Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Good Books Inspire Adolescent Girls

Our oldest daughter Azzie is sooo into the Twilight books right now. All she can think to ask for her birthday is "Breaking Dawn". If you ask her about any of the characters or books, she'll talk until your eyes are glazing a little. Ask my friend Megan!

I skimmed through the first book making sure it was appropriate for our still eleven year old and I took her to the movie. I see the draw, I mean, a nice mysterious good looking guy who turns out to be a vampire, but it's okay, because he's a vegetarian (meaning he sucks the blood of Forrest animals and not people) and is drawn by scent to this awkward girl who doesn't know how pretty she is. And you don't have any scenes where you see little girls turn into ashen statues when the sun hits like in "Interview with a Vampire" because these vampires sparkle in the sunlight. Plus, he just wants a innocent romance with Bella, that consists of sleeping in the grass together, watching the Ocean from tree tops and watching her sleep. Creepy, but remember being 14?

My point is that I told Azzie she could read the books, but in between each book she needed to read something else. I gave her some options. I said she could read a book in the bible or a classic or something I pick out.

The first time I picked it out and gave her a Beverly Lewis book about courting Amish teenagers and had her also do a compare and contrast between dating customs in the different books she was reading. I thought it was a great idea, but she did not!

This time she picked Camilla by Madeleine L'Engle, a book I read again and again between the ages of 12-15. In fact it's falling apart. I carefully handed over my old library discarded book, while certain scenes came to mind causing me to smile. I hadn't really looked at it in years and I quickly noticed the phrase on the cover "Her life is filled with confusion. Will is ever make sense?"

"Wait" I said as something sparked in my memory. Let me look through this. Sure enough in blue and purple ink throughout the book is my own poetry inspired by L'Engle's outpouring of inspiration.

Here is some of it for your enjoyment. I believe I was 13...

~ Title page ~

And wishful thoughts reveal innocent smiles taken wrong.

Just leave me here along.

While tears fall like dew from autumn leaves.

Small attempts to bring life.

If only it all weren't so naive.

~ Page 3 ~

Dry sticky fingers are warmed in summer sun.

Small child gently weeping under rollercoaster lines of people.

~ Page 7 ~

Keep your eyes on the Lord...:)

~ Page 49 ~

Shy eyes wonder aimlessly

Nothing to occupy me...

~ Page 158 ~

Innocent smiles reveal conspicuous thoughts

And alas he's gone.

Too bad he wasn't smiling at me.

~ First page of book ~

12 o'clock at the train station

~ Last page of book ~

Will he even come?

And do what I want?

Wishful thoughts...

So, there you go. I was in therapy two years later by the way. I suppose I'll have to include a few discussions with my daughter during her time with Camilla.

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