Will You Be Up til the Break of Dawn Reading Breaking Dawn?
Sometimes black teen girls will surprise you.
A few months ago I was lamenting the reading selection of black females that seemed to have a particular bent towards ghetto/street lit. More often than not, the black girls who come in looking for something to read are looking for that genre but it isn’t always the case. A couple of times when a girl has come in looking for something to read and I have offered her something that seems a little ghettoish (it’s all in the way the black girls/black kids are positioned on the cover) I’ve been met with blank stares and furrowed brows. The girl may take the book and inspect it like something diseased, either handing it back to me or sitting it out of place on a shelf. I can almost hear her thoughts, “Why the hell she give me this…”
I’ve learned, I’ve learned. I now know to ask, “What is the last good book you’ve read?” and we go from there.
Sometimes I get so caught up in how blacks like to pigeonhole ourselves I forget that something that small could never contain the vastness of blackness. So I remind myself when a young black girl comes in with her mother and sisters. She’s pointing at our display for Stephenie Meyers and comes up to the desk gushing about the books. I tell her the new book is coming out tonight; she didn’t know. I invite her back tomorrow for the ball and a chance to win her own free copy of the book.
“Really?” she asks me. Her mother tells me how much she loved the book. The girl tells me she loves it because it has vampires. She loves vampires. She didn’t even know we had the books; she got them from her school library and read them from cover to cover, over and over again. Her mother said she loves them so much she might try to read them, too. I told her she should before the movie comes out in December.
“There’s a movie!” the girl exclaims. “Oh, why she gotta tell me there’s gonna be a movie!”
After the last Harry Potter book came out last year people wondered what would fill the void for the reading fanatics. It depends on what you like to read. As of now, nothing is drawing both girls and boys; young and old the same way Rowling did with the Harry Potter series. But for boys who like magic they were really ecstatic when the fourth installment of the Percy Jackson series came out this May. For dark and twisty girls its Meyer’s Twilight. Actually, for romantic girls it’s Twilight, too. Twilight pulls and draws you in; its scary and romantic. It’s the quintessential good girl loves bad boys series. Her love interests are either vampires or werewolves.
And I should say now that I haven’t read them. I have picked up the book on cd but I was so involved with another book I was reading I didn’t get a chance to listen to it before I had to give it up to someone else who put a reserve on it. I am letting it be known that I haven’t read it because I know those who have will read me if I get anything wrong. The girls who read it know the ins and outs and have very definite ideas about what will happen in book four.
“What do you think will happen in Breaking Dawn?” All summer long we have been asking readers to write their answers on a slip of paper for a chance to win their own copy of the book. One girl filled both sides, certain that the wedding of Bella will be thwarted and she will run off with her true love but I forget if she said her true love was Edward or the other guy.
“Edwards going to die, I just want you to know that,” says my coworker and the only guy I know who loves Twilight. But then his other favorite book is a manga called “Oh My Goddess”. He is also stoked about the impending release.
After all is said and done and the feature film is released and on DVD, maybe I will eventually get a chance to read the first book myself. I bought the book for my daughter last night, who like me didn’t read it months ago when there was a library copy to be had.
“Will you come back tomorrow night for the ball?” asked the clerk at the bookstore. They are having a midnight unveiling for the book, encouraging people to dress up as prom goers or vampires or both, whichever their fancy.
In this way it reminds me of the hype surrounding the Harry Potter books, where people ate Bertie Botts magic beans and donned black rimmed glasses and capes. Once again we will await the midnight hour, when the excitement of magic and reading collide.