Monday, December 19, 2016

Dark Forces #5 The Bargain and #6 Swamp Witch

In Dark Forces #5, The Bargain, The Coastals is a struggling rock group.  The members are high school students who want nothing more than to become famous.  One night at a club, Chort introduces himself to the group.  He promises the members instant fame if they will enter into a bargain with him.  He assures them that they will be able to pay his fee.  What the members do not realize is that the fee will be their souls.

This book moves very slowly and is quite detailed.

I enjoyed this story.

In Dark Forces #6, Swamp Witch, Linda stays with her best friend, Heather.  The housekeeper, Tubelle, thinks Linda is trying to steal a boy away from Heather.  Unknown to Linda, Tubelle casts spells to bring about Linda's destruction.

I hate it when authors imply something without coming out and stating it.  If an author is going to use racial stereotypes, then the author might as well be upfront.  I was unsure about Tubelle's race.  That is, I made an assumption about Tubelle's race and then wondered if I was being racist.  This really bothered me.

On page 3, Tubelle states, "I is getting her breakfast ready."  On page 7, Tubelle states, "Made some extra for mah baby."  Nobody else in the book speaks this way, and Tubelle's race is not mentioned.  I assumed that Tubelle is African American and was surprised to see the dialect in a young adult book from 1983.  I then worried about whether I was the one who was guilty of racial stereotyping, even though I was pretty sure I was correct.  This worried me for a good portion of the book.  I couldn't decide for sure how to picture Tubelle.

Finally, on page 100, we learn more about Tubelle's grandson, Ben.  "Ron knew that Ben was sensitive about his background.  To bring up the superstitions that many of the blacks in the area still lived with was a delicate matter.  Even among friends."  This is an indirect statement, but it does make clear that Ben and his grandmother are African American.  At least I finally knew that I had not misinterpreted the intent of the dialect.

This book reads like a book from the 1950s or before because of the racial stereotypes.

I enjoyed this book.

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