On fast track

A shelf full of Enid Blyton books)
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This article originally appeared in the Deccan Herald

Fantasy is one genre that has become popular with children today.

It all began with a book. The latest in the ‘Twilight’ series was out and all the kids in school were talking about it. “Our classmates are reading it, why can’t we?” My children couldn’t understand why I was so reluctant to let them read the book by Stephanie Meyers. “We’re the only ones who have not read it”, was their constant refrain. When I heard that the story revolved around a vampire’s relationship with a high school girl, I was conflicted.

Should I be a Cool Mom and let them read it or a Boring (worse yet, control freak) Mom?
For the first few weeks after the book came out I opted to being the latter. But my kids like most others of their ilk have an enduring trait. Like a rottweiller, they would wear down my resistance with constant badgering. Not that they use the same strategy while studying for their tests and exams. I eventually succumbed but only after it passed my litmus test of suitable reading for teens.

A quick peek at the children’s section in the local bookstore brought home the fact that witches and wizards have become de rigueur. Fantasy is one genre that has become very popular with children today.

Whatever happened to that one witch whom we encountered with Dorothy in the land of Oz, who sent shivers down the spine? She seems a tame, insipid cousin to her brethren today. When I even talk about fairies and pixies that Enid Blyton brought to life, my kids simply roll their eyes.

They are now caught up with a book series that doesn’t involve wizards or vampires. When they explain that it’s about characters who disappear in and out of a book as it is read out aloud, I am stumped. It’s not a whole lot easier to handle than blood-sucking vampires but I can live with this one. I know I’m on the fast track of earning the sobriquet of Cool Mom.

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