I just ordered the book Beauty Queens by Libba Bray from our local bookstore. We had a copy but it disappeared. My daughter and I have read it multiple times and we have a habit of handing it to people, demanding they read it.
Why are we such
rabid avid fans, you ask? For my daughter it’s a fantastic story, perfect in every way. A plane full of teen beauty queen contestants crashes on a desert island. It’s a great premise and Libba Bray could write the tax code and it’d be interesting and funny.
For me, aside from simply enjoying the book, Beauty Queens has such a diverse cast of characters it helps facilitate conversations every parent needs to have with their teen. What is a gender stereotype? What is an ethnic stereotype? How do people know if they are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual or anything in between? What if a person is told that they want a certain thing their entire lives (to be a beauty queen, say) only to one day realize that it’s something they hate? What if you were born the wrong gender? What if you thought you were one sort of person only to realize that you really aren’t?
Growing up is tough, figuring out who you are is tough. Understanding that other people will think differently than you is even tougher. Finding a way to talk with your child about this stuff in a way that doesn’t seem forced is heaven sent.
Probably I should have ordered two copies.