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Christians, children and fantasy literature

Re: Christians, children and fantasy literature

Postby TK » Thu Aug 10, 2017 6:24 am

maybe we should start a list


When my kids were a little older we listened to some of the Lemony Snicket books. They were fun.
Last edited by TK on Fri Aug 11, 2017 6:01 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Christians, children and fantasy literature

Postby ryan » Thu Aug 10, 2017 9:44 pm

Thanks for the input so far, everyone. There's a lot to consider here. I appreciate the book suggestions as well.

EDIT: Apparently I have two accounts on this board and didn't realize it. I'm who started this thread.
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Re: Christians, children and fantasy literature

Postby Singalphile » Sun Aug 13, 2017 1:09 am

I read lots of young-adult (YA) fantasy when I was, oh, 8-25 years old, including everything mentioned so far (unless written in the last decade).

Prurient or overly gruesome, violent, or vulgar books can obviously be avoided, but that goes for any genre. Likewise, any book might promote overtly anti-moral, anti-Christian views.

Other than that ... I actually wouldn't worry much about make-believe people in make-believe worlds doing make-believe things, which is the nature of all fantasy lit. It seems to me like fantasy is least likely to negatively influence a youngster, since fantasy is so far removed from reality. Magical powers and objects, that's a lot of the fun of it, and I see little cause for concern.

Then again, times change, and I don't know what's out there since the late 80s-90s.

I remember just grabbing any and all fantasy books off the kids/YA section at the library. I recall no parental oversight, but maybe I just didn't notice. Some hitherto unmentioned books/series/authors that I recall reading before I was ~15:

Gom on Windy Mountain
Dragonbards
A Wizard of Earthsea
The Dark is Rising
Dennis McKiernan
The Sword of Shannara

That's off the top of my head. I have very little memory of some of them, but I must have liked them or I wouldn't remember them. Wish I could remember more.
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Re: Christians, children and fantasy literature

Postby TK » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:05 am

"The Dark is Rising" series by Susan Cooper is another example of a series that I thought was very well written (I especially liked The Dark is Rising and Over Sea, Under Stone) but because of some pagan elements I would not recommend for younger children. They are similar to the Potter books in that there is a clear distinction between good and evil and good is the preferred side, but I do not believe God or church is mentioned at all, unless in passing.

I thought "A Wrinkle in Time" was excellent, even though Madeline D'Engle was a universalist :shock:
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Re: Christians, children and fantasy literature

Postby ryan » Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:42 am

Singalphile wrote:Other than that ... I actually wouldn't worry much about make-believe people in make-believe worlds doing make-believe things, which is the nature of all fantasy lit. It seems to me like fantasy is least likely to negatively influence a youngster, since fantasy is so far removed from reality. Magical powers and objects, that's a lot of the fun of it, and I see little cause for concern.


This is the position I tend to default to... just wasn't sure if I was being too dismissive or not of the whole matter. Glad to hear I'm not the only one thinking along those lines. :mrgreen:

I appreciate all of the recommendations as well.
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Re: Christians, children and fantasy literature

Postby Singalphile » Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:11 am

TK wrote:I thought "A Wrinkle in Time" was excellent, even though Madeline D'Engle was a universalist :shock:


Ah, yeah, I was trying to remember that one. Was she? That's interesting. My 6th grade Christian-school teacher read it to us (or some of it). That was the same classroom in which I picked "Over Sea, Under Stone" off the shelf.

Looking over wikipedia's (incomplete) list of fantasy authors, I see that there's way more that I did not read than what I did. And there's a lot that I read in my late or post-teens, not quite a "child" (like Harry Potter and the like).
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Re: Christians, children and fantasy literature

Postby darinhouston » Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:50 am

While some are set in fictional worlds, many today blur the lines and all have world view underlying their stories. I think discernment is in order even if fictional worlds. Percy Jackson is a good example. All the kids were reading it in our Christian school. I read the first chapter and was disgusted. Yes, it's mythology and kids get that's not real. But it was blended with real life so much that it was inappropriate to me. And it was full of ideas and themes that I just don't think are appropriate for a young mind. If our kids were more exposed to mainstream media, then perhaps they would be numbed to this sorts of thing and wouldn't even notice. But that's sort of the point.


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