Robert Beatty’s Serafina books have become some of the most popular in young adult fiction, but the supernatural and occult overtones in them have some Christian parents raising eyebrows. Should your kids read these novels? If you choose to allow your kids to read these books, how can you navigate some of their trickier themes?
There Is Plenty to Like
Some Christian reviewers love the Serafina series. They love the Biltmore Estate setting and how knowledgeable Serafina is about the inner workings of the property. Serafina herself can teach kids plenty of solid moral lessons. For example, kids can learn how to respect and befriend people who are different. They may learn that appearance is not the same as reality. The battle between good and evil is central to the Serafina books. This lends itself to discussion of battles between God and Satan, our fallen world, and how God sent Jesus to save it.
There is some dark fantasy in these books, some of which may be considered cultic. The Man in the Black Cloak is not quite mortal nor supernatural. He is a type of soul sucker who steals children and their talents to stay young. His appearance and motives may frighten some readers and disturb some parents. Parents should consider what their children can handle, whether they can recognize the difference between real supernatural phenomena and “pretend,” and if they are ready to discuss the reality of the supernatural world.
Confronting the Supernatural
The Serafina books provide opportunities for families to discuss the presence of real good and evil – angels and demons – among us. Emphasize while we cannot see these beings, they exist. Demons try to entice and destroy us; angels protect us. Reassure children that the Man in the Black Cloak is fiction and that with God’s help, they need not fear real demons.