Last week, one of my former students emailed me in distress over this series, "Save the Pearls." Her anger stemmed from the obvious racially negative subtext (conscious and unconscious) that related to whites as "pearls" and blacks as "coals" in this controversial YA novel.
Admittedly, I was horrified by the obvious racial insensitivities within the first book's descriptions on Amazon as well as on the "Save the Pearls" website, where the love interest, Jamal, has the astrological sign labeled "pimp." The book trailer also was very disturbing with a young, blond woman in black face, telling her tale of reverse discrimination in her post apocalyptic world where her white skin makes her genetically-inferior and unable to handle the "heat." Could someone really publish such a book in the 21st century? But what worried me the most was that this book was written for teens.