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Fangs for the memories ..

Academics will be discussing Twilight, the bestselling vampire saga by Stephenie Meyer, at one of the first talks hosted by a new centre for the study of children's literature at the University of Cambridge.

The centre, part of the faculty of education, will study the messages and ideas that children pick up from books and other cultural sources ranging from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland to video games.

The Centre for Children's Literature will analyse the role of books, films and other media in influencing children and their development.

Professor Maria Nikolajeva, the centre's first director, said: "Everybody can remember a book or a film from their childhood that played a role in shaping the way they understand the world around them."

An international conference is planned for the autumn on teenage literature, including developments in neuroscience on teenagers' cognitive, psychological and emotional behaviour, which can enhance understanding of how readers absorb the messages on issues such as gender, ethnicity and sexuality.

www.educ.cam.ac.ukcentreschildrensliterature.

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