I’m going to have to offer a total spoiler alert here for those of you who haven’t read Twilight. Because one of the reasons Australian schools are beginning to ban the vampire books with a feverish tween fan base proves they haven’t taken a bite out of the books themselves.
The Daily Telegraph reports school officials are concerned with the “sexual themes” in the books.
They do realize the characters in the first three books never actually have any sex, right? Mormon writer Stephenie Meyer makes a point repeatedly of bringing up abstinence until marriage. And it’s only after main characters Bella Swan and Edward Cullen wed in book four (Breaking Dawn) that they consummate the relationship.
So no sex, m’kay?
Next up: they want the kids to understand that it’s fiction.
Considering we’re not talk about four- and five-year-olds here, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that kids know vampires don’t exist. Except Count Chocula, natch (do they have crappy cereals in Australia too? Must ask friend who used to live there stat).
The school officials were also quoted by the Telegraph noting that the popularity of the movies is pushing the kids to read the books, and they’re not able to handle them. Having read them all and seen the movie, it’s the latter I’d keep from a tween because of the intensity of the violence in certain scenes. The movie was graphic. The book not so much. And what are you doing letting your kid watch a movie based on a book you wouldn’t let them read? Talk about putting the cart before the donkey.
I’m aware it’s fluff at best, so we don’t need to add Twilight to the curriculum anytime soon. But I’m going to fall back on the same old mantra: it’s up to the parents to determine whether their kid’s book choices are appropriate and discuss them with the kids.
Ban Twilight, and you just created a piece of forbidden fruit they’ll love to sink their teeth into.