Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

11 Dec


Bray, Libba. Beauty Queens. Scholastic Press, 2011. 396 pages. ISBN 978-0-439-89597-2

Plot Summary:

The beauty queens this year are flying to their destination for the pageant. Expect, what do you know, the plane crashes on a deserted island out in the middle of the ocean and they have no way of contacting anyone. Everybody had died in the crash expect for a handful of beauty queens and one of them has a dinner trey sticking out of her head. Instead of giving up in despair, Miss Texas takes charge as leader and puts the girls to work in staying in shape for the contest, that is surely still going to take place once they are rescued. What the beauty queens don’t know is that on the other side of the island is a secret U. S. Government conclave hiding out in the volcano housing a stash of illegal weapons ready for trade. While the girls practice their dance moves, the government agents are planning to murder them, but the beauty queens are sadly underestimated.

Critical Evaluation:

This laugh-filled novel is an adventure into the world of beauty queens, after they crash on an island. This is a novel that mocks and makes fun of the world of beauty queens and everything that is feminine. The format of this novel only adds to the humor and fun of the story. There are commercial breaks, contestant fact sheets, footnotes, and radio broadcasts. Bray creatively added reality TV shows and celebrity statuses that the beauty queens discuss from time to time and refer to for comparisons often, such as the hot shirtless, pirates who are also in a band. Instead of falling apart when they crash on the island, the beauty queens use their “can do” attitude to survive, curling irons and heels make great weapons and apparently Lady Stash Off can be made into a bomb. Bray boldly makes cracks at our single-minded, consumer-driven, appearance zealous, media drenched society that will leave you laughing for hours. Conformity is an issue Americans fall victim to every day, especially the young.

Reader’s Annotation:

Beauty queens stranded on a deserted island and running low of beauty products. How will they survive?


Libba Bray was born Martha E. Bray on March 11, 1964 in Alabama and is an author of young adult novels, including the books A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, The Sweet Far Thing, and Going Bovine. She lived in Texas until she was 26 years old. Then she moved to New York City, New York, where she now lives with her husband and nine-year-old son. Her father was a preacher and her mother, a teacher.

At eighteen, she was involved in a serious car accident and had to undergo thirteen surgeries in six years to reconstruct her face. She has an artificial left eye because of this accident. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 1988 as a Theater major. Her first job was in the publicity department of Penguin Putnam, followed by three years at Spier, an advertising agency specializing in book advertising. Bray was encouraged to write a young adult novel by her husband, Barry Goldblatt, a children’s book agent. Before writing young adult novels she used a pseudonym and write three books for 17th Street Press, which is a publisher of romance novels.



Curriculum Ties:


Booktalking Ideas:

A plane of beauty queens crashes on a remote island with very little beauty supplies. What are they going to do?

Reading Level/Interest Level:


Challenge Issues:


Why I included this book:

This is an absolutely hilarious novel that I highly recommend to all young adults. I just couldn’t pass up using this novel for my collection.

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Posted by on December 11, 2011 in LIBR 265-10 Database Project/Blog


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