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message 1: by Kate (last edited Feb 25, 2009 02:21AM) (new)

Kate (katespofford) | 5 comments I do know of younger and younger girls reading them, but I think the appropriate age for girls to read the *entire* series is about 13. Mostly because of the violence in Breaking Dawn, but I just don't think a 9-year-old will "get" the Twilight series. They aren't at that angsty age yet. People call Twilight the new Harry Potter but it is quite a different series altogether.

There really isn't anything inappropriate (no swearing, no sex) in the first three books, but in the later books the characters do discuss sex (wanting to have it and whether or not to wait until marriage or after being turned into a vampire). The sex scenes in Breaking Dawn are handled in a pretty closed-door way, but the violence of the later stuff would definitely give me pause placing the book into the hands of ages 12 and younger (it would depend on the maturity of the 12-year-old).

I'm a librarian and I have explained to many parents of middle-schoolers about the content of the 4th book--I usually let them decide, but I tell them what happens so they can make an informed decision.

message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate (katespofford) | 5 comments Oh, and I know plenty of guys who love Twilight too...

message 3: by Kate (new)

Kate (katespofford) | 5 comments In my community there are quite a few parents who are very involved in their children's reading choices. Many will want to read the books before their kids or will ask whether something is age-appropriate.

It kind of baffles me because growing up, my parents let me read whatever I wanted--which led to me reading Stephen King when I was 12, which I'm sure a lot of these parents would not be okay with. But--it is a part of my job, and I try to read reviews and know what age level the book is meant for, and I try to read enough that I know if a book has questionable content. Anyway, I think parents are quite involved, possibly more so now than ever, because there are a lot more YA novels dealing with sex, drugs, teen pregnancy, etc. Back in the day there was Judy Blume and Norma Klein and that was about it.

message 4: by Shelly (new)

Shelly (musshel) Mark, I agree with you. I don't believe that the Twilight Series is for Elementary age kids, or ever Jr. High age. However, I do know lots of people who have allowed their kids to read them. I just don't think kids that age are mature enough to really handle or understand these books.

message 5: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) I always let my kids read what they wanted. I tried to read or know about most of the books & discuss them with them. I never noticed them reading beyond what I considered good for them (sex or violence). Occasionally they'd get a book that was over their head & dump it quickly for one that suited them better, without my prompting.

The exception was when my daughter got into Hamilton's Anita Blake series. That concerned me some, but she was 16 or 17 & had a license by then. Not much to do but talk about it & make sure she wasn't getting weird ideas.

Not sure how well that worked out. For Xmas this year (she's 19 now) she gave me "Napoleon's Privates: 2500 years of History Unzipped" She read it first & we've both gotten quite a few chuckles out of it. It's mostly about odd sexually oriented, historical tidbits, like whether or not Napoleon's penis is really in a suitcase under a bed in New Jersey...

message 6: by Laura (new)

Laura (questionableadvice) | 20 comments I work in a middle school (ages 11-14) and have a 13 year old girl at home so I'm very familiar with Twilight. At school there is an entire hallway bulletin board devoted to it and one teacher is reading it out loud a bit at a time to her classes as a reward. I read the first book in the series because it seemed as if every girl in the school was carrying it around with her and I have to say that I was underwhelmed. It seems designed to answer the needs and fears of middle school age girls, i.e.: fitting in and being admired by the "cool" people, being sexy without actually having sex (Edward can't/won't but wants to), having someone protect you from the scary parts of life while still letting you be who you want to be (Edward saves Bella's life at least twice - probably more, but she's still on her own enough to get into trouble in the first place).

Hmmmm. That looks a little harsh and I didn't mean it that way. My daughter has read all of them and I took her to see the movie when it came out. I guess what I was trying to say was that I think it's a fantasy romance for girls who are just starting to think about romance and boys, and are starting to feel a little nervous about all that freedom they say they want to have. It reminded me of one of the magazines that Lisa reads in "The Simpsons", it was called "Non-Threatening Teen Boy Bands" or something like that.

Which doesn't really answer the original question at all, does it? Sorry. I got carried away.

message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

Hi Laura, I read all 4 of them and I am 60. I enjoyed them immensely. They sure didn't bore me silly like half the books recommended here at goodreads do! About the last 4 books I picked up from recommendations here just bored me too much.

Maybe I am somehow like a teenager as was recently suggested to me! LOL! I did feel that Bella suffered too much but so do most teenage girls.

I don't actually think the Edward and his "family" are the cool people, they are more like the outcasts. My hubby says that he is like James Dean (of our generation).

Mark, at least they wait until they are married so maybe the pendulum is swinging back again? Maybe this book is a sign of it.

message 8: by Laura (new)

Laura (questionableadvice) | 20 comments Alice, I hope it didn't sound like I was putting down the books and/or anyone who liked them. It was just my opinion based on the one book I read and the discussions I've had with the girls at school. And I would never use my opinion as a guide to what other people should like!

I'm glad you enjoyed them. I enjoy the first 8 books of the Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series, which certainly horrifies some people with more "literary" tastes than mine.

Jiaka1981 Winfield I sked the same question when i saw young girls at my daughthers school reading them. I thought about it for a long time and came to the conclusion that, The book has good moral set even though the content may seem alittle racey at times, but younger children will het out of it what they can, and the rest will come later. I started reading Anne Rice in jr high, but after reading it as a adult i realized how much went over my head. I enjoyed the books anyway. I'm also an Anita Blake fan, all of it actually. i'd allow my late teen daughter to read it if she wanted. Young girls would not understand the complexity of the growth of the character and only see sex. (some adults have that problem too lol) I try not to harp on what my child reads because i know i read things above my level, I had to hide Memnoch the devil from my psyco religous stepmom, but i loved the new conceptes the book offered and it incouraged me to think for myself.

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Laura wrote: "Alice, I hope it didn't sound like I was putting down the books and/or anyone who liked them. It was just my opinion based on the one book I read and the discussions I've had with the girls at scho..."

Well, I have had to defend Twilight some here on goodreads so I may be defensive. (not sure) I also read some Anne Rice but she "got to me" a few times and so I quit. I read her books when my son was reading them also started back on some Stephen King.

I was answering a few of The Host quetions on the neverending quiz and wished I had got to finish that but it had to be back to the library too soon.

message 11: by Ally (new)

Ally (younggeekylibrarian) It's certainly not a young YA novel in my opinion, I just don't get what they'd get out of it (though I know that they apparently are reading them) but then again, the novel wasn't originally supposed to be a YA novel - Stephenie wrote it for young mothers her own age, but the publishers wanted it adapted into a YA novel...

(And seeing how we had 3 mothers of young children, one grandmother, a 27 year old librarian (me!) and two college students in the group of us who went to see the movie together, I think Stephenie's original target audience still was hooked!)

But what I don't get is why people think that YA = Children's book...

Personally as one of my friends put it - if she had a preteen she'd let them read Twilight - but thats because she has read Twilight and they could discuss it...otherwise its more of a highschool book...

after all Bella is not a particularly good role model from any perspective (boy sneaking in room, etc) but then again, find me a YA novel that is NOT about breaking rules and I will be shocked...

message 12: by Melodie (new)

Melodie (melodieco) My mother never censored what I read when I was growing up, and I've always thought that was a great thing on her part. She even found the copy of the HAPPY HOOKER that I hid when I was in high school, but she didn't take it away from me! I did the same. I figure if it's too far over their heads they'll put it aside for something else and if they continue with it, it could be a great conduit to a meaningful discussion. TWILIGHT would have been just my thing when I was 9 or 10. (I was a vampire junkie from the time I read DRACULA, which was the summer between 3rd & 4th grade.)

message 13: by Becca (new)

Becca (goblinfan) | 198 comments When I first started reading, and sticking to one author, I really liked Tami Hoag's mysteries. She started out as a romance writer, and you can tell through the progression of her books. The first book that I read, Cry Wolf, had a good deal of romance in it, plus a good heaping pile of mystery. It was great! But I was about 14 at the time, so all the romance stuff had me blushing. It wasn't even serious Romance stuff, just that first kiss, and I skipped that whole scene. Whenever there was some heat going on between the characters, I'd skip pages until I was past that. About a year or so later, I reread it and was able to read every single page. So who knows? Maybe quite a few young girls who read the Twilight saga skip some of the stuff they just don't feel comfortable reading.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Tami Hoag I am trying to place Tami Hoag. I think I have read something by her. When I was 13 I read my first "gothic" novel by Victoria Holt. Did you read her too? It was The Mistress of Mellyn and I remember it after all these years. I don't recall ever skipping over anything as I was burning with curiosity.

I am going to Forks soon to see the little town and also to Port Angeles in order to the eat at the restaurant there where Edward and Bella first ate after he rescued her. My husband got the Forks in Twilight DVD for me and we have watched it a few times now. Its a riot and I love it. About 7 people have actually moved to Forks and they do some Twilight jobs there. Also they now average 300 people a day. I am very excited about going there.

One woman on the DVD calls herself a Twi-aholic but I guess I am just a Twi-hard. I have read the first 3 Twilight books 6 times and watched my DVD of the movie about 47 times. I also listen to the soundtrack most every day!! Twilight and New Moon...the third sound track will be out in a few days.

message 15: by Becca (new)

Becca (goblinfan) | 198 comments Nope, just Tami Hoag. I started with Cry Wolf, and I think the last one of hers I read was Dark Horse. They're stand alones, though some of them have cross over characters from previous books. With each book, she moved further away from her Romance novel roots.
I was the epitome of the shy awkward late blooming teen girl. Total wall flower.

message 16: by Miranda (new)

Miranda (miranda_fall) Since I'm still a teenage girl, I guess I can give some perspective here. I started reading the books when I was thirteen (and I admit, I developed a bit of an obsession with them) and finished them all in three weeks. But as for questionable content, I found them fairly tame. All of the violence is of course stylized and supernatural and completely outside of realistic possibility. Personally, I think this makes it less of an issue. But there was also nothing new in these books for me. Now, I started seeing R-rated movies when I was about seven, and maybe I just have bad parents (kidding) but I thought Stephanie Meyer generally handled the more mature subjects well. I would still hesitate to put the books in the hands of a pre-teen, but I think if you know your child, the books really aren't that bad and will not affect him/her that much. They actually had a positive affect on me because they got me reading more, something I've heard is a common aftereffect of the series.

message 17: by Pamela (new)

Pamela | 219 comments I noticed that many YA books today are more mature than when I grew up reading them or when my adult son (now 33) read some. Actually, I read adult books from 7th grade up (Mistress of Mellyn by Victoria Holt). But still, no cuss words and blantant sex in any i read.

Holly Black's first fantasy YA had the "F" word in it and was in the YA section of my library. I've read some YA with sex in them.

My advice, parents--read these books before your teens do or pre-teens do and decided on your own. I will warn that kids do mopre than we all think and will do things without telling you. I learned my son saw that Madonna film with the candle--rated above R--his friend's mother rented it for them when both were in tenth grade. I learned about it from him a year afterwards. Was upset the mother did not ask me if I approved.

message 18: by Pamela (last edited May 13, 2011 09:18AM) (new)

Pamela | 219 comments I tried Breaking Dawn a short time ago (checked out of the library) as I admitted I could not read the first book--bad writing, etc... I finished this book, but still felt the book could have been better. There are better YA paranormals out there to read.

message 19: by Werner (last edited May 14, 2011 12:34PM) (new)

Werner | 1913 comments Since I'm an ardent Twilight series fan (I gave all four of the novels five-star ratings!), it might seem strange that I haven't commented on this thread before now; but I've honestly never approached the books much from the perspective of thinking about how age-appropriate they are for teens, or preteens. My girls were all in their 20s by the time the series came out (and my oldest loves it, too). Interestingly, Meyer wrote the book for the 20s-30s age bracket; but her publisher chose to market it as a YA series because of the teen characters.

If any of my kids had read books like these as teens, I don't think any of the content would have hurt them; and if they'd been pre-teens, I'd probably just have been glad to see them reading! Generally, my approach was much like Jim's; I preferred discussion of what they read on their own, rather than choosing (and/or censoring) books for them; and they never chose anything horrifically bad. Looking back on my own childhood, and my own reactions to "assigned" reading vs. books I chose for myself, I think you're more apt to raise a reader if you allow latitude for the latter. But that's just me!

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Pamela wrote: "I noticed that many YA books today are more mature than when I grew up reading them or when my adult son (now 33) read some. Actually, I read adult books from 7th grade up (Mistress of Mellyn by Vi..."

How interesting Pamela as I also read Mistress of Mellyn when I was in 7th grade. It was my first gothic romance or that was what we called it back then. I just saw a Listopia that was titled something like: Books I would not allow my Teenage Daughter to read and was surprised there were any voters. I am so thankful Mom never censored my books. If she was reading it I was allowed to read it too. That is one reason I read The Bell Jar when I was 16.

message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Werner wrote: "Since I'm an ardent Twilight series fan (I gave all four of the novels five-star ratings!), it might seem strange that I haven't commented on this thread before now; but I've honestly never approac..."

As usual I agree with you Werner.

message 22: by Werner (last edited Jul 22, 2011 04:14AM) (new)

Werner | 1913 comments Thanks, Alice! (I just realized that my wife's sister's first/middle name is pronounced the same as your Goodreads handle, but she spells it "Alice Faye." :-) She's always been addressed and referred to just as Faye, though.)

message 23: by Jlatn (new)

Jlatn | 1 comments Love the romance components of this series... I think it teaches YA that you need to listen to your own mind and decide what's best for you - not just following the opinions of others. Years ago, while traveling for business, I was the person who told all my co-workers (mostly women) about these amazing books. We then went to see the movies together, while the project was still happening. Some of us actually flew to the same city for the last one! Loved these stories and feel blessed that this genre is so prevalent - we all need a little escape from our daily lives. This is written by a male, FYI.

message 24: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1913 comments Jlatn, as one guy Twilight fan to another (and we're not the only ones!), it's a myth that this series only appeals to teenage girls, or only to females.

message 25: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Sparkly, day walking vampires & Edwards hard chest. Yeah, you probably are the only ones, Werner.

message 26: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1913 comments No, there's at least one other guy fan in this group who's commented on another thread; and my Aussie son-in-law likes the series, too, though not as well as my daughter does. But it would be safe to say that for us, Edward and the pretty sparkles that show up in the sunlight aren't the main attractions. :-) (Though I do like Edward as a character --but a bit differently than my daughter does. His chest just doesn't do anything for me :-) )

message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Werner wrote: "Thanks, Alice! (I just realized that my wife's sister's first/middle name is pronounced the same as your Goodreads handle, but she spells it "Alice Faye." :-) She's always been addressed and refe..."
My best friend in 9th grade was Alice Faye but not sure how she spelled it. I got this handle for the moment as I joined a fairy group and fairies are called the Fae or Fay or course. I think it means they have "the Sight", right? Does she have it?

message 28: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 22, 2011 03:44PM) (new)

Werner wrote: "Jlatn, as one guy Twilight fan to another (and we're not the only ones!), it's a myth that this series only appeals to teenage girls, or only to females."

Yes, there is a even a guy on the Twilight CD for the tours of Forks who moved there as he liked the series so much. He actually moved to Forks. My hubby likes it too but not half as much as I do. When I sit down to watch my DVD's he usually watches with me. We see something new most everytime. Lindis just alerted me to something that Jacob said in New Moon that I have always missed.

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

I have you ever spotted Stephenie Meyer in the movie Twilight? its like a Alfred Hitchock cameo! I remember the first time I actually spotted her...about screamed! I had watched it about 5 or 6 times before I actually spotted her.

Terry (Ter05 TwiMoms/ MundieMoms) (ter05) | 97 comments I am not a guy in spite of the spelling of my name but both of my grown sons have read the Twilight series and my grandson (who is in the Navy) read Eclipse and Breaking Dawn after he saw the first two movies. It's not just a girl's story!

message 31: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1913 comments No, Alice, my sister-in-law Faye doesn't have the "sight" (though there are folks here in Appalachia who are rumored to have it). When she was named, I think her parents just liked the sound of the name. :-)

I've only seen the movie adaptation of Twilight once, before I ever read any of the books (it was rented, so I don't own it). And at the time, I had no idea she did a cameo in the film, and wouldn't have known what she looked like if I had. So that was one feature of the film I didn't spot. :-)

message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

message 33: by Jim (new)

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Works for me.

message 34: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1913 comments Thanks, Alice! I'll try to get to it ASAP, but I won't be online much for the next three weeks. Our oldest daughter and her hubby are arriving from Australia at around 11:00 a.m. tomorrow, and plan to stay until Aug. 18.

message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

Jim wrote: "Works for me."

Glad it worked for you Jim. It finally did for me too and I got so distracted I didn't get back here.

Werner, Hope their flight is easy and will be thinking of you all.

message 36: by Jason (new)

Jason (jokers_knight_out) My history with Twilight:
I hear about the popularity of a formerly obscure writer suddenly coming to fame. I decide to check the book out. Couldn't even finish the first half of the book before I get irritatedly bored. I check out the movie. Thought it was decent. Check out next two movies. Visually speaking, they got a bit more pleasing, but story-wise felt extremely shallow and cliched. At certain plot points, it felt contradictive. After third movie, I decide to not check out the last two.
All-in-all, I prefer the more HBO-esque adult vampires of Bram Stoker's Dracula and Jasper Kent's Danilov Quintet (Twelve, Thirteen Years Later, The Third Section- The People's Will and The Last Oprichnik to come out over the next 2 years). Even Eric Wilson's Jerusalem's Undead Trilogy (Field of Blood, Haunt of Jackals, Valley of Bones), as a Christian vampire trilogy, is much darker, more comprehensible, coherent, mature, deep and rich in content and themes, subtle humor and deeply provocative on revealing the dangers of religion and forgotten familial relationships.

message 37: by Werner (new)

Werner | 1913 comments Jason, I'd be the first to say the series isn't for everyone; we're all individuals with different tastes, so our subjective reactions to the same book can be very different, and still be valid for us. What bores one person may fascinate others; and where some may see this series as cliched, some critics assail it for departing too far from the traditional. :-)

As a reader who really likes both the Twilight series AND Dracula, I'd say that comparisons are natural because they're both about vampires; but the main insight that the comparison reveals is that Meyer and Stoker use the vampire mythos in distinctively different ways, to serve very different literary aims. If you want traditional horror with vampirism serving as a metaphor for evil, the Twilight series isn't the best place to find it. (And if you want explorations of possible human-vampire relationships, in which vampires are viewed as having individual personalities and moral possibilities, Stoker --or any pre-Rice vampire fiction-- won't be a fertile hunting ground.)

I'd heard of Wilson's trilogy, but not read it, and had never heard of Kent's series. Thanks for the recommendations! The former especially sounds really interesting.

message 38: by Nikki (new)

Nikki Palm | 9 comments As far as the Twilight subject I agree that nine is too young to handle Breaking Dawn. I am a young mom to an eleven year old and I won't even let her read it. Now as far as the first three books, I agree they are harmless. In all actuality, Breaking Dawn isn't terrible. At least Bella and Edward are married before having sex; that is one plus. However, I still feel in my own personal opinion as a mom that Breaking Dawn is still a little intense with the violence and honeymoon scenes.

For the side subject I think it's so important for parents to be involved in what their children are reading. Parents tend to monitor their viewing habits more closely than books. Why is this? I have no idea. I do know that often times when my eleven year old reads a book I try to read it at the same time, especially if the subject matter seems questionable. I have stopped her from reading a book more than once because it got a little too grahic sexually speaking.

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