As a rule, you won't find me reading books about anyone who actually exists. Either exists now or has existed at some point in the history of the universe (except of course, for the Creator of the Universe... I can read about Him all day). Like... was actually a real human being. And I say "as a rule" because there IS a book I'm interested in checking out called "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter". The man was real, but the persona is fantasy. Which is nifty.
I'm not in biographies or autobiographies of political leaders. I don't care to read self improvement books (because really, who can improve on perfection (I'm totally kidding)). I don't (generally) read romance novels (there are a few that are of the fantasy genre, so I'll take a gander at 'em). I don't have any "How To..." books. And aside from Baby Name books when I was pregnant, and certain magazines, I've never read a book on parenting.
Maybe that makes me weird. I don't know.
What I DO read are fantasy novels. One thing I hope my kids "inherit" is my love for fantasy. For dragons, elves, wizards, unicorns etc. I've had a lot of people tell me my kids shouldn't be into that sort of thing. Because they won't know the difference between that and what's real.
My children (ok, so Lydia's only 2, so she still doesn't know any better) are extremely bright. Alanna can watch Harry Potter or dream about being a mermaid princess... but she knows that it's make believe. She knows that when the movie is off or the book is closed then she's back in the real world. She's not looking for Dumbledore to show up at her school. She's not searching for faeries who fly around outside in the yard. It's all about how you teach them.
If you don't TEACH them truth from fantasy then no, they won't know the difference. I'm sure everyone has heard stories about kids who thought they could do the things they see in movies and end up hurting themselves or other people. But if you teach them where the line is... where's the harm in reading the books? Or watching the movies? Heck, sometimes I wish I'd see faeries flying around in my yard. Or that unicorns really existed. Or that I had a best friend who was secretly a werewolf and was madly in love with me. :-)
As a precursor to what I'm about to show you, because I'm so enamored with everything that is fantasy, I encourage you all to read the book Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater. I found this review at Amazon.com and figured I'd post it because I'm not usually good with words when it comes to "reviews".
Grace, 17, loves the peace and tranquility of the woods behind her home. It is here during the cold winter months that she gets to see her wolf—the one with the yellow eyes. Grace is sure that he saved her from an attack by other wolves when she was nine. Over the ensuing years he has returned each season, watching her with those haunting eyes as if longing for something to happen. When a teen is killed by wolves, a hunting party decides to retaliate. Grace races through the woods and discovers a wounded boy shivering on her back porch. One look at his yellow eyes and she knows that this is her wolf in human form. Fate has finally brought Sam and Grace together, and as their love grows and intensifies, so does the reality of what awaits them. It is only a matter of time before the winter cold changes him back into a wolf, and this time he might stay that way forever. Told from alternating points of view, the narrative takes a classic Romeo & Juliet plot and transforms it into a paranormal romance that is beautiful and moving. Readers will easily identify with the strong, dynamic characters. The mythology surrounding the wolf pack is clever and so well written that it seems perfectly normal for the creatures to exist in today's world. A must-have that will give Bella and Edward a run for their money.—Donna Rosenblum, Floral Park Memorial High School, NY END
Shiver is actually book number one. What I'm about to show you is for book number two. Linger. Maggie is incredibly talented and it's awesome to watch. You guys should check out her blog too when you get a chance The World According to Maggie.
For your listening/viewing pleasure.... here's the trailer for Linger.