Monday, January 12, 2009

Twilight books-- OK for girls to read?

This post is part of Family Moment Monday sponsored by Motherhood for Dummies. Family Moment Monday invites posting on "family activities, games, movies, crafts, lessons, thoughts, or even parenting tips." Check out her site for more great family ideas.

OK. I know my regular readers are probably getting sick of hearing about these books. It's just that reading them really gets the mommy-thinking going as I try to discern whether or not they could be harmful reading.  For those of you  unfamiliar with the books-- this is a series of what I would call romance novels for young teen girls.  Bella, the main character, falls in love with a vampire.  I'll try to be brief.

I would certainly not recommend them for young girls (or anyone for that matter) as "good books," as in books that edify or inspire the reader or books that lead you to a greater understanding of truth. They are not great literature.

Could some girls be harmed by reading them? Probably some girls could, especially girls who are vulnerable. (Suzanne knows someone who has.) I don't think my daughter will be effected by them because she's a solid responsible thinking young girl. I don't think a couple books will change that....especially because I'm talking with her about the problematic messages.

So why did I let her read the first three books? (I'm still deciding about the fourth, but leaning toward no. ) I think parenting teens, leading them along the right paths is similar to pulling in a big fish. Sometimes you have to reel them in hard and sometimes you have to let the line out. If you never let the line out a little there is risk of snapping the line. (provoking rebellion) Because she's a good girl, because she REALLY wanted to read these books and all her friends were reading them and because what I heard about them sounded fairly harmless it seemed like a good time to let out the line.

Do I still think so for this particular daughter at this particular time? I think so. The books are not as innocent as I was hoping, but I think they will not influence my daughter. I would have preferred that she not be exposed to quite so much sensual imagery but I think she'll be fine. The fourth book might be another story since I understand it gets worse.

Personally, as I start Book 3 I'm getting a little tired of the story as the dangers drag on and the decisions of Bella the main character become more and more troublesome.'s tough.


Mandy said...

Okay, Rosemary it has been a long time since we visited, sorry about that. What books are you talking about?

Rosemary Bogdan said...

I'm sorry, Mandy. There is a series of four books the first of which is called "Twilight" by Stephanie Meyers. They are very popular with young teen girls right now. They are kind of romance novels about a high school girl who falls in love with a vampire, of all things.

Rosemary Bogdan said...

Make that Stephenie Meyer. :-)

Lynz said...

I do lean toward "good books" that edify over the ones that hold potential issues.

I'm glad you watch out for what your children read. So many let children read whatever they want.

I think that these novels couldn't be too bad, as long as discussions are had to ensure they understand the dangers Bella is putting herself into. But the understanding of the reader needs to be accounted for. I know some girls that would not do well reading these books.

Sarah (JOT) said...

Rosemary - I admire your approach, as I employ it myself. I appreciate your honest conclusions as well. If my girl ever wants to read them (she once wanted to, but I said "no" as she was twelve at the time), I'll ask her to wait until she's seventeen. At least.

Mandy said...

Oops, too funny. Did not catch the title of your post, just the post, yes I am very familiar with the Twilight series, read them all and have seen the movie. I think the last one is a little iffy for teenage girls but the first three safe enough. It does not hurt to talk about them either. I actually enjoyed them