cover image Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys

Cherokee Bat and the Goat Guys

Francesca Lia Block. HarperCollins Publishers, $14.95 (116pp) ISBN 978-0-06-020269-9

Fans of Weetzie Bat and Witch Baby will be delighted with this latest opportunity to reenter Block's magical vision of Los Angeles. With the grown-ups who make up the Bat household off making a film in South America, Cherokee and her ``almost-sister'' Witch Baby are left to their own devices. The adventure begins when Cherokee, acting on the advice of the family's mystic friend Coyote, makes a pair of wings for Witch Baby in order to lift her from the deep, mud-eating gloom into which she has fallen. Raphael and Angel Juan--the two other members of The Goat Guys, the rock band Cherokee and Witch Baby have formed--soon have magical costumes, too. But as the band's fame grows, the costumes exert a corrupting influence on the teenagers. The band's gradual immersion in sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll certainly is enthralling but many readers will be relieved when the group finally decides to abandon the dangerous activities that have clouded its members' individual roads to self-discovery. And much to her credit, Block's satisfying ending suggests that Weetzie Bat and her extended family--true to their characters--take the teenagers' experimentation and rebellion in stride. This latest effort provides yet another delicious and deeply felt trip to Block's wonderfully idiosyncratic corner of California. Ages 12-up. (Aug.)