Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Abilene update

I don't have much computer time this week because we are busy with a week of ACU Leadership Camps. This is the first year Julia is old enough for Learning to Lead, so she is staying in a different dorm than ours for the first time. We see her in the Campus Center every once in a while and she seems to be having a great time. We usually work Kadesh, the high school camp (which we LOVE), but it's not the same week as Learning to Lead. So this week we are working MPulse, which is the middle school camp. We've been having so much fun and I'm reminded again of how much I hate that middle schoolers tend to get a bad rap, because they are actually a lot of fun to hang out with.

There's also a day camp for the younger ones called KidQuest, which Julia graduated from last summer.

Just a plug for ACU camps -- the are the most highly organized camps we've ever been a part of (and we've experienced quite a few camps). The curriculum is outstanding and the staff has such an incredible heart for teaching kids of all ages (there are camps from entering first grade to entering college) how to be like Christ. So if any of you ever wonder whe we disappear to Abilene every summer, this is why!

On another note, I bought the raved-about "Twilight" to read on the way here. Julia stole it from me and before I knew it, she was 100 pages ahead of me in the book. We've both finished it, and now she wants to read the rest of the books in the series. My question for you Twilight fans is this: Are the next two books appropriate for a 9-year-old to read? The first one got a tad scary and violent at the end, but she didn't seem bothered by it. (She's also read the Harry Potter and Inkheart series, which have a little violence in them. She says violence in fantasy books doesn't scare her because she knows it could never happen. When I tried giving her "Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry" last year, however, she brought it back to me after a few days and said "No, thanks." I had forgotten about the graphic lynching scene. I still feel bad about that one.)

I'll review Twilight when we get home and I have time to think. :)

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  • At Wed Jul 09, 06:40:00 AM, Blogger HW said…

    I am so glad you wrote what you did about middle schoolers. They DO get a bad rap. I teach middle schoolers for Sunday School sometimes and it was a heartbreaking day when I heard them say "You know, when you stop teaching, we probalby won't have a teacher. Nobody wants to teach us..."
    I signed on for another quarter.
    It saddens me that they pick up on the fact that people avoid them.
    Anyway, glad your camp experience is going well. What does Jenna do throughout all of this?

  • At Wed Jul 09, 07:15:00 AM, Blogger Mae said…

    Re: Twilight. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Stephenie Meyer's series... I teach reading / lang. arts to 8th graders and i HIGHLY recommend this to them. If Julia was able to handle Twilight then New Moon and Eclipse will be fine. They don't get any more graphic, but the relationships get more complicated and mature. The last book of the series is being released in less than a month! Aug 2!!!
    Stephenie also wrote a FABULOUS adult novel called The Host ~ I read it last week on our trip to FL, loved it!
    I'm a TOTAL book nerd so if you want/ need any recommendations please let me know. :)

  • At Wed Jul 09, 03:53:00 PM, Blogger Carol said…

    D-NA, look for our niece Caroline this week!

    Twilight?? Never heard of it, but looks like I need to find out more.

    "..ever wonder whe we..." Just couldn't pass up the chance to point out a typo!!! Aren't you proud of me?? :-)

    Have fun and be safe! Call me when you get back, I miss you!

  • At Wed Jul 09, 04:28:00 PM, Blogger Deana Nall said…

    Just want to say... if I'm spending the better part of my days with 21 middle-schoolers, Ime entiteld to sum tpos.

  • At Wed Jul 09, 06:03:00 PM, Blogger Susan said…

    Oh MY! My little Emily is there right now as well! I miss her like I never thought would be possible, Glad to know that there are good folks there keeping there eye out on my "baby"

  • At Thu Jul 10, 06:24:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Re: Twilight

    I also LOVE this series! The middle school teacher is right, the books are very PG but their relationship does get more and more complicated. In my opinion, there is sexual frustration laced throughout the book and you know they both want to do "it" but can't. They even talk about it in Eclipse.

    My daughter is going into the 5th grade and I'm not ready for her to read them but your daughter may be more mature about the subject than mine is.

    Enjoy! This is my second favorite series of books...right behind Harry Potter! :)

    Can't wait until August 2nd and December 12th (when the movie comes out)!

  • At Thu Jul 10, 06:50:00 AM, Blogger jettybetty said…

    Those ACU camps are incredible!

    Don't have too much fun with all those middle schoolers!

  • At Sat Jul 12, 06:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    I do not have kids but as a former kid who was an avid reader, my recommendation is that Julia should wait a while before reading the next 2 Twilight books.

    I have just read the 3 of them (could hardly put them down even though I am 45!).

    It may be that the sexual frustration that keeps building in the series would not be as obvious to her as to an adult reader, but in both New Moon and Eclipse Edward regularly spends the night in her room (albeit platonically) at her home, and buys a bed for his room so she can spend the night there. Eclipse has a very violent fight scene and there are discussions between the 2 of them about when to have sex although they do not use the word.

    There is also a problematic (to me) theme in Eclipse about how Bella wants to have sex, but does NOT want to get married because her mother married too young. There is a negotiation between her and Edward about the timetable for these events.

    Both books include a lot of Bella keeping secrets from her dad. I think the subject matter gets more mature as the books go on. I would wait a year or two, maybe, although you know your daughter better than your readers do.

    Having said all that, when I started asking questions about sex (age 14), my mother brought home The Hite Report from the library and let me read it (cover to cover!) before she looked at it more closely and figured out there was some material in there that she did not consider part of normal human sexuality. I think I have turned out all right, anyway, but I would not recommend that approach.

    Didn't want to give away plot spoilers on the books but I thought you needed some specifics to help you in your decision.

    I do think it is interesting how Meyer chose the vampire theme as a way to write a series about young love that does not involve the lovers jumping into bed all the time. Is it just me, or is having Edward be a vampire the only way she could think of to sustain unrequited love in modern times? It's kind of sad.

    --Mary Lou


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