Sorry, this is gonna be long...
So, basically, I'm in the distant plotting stages of a YA horror. Basic plot: girl can talk to animals. Girl gets invited to birthday party at a massive zoo, pulls a Carrie and turns the animals on the humans. Chaos and bloodshed ensues.
More specifically - the girl I had in mind is black, African. I need to iron out the specifics and do more research, but basically her adoptive parents are these philanthropists who were doing charity work. They're white, and when her real parents died, her adoptive mother was so infatuated with her that they adopted her.
Main girl has gone through some very rough times. Some racist bullying, being touted around to the media, mostly feeling extremely isolated from her adoptive family and her schools (almost all-white fancy girls' schools). After a bad experience, she's been tracked down by her biological aunt, which helps to rediscover her talent of speaking to animals (which I'm thinking she maybe developed when she ran away from her real mother's death into the wild) and drops the bombshell that main girl's real mother didn't just 'die' of an infection (as she's always been told): she was murdered to clear the way for an adoption.
Into of all this wades a clueless (white) heiress who invites main girl and her family to a huge birthday party. In a very hi-tech, advanced zoo. (Suspension of disbelief time, but it's not quite as much of a coincidence as it sounds because it would be made clear that their families are friends and very involved in conservation/charity projects.) In an act of revenge (white heiress is one of those spoiled people who say things like, "I don't SEE colour"), main girl decides to naively spoil the heiress's party by releasing a few animals and causing a media humiliation, assuming that there will be some kind of security system in place. There is, but it fails, more animals get out and then it all goes to hell. Very fast.
What do you think? I'm white, so I feel a bit nervous about focusing so heavily on race (esp. for such a dark and grim subject matter).