Parents' Guide to

Beauty Queens

By Betsy Bozdech, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Sharp satire mixes girl-power themes with violence, sex.

Book Libba Bray Adventure 2011
Beauty Queens Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 14+

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
age 15+

Lord of the Flies Meets Miss Congeniality - A Sharp Satire

A quirky and worthwhile read for the teen or adult feminist reader.

This title has:

Great messages

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (5 ):

Beauty Queens is the kind of book that might have you shaking your head as you giggle. Author Libba Bray skewers everything from trashy TV (you'll wish you could set your DVR for Patriot Daughters, about sexed-up Revolutionary War heroines) to world politics (Elvis-loving megalomaniac villain MoMo B. ChaCha is clearly a stand-in for North Korea's Kim Jong-il). But while nearly every aspect of the book is exaggerated for humor, the core characters and the lessons they learn about embracing themselves and one another (sometimes literally...) are valuable, especially for teen girls who might feel as boxed in by society's expectations for how they look and dress and behave as these characters do by the pageant lifestyle.

The satire is assisted by a well-paced story that moves along briskly; the twists may not be wholly unexpected (Petra's secret won't be too hard to guess, for one, and the arrival of more castaways isn't exactly a shocker), but you'll be too distracted laughing at the various footnotes and commercial breaks (for Corporation products, naturally) to notice. And when you're done laughing, the book's messages about acceptance, friendship, love, and girl power will linger as long as a good self-tanner.

Book Details

  • Author: Libba Bray
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • Publication date: May 24, 2011
  • Publisher's recommended age(s): 14 - 17
  • Number of pages: 400
  • Last updated: July 12, 2017

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