Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Part 1: Hallway Diaries: How To Be Down by Felicia Pride

This should be interesting. Hallway Diaries is a book with three stories each approximately 160 pages long. To make this easier on me and you guys, I will be break up the book Into three parts as I've finish reading each story. So, without further hesitation I present to you story number one.

Nina Parker has lived the last 14 years of her life in Rainhaven, New Jersey. But when her parents decides to buy one of the abandoned buildings in their hometown and turn it into an affordable apartment complex, Nina finds herself back in Baltimore, Maryland for good, and she isn't the least happy about it.

But when the first day of school rolls around, being away from everything she once knew is the last thing on her mind. Taking note of her natural Afro and the way she speaks (without the use of slang), the kids at her new school dubs her "White Girl" and even worse "The Oreo Cookie". Mortified, Nina sets out to find a way to be socially accepted. But is the outcome what she really wanted?

I started reading How To Be Down with many reservations in mind. After reading Gettin' Hooked by Nyaomi Scott I was a little nervous not about the story plot-- if I was I wouldn't be writing this blog post. I was nervous about the author's use of dialogue. Wondering if Felicia Pride captured the vernacular of the kids, and if she did was it used in the right context. Well, I'm happy to say, "Yes she did". Reading the dialogue of this story made me feel like I was interacting with the kids from my school. Nothing was forced, everything was smooth which made How To Be Down a fun, yet predictable, read.

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