Friday, March 21, 2008
I Heart Young Adult Lit.
This post is not designed to merely justify my recent...indulgence? love? of Stephenie Meyer's young adult Teenage/Vampire/Romance series. I fully own up to the fact that I was up until 1 am on Wednesday night reading New Moon, the second book in the series and that my alarm goes off at 5:30. But here are the reasons why this book makes me excited:
1. It keeps kids (and adults) reading. Any book that gets 13 year olds pumped about spending their time in front of print has to be good.
2. I'm getting ready to teach a philosophy unit to my 8th graders and this book is the perfect kind of text to use as support. It forces the reader to think about right and wrong and the curious gray space that sometimes appears between. ("Jacob was my best friend, but he was a monster, too? A real one? A bad one? Should I warn him, if he and his friends were murderers? If they were out slaughtering innocent hikers in cold blood? If they were truly creatures from a horror movie in every sense, would it be wrong to protect them?" page 298)
3. It engages the mind and imagination in an incredible way. ("What kind of place was this? Could a world really exist where ancient legends went wandering around the borders of tiny, insignificant towns, facing down mythical monsters? Did this mean every impossible fairy tale was grounded somewhere in absolute truth? Was there anything sane or normal at all, or was everything just magic and ghost stories?" page 294).
4. We have spent a bit of time studying the theme of "ancient grudges" while reading Romeo and Juliet in class and this book parallels the play. This is so thought provoking for my students (and for me) as they see real connections and deepen their thinking. The quote that opens the story is from Friar Lawrence: "These violent delights have violent ends/And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,/Which as they kiss, consume." Act 2 Scene 4. Sigh. So complex. Love it.
... And I have to mention that the guy playing the main character, Edward, in the movie version is Robert Pattinson--who also played Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter. (And, one of the villains is one of the ones I love to hate from the OC: Cam Gigandet, Volcheck!) So, adults, jump on the bandwagon of teenagers and read this series before the movie comes out.