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Twilight Book Series: Are they okay for Tweens and Teens to read?

Nov26

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Twilight Series Book Review
By Lindsay Ferrier of Suburban Turmoil

twilight book appropriate for tweensI have to admit, I love Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series. Oh, it won’t be win a Nobel Prize or anything, but it’s about the only series of books written for young adults that moms can stomach, too.
The series follows teenager Bella Swan as she meets and falls in love with a vampire. Throughout Twilight’s four (sometimes excruciatingly) long novels, our heroine learns more about the unseen vampire world in our midst, embarks on several thrilling adventures, falls in love more than once, and narrowly escapes death on a number of occasions. If your daughters are anything like mine, they won’t be able to put the books down. And if you’re anything like me, you won’t be able to put them down, either.
I am especially impressed with the Twilight series because Meyer managed to appeal to teens without including excessive references to drugs, alcohol and partying. Premarital sex comes up, as would be expected in a teen romance series, but it is dealt with in a sensitive, thoughtful manner and, surprisingly, much attention is paid to the idea of waiting until marriage. Actions in this series have consequences, much like in real life, and your teens will find themselves thinking about those consequences while reading these books, without even realizing they’re doing so.
I’ve had a wonderful time reading this series and discussing it with my teenage stepdaughters. Sometimes the dialogue and plotlines drive us crazy, but even that makes for good conversation. We’ve talked about what has happened and we’ve talked about what we’ve wanted to happen. We’ve gossiped about the celebrities starring in the film version of Twilight, we’re planning on seeing the movie together, and we’ve listened to the soundtrack together. In short, the Twilight series makes for some great bonding time with your girls.
I would recommend this series for girls ages 13 and up, simply because the themes of love, physical involvement, and violence are more suitable for teens than for tweens. If your daughter is younger than 13, read the series for yourself first, then decide whether she’s ready.


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About the author

Isabel Kallman

http://www.alphamom.com
Isabel Kallman is the founding mom of Alphamom.com.

Feel free to send nice emails to isabel[at]alphamom[dot]com.


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11 Responses to “Twilight Book Series: Are they okay for Tweens and Teens to read?”

  1. Michelle Dec 02 at 4:08 pm Reply Reply

    Thanks for this review. My sister recently gave the book to my daughter. Before giving it to her, she asked me if it was alright, assuring me all the while that the book would be appropriate. I feel better now that I have the word of another mom. Thanks again!

  2. Amy Dec 13 at 11:47 pm Reply Reply

    Thanks for the insight. My 12yo dd asked for this series for Christmas. I appreciate your thoughts about it.

  3. Mom on the Run Dec 14 at 1:45 am Reply Reply

    I had the same concerns this summer after I realized that the book my daughter purchased at the school book fair was about vampires and other mature themes. By then my daughter had devoured the first was immersed in the second book. She is 12, but reads at a higher reading level than many 7th graders.
    I posted about her Twilight experience on my blog:
    http://writingmylifeoneblogatatime.blogspot.com/2008/11/twilight-and-limo-12-year-olds-dream.html

  4. tg Dec 16 at 2:39 pm Reply Reply

    i have an 11 year old who is quiet miture would you say it would be ok for her she id a brill reader and can get trhrough a book in a day!?

  5. Lindsay Jan 01 at 11:22 am Reply Reply

    Sorry for the late response. I haven’t checked out this post in a while. I would personally be okay with an 11-year-old advanced reader tackling Twilight. Honestly, I read Gone with the Wind when I was ten and it was far “worse” in terms of mature themes. The Twilight series, without giving too much away, proceeds and ends, morally, in a way that should be satisfactory to all parents except for those who think Harry Potter is satanic.

  6. Janet Jan 02 at 7:32 am Reply Reply

    I’ve finished reading all four of the twilight series. Frankly, I found it personally disturbing for a number of reasons. Each of the characters are driven by the intensity of their desires. Granted, there is no problem in wanting wealth, beauty, power, etc. – the problem lies in how much you want these things. If it becomes an overriding obsession, as is the case in these books, it leads to a total lack of morality.
    The reason I read these books was so that I could help my 12 year old daughter wade through the themes that exist in the books–some of which are far too mature for her to handle without an adult. These include how to deal with divorce, self esteem issues, balancing sexual relationships with personal relationships, manipulation, gang rape, abortion, infidelity – and the list goes on.
    Your kids are going to read them one way or another. I feel that we must be responsible parents and read through them with our kids. Don’t take my word, or the word of any other parent. Take the time to actually read them. They are difficult to get through, and at times, laughable. Know your kids and use them as a way to open up communication.

  7. Susie Jan 07 at 8:02 pm Reply Reply

    I agree that the series is not for preteens. As with most “young adult” fiction, it’s important that parents are thoroughly familiar with the content, so they can help teen readers put it into some sort of context. I recently risked the wrath of the Twilight minions with another perspective:
    http://whatwasithinking.wordpress.com/2008/12/09/ode-to-edward-one-moms-dissent/

  8. Patti Apr 27 at 4:46 pm Reply Reply

    My 11 year old and I have also read them and they do make for a chance to have discussions on these themes. My daughter is a very advanced reader and a friend had said the first book was fine- I’ve been reading along with her but interestingly she self-censored herself with the third book, saying “OK, Mom, I’ve had enough, I’ll read the rest next year!”

  9. Totsie May 12 at 8:53 am Reply Reply

    I love the books as an adult. However there is no way I would let my daughter read them until 13 or more…probably more.
    You say, “Premarital sex comes up, as would be expected in a teen romance series, but it is dealt with in a sensitive, thoughtful manner and, surprisingly, much attention is paid to the idea of waiting until marriage.”
    They wait until marriage which they rush so that they can have sex (and she can sacrifice her entire life and way of living for a man). As an adult I know better and would never become so dependent or controlled by a man (vampire or not). A teen girl may love the idea just a bit too much.
    Again, I enjoyed the books but no way I’d let a young teen read these.
    Just my little ole two cents.

  10. Kathy Aug 21 at 9:06 pm Reply Reply

    I’m 13, and I loved the books, but if I was a mother I would let my daughter read the first three books but definately not the last. My friend’s mom thought the same. I mean, you might say its kinda mean to not let them read the end, but its not really kid apporiate for anyone under 16 or so. Hope this helped any mom’s that don’t have time to read the series for themselves!

  11. Aska Jun 06 at 6:41 pm Reply Reply

    I don’t object to the book on the grounds of morality or sexuality, but inanity.

    The heroine is not someone I’d want my child to identify with, because her only claim to fame is being in love with a vampire. She’s an empty character full of teen angst, with not many redeeming qualities or choices.

    The book isn’t terribly offensive and it could be a bit of brainless fun. But it has this angsty quality which attracts young girls, that I feel should be avoided. There are better books out there to expand our minds! :)

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