Twilight for Tweens?

Originally from

Is Twilight really for ten year olds? I think not. A tween is classified as a child within about, oh, 10-ish to a teenager, but in this, I’m going to refer to anyone below 20 (not that I am 20) as a child (that would include myself). Twilight is classified for teenagers for a reason and that means that teenagers (or above) should be the age group to read it. What do I mean by teenagers? By teenagers, I would mean the group that actually has the suffix ‘-teen’ at the end of their age, meaning no one younger than thirteen.

Would these ten year olds even understand the issues within the book? Would they be able to appreciate it? If not, I hardly see the point in reading it. Without the proper maturity or knowledge (I don’t care how mature you think you are), it isn’t a book suitable for children not yet a teenager. A book about romance, vampires (and therefore violence) and ... well, sex? Isn’t this the kind of stuff we don’t want to get negatively influenced by? We can say that children in different countries are subjected to different influences, from the media and from school, but are they really ready for these things? They may pick up notions of sex and violence from the mass media, but we don’t need to add to it.

Don’t get me wrong, I rather like the book and the series, but I really don’t find it appropriate for children of such a young age to be reading this sort of books. What prompted this? Well this was prompted by listening to the Hot 30 the other day, which just also happened to have on the American Top 40 (I don’t know why. The radio station does as they like.) I chanced upon an interview of Stephenie Meyer and Robert Pattinson. The radio host (whose name escapes me at the moment, I apologise) mentioned a chat with Barack Obama the other day where Mr Obama mentioned that his ten-year old daughter had just started on the series. At that point, I did actually raise my eyebrows. As a book targeted for an audience of teenagers, would a 10-year old be a suitable age to read this book?

It’s not only the case in America, I know. I know that here (wherever I may be), children who have not passed the grade of 6 are reading these books. This was the final straw prompting this which could be called a rant. Even children of the eighth grade would be justified in reading the series, but children below sixth grade I believe certainly aren’t. Of course in this frame of reference I am using the common ages here where 16/17 years is the average age for ‘Senior Year’ and 17/18 is the average age for Graduating. You can work on the maths yourself if you like.

Is Twilight really suitable for tweens? I still say no. If you don’t mind and are happy to let your kids read it, go ahead, I still believe it is unsuitable and unnecessary. There’s always time to read it later on, it’s not going to go anywhere. It might go out of date, but why should that matter? (Anyway, shouldn’t these sorts of things become timeless? Like the vampires themselves?)

I believe it should be read just as it was released, and certainly those who joined the fan club early on have the right idea (I admit I only got into reading it after Eclipse was released), but time should be taken between books so that even if one started reading it at 10 years old, by the time they are done, they are about 14 and are able to appreciate these books properly.