My eldest son is a voracious reader and long gone are the days when I could make sure that everything he read was 'suitable'. There is little I would feel uneasy with him reading, although he did go through a phase of nothing but fantasy and magic books and I intervened by insisting that at least half the books he got from the library were reality based: not non-fiction, but just non-magic. I know many Christians who are uncomfortable with the Harry Potter series, but I cannot imagine that I would be able to keep him from The Boy Who Lived for ever and I happen to think the books are fabulous. We have made them into a family affair and, in my husband's school holidays, I read them aloud to everyone. The children associate this very much with camping and I know that their childhood memories will be full of hot chocolate, snuggly sleeping bags and adventures at Hogwarts.
The Alex Rider series was one I felt I should check out first, if only so I could discuss any tricky issues with him. I was completely gripped and we raced each other through the whole set.
His last trip to the library brought Twilight into our house. So far I have been left cold by the craze surrounding in these books, tagging them as dark young adult fiction for teenage girls. My son knew that I might not be happy and asked if it would be ok to read it. I said I would have a look first, there is much in both High School America and gothic horror that I feel 10 is too young for. I am won over, hook, line and sinker, and have found myself sitting down mid making the bed to sneak in a few extra pages. I have seldom read any book that has had such an effect, and I have fallen hopelessly in love with a fictional character, feeling weak at the knees and light in the stomach at his romantic and heroic exploits, his tortured passion and his super-human power. It's taken a while for my son to get a look in, and the book needs to be back at the library on Saturday, but he seems to be enjoying it so far. For totally different reasons, I'm sure.