Friday, May 04, 2007

Why I Read Harry Potter

I'm quite a fan of the Harry Potter book series. I've enjoyed watching Harry grow up. I find his adventures touching, humorous, and even thought provoking.
This bothers some of my Christian friends.
To be honest, that bothers me.
I started reading Harry Potter after a couple of the books had come out. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. And I don't believe in jumping on a bandwagon (pro or con) without firsthand knowledge of what I'm talking about. So I started reading out of curiosity and ended up falling in love with Mr. Potter.
Is it great literature? Not really. Is it Christian? Well, no. Has the author gotten a little self indulgent with her plot lines (and deadlines)? I think so. But I don't think those are the right questions and answers.
Can we learn a lot about good & evil from Harry Potter? Yes. Can we and our children relate to him as a character? Most definitely. And us writers, can we learn a bit about what it is about a book that kids crave, about what makes them come back begging to read more? I certainly hope so.
Maybe Harry Potter isn't right for some kids, or some grown-ups for that matter. Maybe the idea of "magic" is alarming. But I don't think Harry's magic is in wands or potions. I think his magic is in getting kids to read. I think it's in sharing some important truths about overcoming hardship, and choosing to live with integrity. I hope the kids who read it see that. And I hope they aren't the only ones.

No comments: