Book gift ideas for romantic African-American teenage girl

I am white and my 16 year old son now has a black girlfriend. As the Christmas carols start to play I am wondering what might make a good gift.

She reminds me a lot of myself at the same age: smart, fanciful, exuberant, romantic. I don’t really know what’s she’s reading, though I will artfully inquire.

When I was 16 I discovered the Anne of Green Gables novels and fell in love with the smart, romantic Anne living in a simpler time, sewing patchwork, wishing for puffed sleeves, squabbling with Gilbert Blythe.

I was thinking that “Anne of Green Gables” might be a good gift, but…is it… too white? Or is it awful to even wonder that?

Can you think of other novels that might be a good fit? Maybe something more fantasy/sci-fi where the heroine doesn’t exist in the same timeline we do?

If this girl were turned off by things that are “too white” she wouldn’t be dating your son.

I think the main question is whether she’d like “Anne of Green Gables.” I couldn’t say without knowing her. I can say that getting that book from you with a note or inscription saying, “This was one of my favorite books when I was your age” would be flattering.

You make an excellent point.

Well, I’m going to plug a novel I wrote but will earn not a single cent from a purchase, so hopefully that won’t run afoul of the mods.

If you think your son’s GF would like a paranormal YA romance, you might have fun splurging on a novel in this genre that actually “stars” the happy couple! Night Wolf is a time travel werewolf romance set mostly in Victorian England (clichéd setup, huh?); you can read more about the plot and how it works at this page I created to promote it. (It’s not the publisher’s site.) Look in the right sidebar for links to Night Wolf, including a demo. Here’s a video trailer.

If you can get your son’s help regarding her hair, eye color, a likely pet name (if she has one–you can make one up), favorite hot drink and diner/café–you should be all set. You’ll also want a best friend (I’m sure your son will have that info) and naturally, your son’s info as the hero.

You can even add a photo on the back cover. (Or just get the ebook, it’s cheaper.) BTW, if you’re worried about any “adult” sorta stuff, I’ll say that the romance is quite mild as far as YA novels go–no nudity or anything past 2nd base (and even that’s just implied). There’s an adult version with more sexy stuff, but it’s still fairly mild.

It’s a cute and unique gift. And even if I say so myself, the book quality is much better than you’d expect from one of these sorts of gifts. Helps if she likes atmosphere and dressing in gowns, going to fancy galas, dashing young men with secrets, and running around trying to solve a murder mystery.

Any other questions, please feel free to PM me. I can send you (or anyone) a sample preview chapter if you like.

I repeat: I no longer earn any money, not even as an affiliate, from this book. But I like people to read the book just because I’m proud of the little thing.

Well, neither a novel or very romantic, but I am head over heels in love with Ms. Marvel, of which at least the first few trades are out by now. It’s been running for a year and change, and the titular Ms. Marvel is a second generation Pakistani Muslim girl in Jersey City. It’s about superpowers and all but it’s also, and probably more, about being a teenage girl, dealing with your immigrant identity, loving your parents but not necessarily understanding them, etc. The art is different across the series but always excellent and never gross and boobular. I’m recommending it to all girls these days, especially girls of color.

ETA - here’s the first trade.

You (probably) can’t go wrong with a gift card to Barnes & Noble or Books a Million.

Why are you giving a gift to your teenage kid’s girlfriend? Seems like you two are far enough apart to not even have to think about each other for Christmas, unless she comes over or something.

Why are you trying to discourage carlotta from doing something nice for this girl, based only on your assumptions about their relationship?

Just don’t do what my mother did for my (now) wife - buy her a mop. :frowning:

Well, she isn’t Black, but still.

I’m working with the information given and it seems like she’s stepping over typical social boundaries by trying to be welcoming to this girl. It may turn the girl off her by seemingly being too pushy. It might provoke a reaction in the son, or the girl to the son. You can say I shouldn’t assume things, but I was merely responding to the information that was provided. Lots of people do something nice for someone else only to have it be ill received by the other. My question was to try to ascertain the nature of their relationship so that a better response to the gift could be provided

I read “Anne of Green Gables” when I was eight, I don’t think today’s sixteen year-olds read books like that. Not since “Young Adult” started becoming a thing.

I think books are tricky gifts for someone you don’t know well - they’re based on such personal taste, it can be very hard to choose.

Believe it or not this would probably have been MY reaction to this thread if I wasn’t the one writing it. I generally hate giving AND receiving presents and am always on the lookout for how I can prune one more person from my gift list and never add new people to it.

But I really like this girl, we click, and I found myself feeling like a giving a gift. I found myself feeling like giving her “Anne of Green Gables” though that might not be quite right.

I still might not end up giving her a gift, unless I hit an idea that feels really right.

I am certain, based on knowing everyone involved, that it won’t feel pushy to her and won’t annoy my son. I also don’t feel obligated.

carlotta - Did you happen to see the Google Doodle for today?

No I hadn’t! Thanks for pointing that out!

Thanks for the recommendations Zsofia and choie! Am checking those out.

Connie Willis’s “Doomsday Book”, with a time-traveling female protagonist?

That’s a fairly sad book though, which some might find depressing. I’m not sure I’d get it as a present unless I knew the person in question would like that sort of thing. If I were taking a random stab at introducing someone to Connie Willis I’d probably use To Say Nothing of the Dog - humor is usually a safer bet ( granted that one has a male main protagonist ).

Oh god, I’m practically crying just thinking about Doomsday Book. (Not that that makes it a bad gift - it’s great! But.)

I first read Doomsday Book when I was right about this girls age and loooooooooooved it. As a potential gift, it has the benefit of “sci-fi but not” – it IS (which is cool if she digs sci-fi) but it’s also historical fiction. It also is perfect if you have a fascination with morbid stuff.

Goddammit, you guys, now you have me thinking of little Agnes! :frowning:

A little reminds me of Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Lions of Al-Rassan. Faux-history (it’s about the re-conquest of Spain just with different names) from the viewpoint of a female Jewish-analogue doctor. Really good but sad.