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Twilight and Ethnicity

In case you don’t know. I like Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. As usual, I came to the party later than some, but earlier than a whole lotta others.  What that means is that I started following Twilight just before the movie craze hit. And I’ve been hooked ever since. We even have Twilight parties.  I enjoy the series because it is something that I can share with my now 17 yr old boy and my 13 yr old girl. And as you can imagine, you don’t often get the chance to share too many fun times with teens that age.  Pumpkin, as you can imagine, loves the series. She is about all things Robert Pattinson; It’s cute. To be sure, his acting in the movie is not that great, and I personally imagined someone else for the role but he IS easy to look at.  But I’m not here to discuss the movie, although I would be happy to on another post.

But the book.  First and foremost I LOVE any book that gets kids interested in reading: it makes them feel good and inspires them to read other books. And that’s all that matters: READING.  Now that I’ve said that, I want to look at the Twilight Series from a multicultural perspective.  As much as I love Twilight, I am saddened or even disappointed that there aren’t a better representation of minorities in the story.  It is still surprising to me that in this day and age that writers still don’t take into consideration the broad ethnicity of readers, young readers, who are out there.  I think the inclusion of the Native American population was great.  And, of course, necessary.

I can’t help thinking that even though the real Forks Washington does not have a large minority population, the Forks in the story could have.  Should have. When the story was brought to film the movie makers rightly added a little bit of color into the story: one of the vampires was black, one high school student (the one who hit Bella with his truck) was black, and a couple of the semi main characters are of a non descript Asian background.  And that’s it, as far as I can remember.  How can this be? Oh yeah, and in one of the stories there are vampires from Mexico and other Latin countries.  I don’t think it’s enough.  To be sure, I don’t like the token people of color addition, but why can’t some of the storylines included a Southeast Asian family and its culture, for example?

I’ll save my complaints about Bella’s need for male validation for another review. Is this the 1950s or what???

By Pam

My passion is advocating for diversity in children's and YA literature.