Dear Book Lovers,

I confess. I bought one of the vampire books. Don’t get me wrong. Vampires are not at all my thing. Maybe I’ve known too many people or things that try to suck the life out of people to see the subject matter as pure fantasy. So why did I buy the book? Teens are reading it and I want to be able to talk with them about it. (I wish now I had just borrowed somebody’s copy. I hate it that my purchase increased the book’s sales figures and told publishers, “Do more! Do more!”)

As I was standing in the YA section of the bookstore and reading back jackets blurbs, I got to thinking about the hot, hot fascination with monsters, vampires, etc. Adolescents have always liked scary stories. I remember the silly ghost stories my friends and I told on dark, stormy nights and the scary movies I watched (sometimes with a pillow between me and the TV screen). It was a part of growing up. We liked being able to be scared and then have it over with. We liked being able to test our courage–to face something scary and to not run away from it but see it through to a good ending. But I think this present rage for monsters and the occult has more to it.

In a bizarre way, are kids with their interest in these kind of books and films really saying that they are yearning for something supernatural in their lives? Are they missing God and don’t grasp that He is what they really want?

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