Sunday, July 29, 2007

Thoughts on Harry Potter

For anyone who wants to read the book or books and has not yet, not to worry, as this is definitely not a "spoiler". I am not going to give anything away.

I had a conversation with a friend today, which caused me to start thinking about something I should post here. You've probably picked up that I'm a reader of the controversial Harry Potter series of books. Now...it's occurred to me that someone might say, well, Margaret Mary thinks they're okay, so I can give them to my children to read. (Am I that influential?) So, I want to go down on the record with a statement on this subject:

Personally, I think the Harry Potter books are good literature. Yes, I am going to stick my neck out here and say I think they have a good Christian message. If you read my short "Why Fiction?" post, every reason for reading fiction that I mention there (courage, sacrficing love, etc.) is included in these books. I think they are good literature for adults and teenagers (generally kids who are about eleven and up), provided that they have a foundation in faith and know that "magic" is not something we become involved with, that this is just being used here as a literary device. But - and this is an important "but" - I am not in favor of giving the books to younger children. The specific age that's best may vary by child, but I'm just saying that in my opinion they should be "older" rather than "younger". There are several reasons I say this and perhaps I'll cover them in another post in the future.

I also think that if you choose (as we have) to let your older children read the books, it would be very worthwhile for you to read them too, and then discuss them with your kids. Some recommend reading books aloud with your kids (yes, even teens). We've not done that in our family, but reading as a family does sound like a worthwhile family activity.

1 comment:

diana said...

I think what you said is correct--I can't believe that even the most intelligent 9 year old is going to get the intricate details of the story, which is the whole point of reading it.