Monday, March 8, 2010

Examining the Twilight Series

"Mainstream Author" highlights, as well as our "Mainstream" reviews are not necessarily recommendations for Christian families. Rather, as parents we recognize that many kids will read such books, with or without parental permission. Our goal is to help parents prepare for what their kids may read, offer insights into positive aspects of the books, and give tips on areas to talk to kids about. In addition, we recognize that sometimes "dark" books may be difficult to read, but can offer an excellent way for teens to think about the world we live in.

If you have a teen or preteen daughter, chances are you have heard of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. Even if you don't have teen girls in your home, you can hardly miss the media attention given to the recent release of the movie New Moon, based on the second book in the series. The book series sold 85 million copies by November of last year and the movies have grossed one billion dollars to date.

As parents, educators, and concerned adults, we walk a fine line between shielding and protecting our children, and teaching them to think critically about media influences. While the Twilight series is certainly not Christian, it has received mixed reviews by various Christian groups. Since nearly 48% of American high school students have had sex, some critics see Twilight's pro-abstinence, pro-life message as an encouraging shift in mainstream teen fiction. Other critics are concerned by the series' obvious fascination with occult elements (vampires and werewolves). These critics also worry the series glorifies unhealthy, obsessive relationships.

Whether you are trying to decide if you should allow your teens to read the books, or you want to have meaningful conversations with teens who have already read the books, I hope this review series will give you more detailed information about them. While the best plan is to read the books yourself before allowing your child to read them, we realize this isn't always possible. At 500 or more pages each, not everyone has the time or inclination to read all the books.

This is why I'll be offering posts about each of the books in the Twilight saga. For each book, I'll give a plot summary, plus a list of controversial issues related to the book, with a "pro" and "con" after it (as opposed to our regular "What I like," and "What I dislike" format). I hope you find these reviews helpful.

Click on the following links to read about each book in the Twilight series:

New Moon
Breaking Dawn

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