Simplistic and, yes, a little corny, this book takes one of the most socially sensitive issues—racial integration—and sets it to a dance groove. Bouncing along and cloaking its message under snappy patter, lyrics, dance moves and bouffant hairstyles, <u>Hairspray</u> reduces the tension to a level acceptable for small children.
Racial bigotry is merely a barrier set against black and white kids dancing on the same show. (The book neatly sidesteps the grimmer social problems of the day like equal pay, dining in the same restaurants or living in the same neighborhoods.) But in spite of that it does manage to lay out various serious scenarios without losing its sparkle: teenaged rebellion, the search for a criminal fugitive, arrests of citizens during peaceable assembly, potential miscegenation, etc.
It’s not deep literature by any means but it serves as a passable introduction to the 2007 remake of John Waters’s original hit movie.
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