Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vampire mania

Eva Ibbotson, while introducing a character The Haunting of Granite Falls who was once a vampire, notes that "Everyone there [Transylvania] sucked blood at night: it was the thing to do, just as in other places it is done to smoke cigarettes." She then adds that vampirism is healthier than smoking because blood has iron in it (healthy) while cigarettes have nicotine (not healthy). It is comments like this that make me like Eva Ibbotson's books, but she is not the topic of this post. This is a post about vampires.

Vampires are all the rage these days, or so it seems. Of course, stories about vampires have been around for hundreds of years--even before the Bram Stoker classic that you should probably read after you finish the Stephanie Meyer books that I know a good chunk of you in grades six and up are devouring like a vampire attacks a neck.

Is reading about the vampire Edward in the series that begins with Twilight and ends with New Dawn better for you than smoking? Absolutly. It's also a lot more fun. It is not hard to like these books because they read so smoothly with well placed dashes of excitement. There is romance, adventure, fantasy, and high school. It is hard to top all of those things. There are some things that bother me, but I want to invite all of you who have read or heard about these books to give me your impressions first. (And as soon as school starts, I will be inviting all Emerson middle school students to join me in an afternoon discussion. There will be snacks. No blood.)

My daughter, who has not read the books and doubts that she ever will, did have one relevant comment that I feel compelled to share here. Edward has been a teen-ager for an awfully long time. This does not sound like much fun to most of us who have moved beyond high school and look back on it with mixed emotions. Would you like to be caught in high school for eternity? What age would be the perfect age to become a vampire? What age would be the worst to relive forever?

A little trivia on vampires and Emerson. No, we don't have a resident vampire--at least as far as I know. We do, however, have a teacher who played Lucy in a Burns Park production of "Dracula". Lucy gets bitten at the end and turns into a vampire. Do you know who that person might be?

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