotow's Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present, Randall Jarrell's Animal Family, and Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, Block was also greatly influenced by Greek mythology and legend.
A teenager in the late 1970s, Block and her friends were fond of going into Hollywood after school. "When I was seventeen years old, my friends and I used to drive through Laurel Canyon after school in a shiny blue vintage Mustang convertible," Block wrote in the Los Angeles Times Book Review. "The short distance of the canyon separating us from Hollywood made that city a little enchanted." Once in Hollywood they would hang out at Schwab's soda fountain, check out the street scene with all the punk costumes, cruise Sunset Strip, or frolic at the Farmer's Market. It was on one such trip that Block first saw the prototype of Weetzie: "A punk princess with spiky bleached hair, a very pink '50s prom dress and cowboy boots," as she described her. It was a momentary glimpse of a hitchhiker that stayed with her over the years, and later a name came with the apparition, for she saw a pink Pinto on the freeway with a driver who looked like that hitchhiker and with a license plate spelling "WEETZIE." The character of this punk princess would ferment for another six years before coming to full bloom in Block's first novel. She continually made up stories about Weetzie and drew her innumerable times: Block came to know Weetzie long before she first wrote about her in a novel.
Block lived the punk music scene in Los Angeles, and she gained a lot of inspiration from that scene later for her writings. But the punk scene eventually took on a violent edge with beatings at concerts and punks wearing swastikas, and the specter of AIDS had appeared. Block left Los Angeles to attend college in Berkeley, California, where she fell in love with the modernist poetry of H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) and the magic realism of Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez. She studied poetry with Jayne Walker and took a poetry workshop with Ron Loewinsohn, developing her poetry into short-short stories and then longer short stories, all with a minimalist influence to them. When Block's father became ill she started writing about Weetzie Bat as a sort of personal therapy.
The therapy worked. Block graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, and weathered her father's death. She returned to Los Angeles, took a job in a gallery, lived alone, and wrote. It was a very productive time for Block, during which she completed the manuscripts of two novels, as well as several pieces of short fiction. Of course, Block did not think about the "young adult" genre at the time. She simply wrote.
In 1989, a friend at the gallery where Block worked, children's illustrator Kathryn Jacobi, read the manuscript of Weetzie Bat, was impressed, and sent it off to the writer and editor Charlotte Zolotow at HarperCollins. Zolotow liked the book and told Block she wanted to publish it as a young adult title. She also encouraged Block to go further with the characters, that there seemed to be more stories there.
Weetzie Bat tells the story of Weetzie and her gay friend Dirk—the only person who seems to understand her—who set up house together in a cottage Dirk's grandmother has left him in Los Angeles. Soon they fill it with a loving extended family. Dirk finds the surfer Duck, Weetzie finds My Secret Agent Lover Man, and even their dog finds a mate. Together they make underground movies and much more. Soon a baby they name Cherokee is born, and the extended family take it as natural that it should belong to all of them. Even the abandoned Witch Baby, reminder of a dalliance My Secret Agent Lover Man once had, is taken in as one of the family. Love is the connecting rod here, the one thing that makes life possible. "I hear that rats shrivel up and die if they aren't like, able to hang out with other rats," Duck says at one point. And this band of punk, hip youth learn that lesson well. "I don't know about happily ever after," Weetzie muses at the end of the book, "but I know about happily."
A modern fairy tale, Weetzie Bat blends Block's love of modernist poetry with magical realism—there's a genie granting three wishes and an evil witch—to come up with a potent narrative of love and loyalty in an age of pessimism and AIDS. Using a mixture of L.A. slang and inventive personal hip talk, Block created an "offbeat tale that has great charm, poignancy, and touches of fantasy," wrote Anne Osborn in School Library Journal. New York Times Book Review contributor Betsy Hearne also praised the author's style: "Block's far-ranging free association has been controlled and shaped into a story with sensual characters. The language is inventive California hip, but the patterns are compactly folkloristic and the theme is transcendent."
In spite of such glowing reviews, the book still caused a minor uproar among other reviewers and some librarians. Patrick Jones, writing in Horn Book, summed up and put such criticism into context: "It is not that the sex [in Block's books] is explicit; it is not. It is just that Block's characters have sex lives…. In the age of AIDS—whose ugly shadow appears—anything less than a ‘safe sex or no sex’ stance is bound to be controversial." Jones pointed out that the homosexual relationship between Dirk and Duck was also hard for some reviewers to deal with, as is the communal rearing of the baby, Cherokee. This alternate family lifestyle, so validating for teenage readers whose own lives seldom fit the "Father Knows Best" model, became a sore spot for some. But Block recounted the story of one such critic in her Los Angeles Times Book Review article. Having heard of this purportedly perverse book, Frances V. Sedney of the children's department of the Harford, Maryland, County Library read it, then wrote a letter in the novel's defense: "This short novel epitomizes the ‘innocent’ books where the reader's mind and experience make all the crucial difference." Weetzie Bat went on to be short-listed for the ALA Best Book of the Year as well making the Recommended Books for the Reluctant Young Adult Reader list.
Following the advice of her editor, Block went on to enlarge the stories of other characters from Weetzie Bat. In 1990 she published Witch Baby, a novel "reminiscent of a music video," Maeve Visser Knoth wrote in Horn Book. "Scenes and sensory images flash across the page; characters speak in complicated slang and create a safe haven for themselves in the midst of a shifting, confusing world." Witch Baby stumbles and sometimes crashes through the book, searching for her own identity, trying to understand her place in the scheme of things, looking for an answer to her own poetic question: "What time are we upon and where do I belong?" Witch Baby, endowed with tilted purple eyes and a Medusa head of black hair, collects newspaper clippings of tragedies in an attempt to understand the world. Ultimately Witch Baby is able to find her real mother and then can deal with her place in the extended family of Weetzie Bat. Ellen Ramsay noted in School Library Journal that Block is "a superior writer and has created a superior cast of characters," and in Witch Baby she "explores the danger of denying life's pain."
With the next installment of the Bat family saga, Block further pursues the theme of family loyalty and the importance of love and a balance of spiritual powers in the world. Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys opens with the adults, Weetzie Bat and others, off on a filming expedition in South America. Teenage Cherokee and Witch Baby are left under their own direction, and soon they team up with Raphael Chong Jah-Love and Angel Juan Perez to form a rock band, the Goat Guys. These four receive and depend on powerful gifts from a Native American family friend, Coyote, to perform. They are an instant hit, but quickly the euphoria goes to their heads and "everything begins to fly apart in wild and outrageous ways," according to Gail Richmond in School Library Journal, as the band loses itself in sex and drugs. "The group descends into the bacchanalian hell of the nightclub scene with tequila and cocaine, skull lamps and lingerie-clad groupies drenched in cow's blood," noted Patty Campbell in a New York Times Book Review article. When Angel Juan slashes himself while performing, Cherokee figures it is time to turn in their magic totem gifts to Coyote and "be cleansed of the pain and guilt," according to Campbell. A Publishers Weekly reviewer observed: "This latest effort provides yet another delicious and deeply felt trip to Block's wonderfully idiosyncratic corner of California."
It is this idiosyncratic nature of much of Block's work that has also prompted some criticism. Ramsay praised the quality of Block's work but wondered if she is not "just a tad too Southern California cool for broad appeal." Campbell argued in Horn Book, however, that "many novels are set in New York, and … no one thinks those books are strange or labels them as depicting ‘an alternate lifestyle’ because the characters ride to work on the subway or shop at Bloomingdale's…. Why should the second largest city in the United States be perceived so differently? It is doubly puzzling considering that America sees Los Angeles every night on television."
Block moved the action of Missing Angel Juan to New York when Witch Baby's boyfriend, Angel Juan, takes off on his own musical career in the Big Apple. Witch Baby misses him and soon follows Angel Juan to New York, and the book is about her search for him—aided by the ghost of Weetzie's father—through the nightmare world of Manhattan. Her search ultimately takes her into the subways of New York, with "strong echoes of Orpheus' descent into Hades," as Michael Cart noted in School Library Journal. But in the end, Witch Baby realizes she has to leave Angel Juan to find his own way, as she must find hers. "Love will come," she muses, "because it always does, because why else would it exist, and it will make everything hurt a little less. You just have to believe in yourself." Like its predecessors, Missing Angel Juan is "an engagingly eccentric mix of fantasy and reality, enhanced—this time—by mystery and suspense," Cart remarked. And Judy Sasges, writing in Voice of Youth Advocates, likewise called the story "imaginative, mystical, and completely engaging."
In The Hanged Man Block looks at the "descent of a woman into madness of a sort," as the author stated. Set in the same L.A. club scenes as the "Weetzie" books, The Hanged Man is about the darker side of life. The story deals with a young woman named Laurel who is struggling with her emotions in the wake of the death by cancer of her father, with whom she has had an incestuous relationship. "Block's prose moves like a heroin trip through the smog and wet heat, heavy flowers, and velvet grunge of Hollywood," reviewer Vanessa Elder wrote in School Library Journal. "There is lots of fairy tale imagery," Block once said of the work, "but there is also an ominous side. It's about obsession and being haunted by the past. This time the cure, the healing power, is much more art than love. In that sense I feel I am in a sort of transition in my writing. So much of my earlier stuff was about searching for love, and in fact love was missing in my own life. But now that exists for me. The result is less of a yearning tone in my books."
In 1995, Block returned to the world of Weetzie Bat with the novel Baby Be-Bop. This book is actually a prequel to those earlier ones in that it tells the story of Weetzie's friend Dirk, and of how he deals with the realization that he is gay. "What might seem didactic from lesser writers becomes a gleaming gift from Block," a Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote. "Her extravagantly imaginative settings and finely honed perspectives remind the reader that there is magic everywhere."
Block continued the series in 2005 with Necklace of Kisses. Here Weetzie has aged considerably and is now a forty-something-year-old mother of two. Her relation- ship with her lover, whom she wished from a genie, has gone awry, so she moves into the ‘pink hotel’ and ponders over the questions of who she was and who she has become. Still she manages to help a mermaid and a fairy princess in the aftermath of the September 11 tragedy. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews praised the "lovely language and ambitious ideas," but concluded that "the novel's emotional content is thin, and entirely too much relies on some very pretty window dressing." Andrew O'Hehir, writing in Salon.com, called the novel "a heartfelt work of adult fantasy that sings in many voices." O'Hehir unabashedly admitted that "by the transformative final chapter I was weeping profusely."
Block's Girl Goddess #9: Nine Stories and I Was a Teenage Fairy deal with similar themes: young people fighting to come to grips with a rapidly changing world and their place in it. Girl Goddess #9 is a collection of nine short stories about girls, with the stories arranged chronologically; the first tales are about toddlers, while the last one concerns a young woman entering college. The stories are written in Block's "funky, richly sensual style," Dorie Freebury of Voice of Youth Advocates noted, and the characters "are painfully real, facing the challenges of life that can make or break one's spirit."
The novel I Was a Teenage Fairy is a modern-day fairy tale about a girl named Barbie who is being pushed into modeling by her mother. The appearance of an acid-tongued, finger-sized fairy named Mab changes Barbie's life and eventually helps her overcome the emotional trauma of being molested by a well-known photographer whose crime was ignored by the girl's mother. According to a critic in Publishers Weekly, Block's "prose, less obviously lush than in previous books, sustains steady crescendos of insight. This fairy tale is too pointedly a social critique to be entirely magical, but its spell feels real."
Block's novel Violet and Claire is the story of the friendship that develops between two teenage girls as different as night and day. Seventeen-year-old Violet is an aspiring screenwriter and filmmaker and an outsider at her high school. Past depression and a suicide attempt have left her hard-edged and isolated; she devotes her time to studying the films she loves and to writing her own screenplay. Then she meets Claire, a poet with glittering gauze fairy wings sewn on the back of her Tinker Bell T-shirt, and the two become fast friends. As the novel unfolds, the friendship between Violet and Claire is tested as the girls are divided by personal ambition and the intrusion of the outside world. Violet is willingly seduced by a rock star who gets her a job with a screen agent, while Claire enrolls in a poetry workshop and becomes attached to the instructor. The action reaches its peak at a wild party the girls attend after Violet sells a screenplay. Claire flees into the desert, and Violet follows in search of her. "Block excels in depicting strong and supportive friendships between teen girls," wrote Debbie Carton in Booklist, "and Violet and Claire is at its best when the two protagonists reach past their own pain to help each other." According to a Kirkus Reviews critic, "Fans of the author's previous works will take to this one; newcomers will be captured by the rainbow iridescence of Block's prose."
Echo is the story of the title character, a girl searching for love and her true identity. This is actually a collection of interconnected stories set in Los Angeles and New York and filled with Block's usual assortment of supernatural beings. Aside from spectral stories, Block revisits anorexia, a theme brought up in previous publications of hers. Debbie Carton, in a review in Booklist, noted that "Block's trademark magical realism beautifully fits both format and themes." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews felt that the various themes "will keep readers mesmerized until the last page." Writing in Kliatt, Paula Rohrlick said: "This is powerful stuff, full of love, death, anguish, and redemption." A contributor to Publishers Weekly concluded that "this begs not just to be read, but to be reread, and savored."
Wasteland, which quotes from T.S. Eliot's Wasteland, is the story of Marina and her brother Lex. The two teenagers had been close their whole life. However, an intimate moment shared between them brings intense feelings of guilt. Reviews were mostly positive as Block ventured into a darker-themed subject than previous books of hers. A contributor to Publishers Weekly noted that Block's "skill with words never flags." Writing in Horn Book, Jennifer M. Brabander commented that "the novel's exploration of tenderness, passion, and despair … is ultimately a haunting love story." A contributor to Kirkus Reviews mentioned the change of tone of this story compared to Block's other novels, adding that "the language is simpler, but cuts deep." Norah Piehl, writing in TeenReads.com, concluded: "Readers who are ready to grapple with Block's lyrical prose and challenging topic will be rewarded by an emotionally rich novel about a compelling and thought-provoking relationship."
Psyche in a Dress is a modern retelling and interpretation of ancient Greek gods and demi-gods. Told in verse, Block chronicles the modern lives of Psyche, Eurydice, Persephone, Demeter, Orpheus, Hades, and many others in not-so-godly situations. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews commented that Block creates "an illusory, though emotionally realistic, world that is both ethereal and edgy." In a Kliatt review, Paula Rohrlick dubbed the style of this book "darkly evocative." Hazel Rochman, while giving some praise for the novel in her review in Booklist, worried that "readers who don't get the allusions will be confused, even lost." Miriam Lang Budin, writing in School Library Journal, called the stories "riveting and brilliant."
Block coauthored Ruby with Carmen Staton in 2006. The title character moves out of her Midwestern home and gets work in the film and television industry. When she sees her soul mate, a British actor named Orion, on TV, she moves to England and ends up learning to hone her magical abilities with Orion's mother. Ruby is not immune to her past, however, and she is forced to deal with those demons before she can truly be happy with her love. Reviews were mostly positive for this dual-authored novel. A contributor to Kirkus Reviews described the story as "a moody fairy tale of hope." Charli Osborne, writing in School Library Journal, called it "a lovely, lyrical story." Michael Cart's review in Booklist noted that "the emotions are never less than deeply and honestly felt."
Block told Shannon Maughan in a TeenReads.com interview that she is often asked for advice from young, aspiring writers who are not quite sure what to write about. To this she typically replies: "I write about what's going on in my life, what is urgent and needs to be expressed. I keep moving through what I'm feeling at the time. My daily life, my friends inspire me and I feel confident enough to put it down as it's happening. Many people have the talent to write, but they don't think their experiences are worth recording." As far as finding inspiration, Block stated: "I take long walks with my Springer spaniel, Vincent Van Go Go Boots. I find that when I'm physically active my mind works best. I also enjoy musing in my work room overlooking an orange tree whose fruit is so lush and abundant that I have had dreams in which each piece has individual personality!"
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Block, Francesca Lia, Weetzie Bat, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1989.
Block, Francesca Lia, Witch Baby, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1990.
Block, Francesca Lia, Missing Angel Juan, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 1993.
Block, Francesca Lia, Guarding the Moon: A Mother's First Year, HarperCollins (New York, NY), 2003.
Children's Literature Review, Volume 33, Gale (Detroit, MI), 1994.
Booklist, August, 1992, Hazel Rochman, review of Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, p. 2004; October 1, 1996, Debbie Carton, review of Girl Goddess #9: Nine Stories, p. 340; September 1, 1999, Debbie Carton, review of Violet and Claire, p. 122; August 1, 2001, Debbie Carton, review of Echo, p. 2105; July 1, 2003, Hazel Rochman, review of Wasteland, p. 1880; June 1, 2005, Hazel Rochman, review of Necklace of Kisses, p. 1711; April 15, 2006, Michael Cart, review of Ruby, p. 26; September 1, 2006, Hazel Rochman, review of Psyche in a Dress, p. 109.
Curve, April 1, 2003, review of Guarding the Moon, p. 42.
English Journal, December, 1990, Alleen Pace Nilsen and Ken Donelson, review of Weetzie Bat, p. 78; October, 1991, Rich McDonald, review of Weetzie Bat, pp. 94-95.
Horn Book, January-February, 1992, Maeve Visser Knoth, review of Witch Baby, pp. 78-79; September-October, 1992, p. 587; November-December, 1992, Patrick Jones, "People Are Talking about … Francesca Lia Block," pp. 697-701; January-February, 1993, Patty Campbell, "People Are Talking about … Francesca Lia Block," pp. 57-63; September 1, 2001, J.M.B., review of Echo, p. 581; November 1, 2003, Jennifer M. Brabander, review of Wasteland, p. 739.
Kirkus Reviews, September 15, 1999, review of Violet and Claire, p. 1497; August 1, 2001, review of Echo, p. 1117; September 15, 2003, review of Wasteland, p. 1172; June 15, 2005, review of Necklace of Kisses, p. 650; May 15, 2006, review of Ruby, p. 477; August 1, 2006, review of Psyche in a Dress, p. 781.
Kliatt, September 1, 2002, Paula Rohrlick, review of Echo, p. 15; September 1, 2003, Michele Winship, review of Wasteland, p. 6; November 1, 2004, Michele Winship, review of Wasteland, p. 13; September 1, 2006, Paula Rohrlick, review of Psyche in a Dress, p. 6.
Library Journal, March 1, 2003, Mirela Roncevic, review of Guarding the Moon, p. 89; July 1, 2005, Joy St. John, review of Necklace of Kisses, p. 64; August 1, 2005, "Q&A: Francesca Lia Block," p. 72; May 15, 2006, Joy St. John, review of Ruby, p. 87.
Los Angeles Times Book Review, July 26, 1992, Francesca Lia Block, "Punk Pixies in the Canyon," pp. 1, 11.
New York Times Book Review, May 21, 1989, Betsy Hearne, review of Weetzie Bat, p. 47; September 20, 1992, Patty Campbell, review of Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, p. 18; February 26, 1995, Jim Gladstone, review of The Hanged Man, p. 21.
Orlando Sentinel, September 7, 2001, Nancy Pate, review of Echo.
Publishers Weekly, March 10, 1989, review of Weetzie Bat, p. 91; December 22, 1989, Diane Roback, "Flying Starts: Francesca Lia Block," p. 27; July 20, 1992, review of Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, p. 251; July 18, 1994, review of The Hanged Man, pp. 246-247; July 31, 1995, review of Baby Be-Bop, p. 82; September 21, 1998, review of I Was a Teenage Fairy, p. 86; July 16, 2001, review of Echo, p. 181; February 10, 2003, review of Guarding the Moon, p. 139; December 1, 2003, review of Wasteland, p. 57; June 6, 2005, "Weetzie Checks In," p. 35, and review of Necklace of Kisses, p. 36; March 20, 2006, review of Ruby, p. 32; October 2, 2006, review of Psyche in a Dress, p. 64.
School Library Journal, April, 1989, Anne Osborn, review of Weetzie Bat, pp. 116-117; September, 1991, Ellen Ramsay, review of Witch Baby, p. 277; September, 1992, Gail Richmond, review of Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys, p. 274; October, 1993, Michael Cart, review of Missing Angel Juan, p. 148; December, 1993, p. 24; September, 1994, Vanessa Elder, review of The Hanged Man, p. 238; December, 1998, Carolyn Lehman, review of I Was a Teenage Fairy, p. 118; September, 1999, Kathleen Isaacs, review of Violet and Claire, p. 218; August 1, 2001, Angela J. Reynolds, review of Echo, p. 175; October 1, 2003, Catherine Ensley, review of Wasteland, p. 158; June 1, 2005, "Wild Thing," p. 44; July 1, 2006, Charli Osborne, review of Ruby, p. 132; August 1, 2006, Miriam Lang Budin, review of Psyche in a Dress, p. 114.
Voice of Youth Advocates, December, 1993, Judy Sasges, review of Missing Angel Juan, p. 287; December, 1995, Dorie Freebury, review of Girl Goddess #9, pp. 297-298.
Bookreporter.com,http://www.bookreporter.com/ (June 8, 2007), Sarah Egelman, review of Guarding the Moon.
Francesca Lia Block Home Page,http://www.francescaliablock.com (July 24, 2004).
PEN American Center Web site,http://www.pen.org/ (June 8, 2007), author profile.
Salon.com,http://www.salon.com/ (August 24, 2005), Andrew O'Hehir, review of Necklace of Kisses.
TeenReads.com,http://www.teenreads.com/ (March 10, 2000), Shannon Maughan, author interview; (June 8, 2007), Norah Piehl, reviews of Psyche in a Dress and Wasteland, and Sarah Brennan, review of The Rose and the Beast: Fairy Tales Retold.