If you are a parent of a teen and have escaped the Twilight craze and the Harry Potter boom, you are probably in the minority. This week, and for many weeks past, vampires dominate the young adult bestseller lists, as Harry Potter did before them. Also not long ago, the Newberry Award was given to Neil Gaiman for his middle grade novel The Graveyard Book, a story about a young boy on the run from a killer, raised by ghosts and other beings in a graveyard. Is this bad news for Believers?
Some say no. After all, we read the Narnia chronicles, which have many connections to Greek mythology. Tolkein’s Gandalf is a wizard. Is that so different from Rowling’s characters?
To others, Rowling and Lewis aren’t even in the same universe. C. S. Lewis wrote a story using mythology to retell the sacrifice of Christ. That’s a difficult goal to compete with.
But what about the way these stories present these spiritual things as benevolent? A vampire hero. Foster ghost-parents. Are these admirable things from a spiritual perspective? Should we as Christian parents encourage our children to participate in literature that presents these characters as admirable and good?
Would we be just as eager to pass a book about a really good psychic to our kids as we are books about werewolves and vampires who protect people, or is that comparing apples to oranges?
Weigh in on the (anonymous) poll below and check back this week for reviews on the Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga and Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.