Waiting on Harry

Yesterday I read in Reason that apparently the new Pope has in the past shown support for the anti-Harry Potter crowd, which is gearing itself up in anticipation of the new Harry Potter book release tomorrow.  He apparently wrote:

It is good, that you enlighten people about Harry Potter, because those are
subtle seductions, which act unnoticed and by this deeply distort Christianity
in the soul, before it can grow properly.

Here is my whole take on the anti-Harry crowd:  Get a life.  From a values point of view, what is it about Harry that you wouldn't want your child to emulate?  And as for the magic stuff - OK, get ready for this - its...made up.  Yes, it is a fantasy, it is not real.  There is no danger of your child suddenly running off and casting spells.

And here is my take on the Potter books as a whole:  Awesome.  Forget that I personally have enjoyed reading every one of them.  Consider that my 11-year-old boy has been waiting for weeks, not for a computer game or movie to come out, but for a book.  Likely a loooonnnggg book.  And this weekend, no matter what the weather or what is on TV, he will be glued to a couch from dawn to dusk reading.  Do you remember being so excited about reading anything at 11, other than the new issue of Spiderman?

By the way, its your last chance to place a bet on which major character buys it in this book, though Dumbledore is the runaway favorite (the logic being that in the story archetype that Rowling seems to be following, the young hero must face the final battle without his mentor - so Dumbledore needs to go before the 7th and last book).

Update:  At noon, Boston time my son crossed over page 310.  I am not sure I read that fast.

Update #2:  OK, its about 4:00 Eastern on Saturday and he is done.  You can tell that we struggle to keep this kid in books (this week he has read Harry Potter, the DaVinci Code, and a Clive Cussler book).  I will try to get him to write a review for the blog.  I threatened that I would tie him up naked in the middle of his school's cafeteria if he gave me any spoilers, but I will say that he was very, very depressed at the end.

  • http://americaninlebanon.blogspot.com/ Matthew

    Here, here! The anti-Potter crowd seriously need to get over themselves. This book isn't going to erode anyone's Christianity.

  • http://grumbles.mu.nu/ Eric

    This reminds me of all the stupidity in the 70's by the "moral majority" about rock n roll and KISS and so on. Knights in Satan's Service, puhleeze!

    My wife says that she, I and our son are certainly going to hell since not only do we let him read Harry Potter but we've also turned him on to Stephen King's Dark Tower books at the tender age of 12.

  • http://knittingiscool.typepad.com/whitenoise A.J.

    I heard on the news that J.K. Rowling revealed 2 facts about the book: that Voldemort wasn't the Half-Blood Prince, and that Dumbledore isn't the one who dies (just incase you had some money bet). I agree w/ you about Harry having to face his battle w/ Voldemort alone, but maybe she saves the demise of Dumbledore for the last book?

  • Kelly

    The anti-Harry Potter crowd is a bunch of people looking for something to complain about. Harry Potter is a fantasy book, just like you said. It is not a non-fiction work, it is fiction.

    If you complain about Harry Potter, then you can complain about Aladdin stealing food to feed himself, or Cinderella lying to her stepmother about going to the ball. People take little things and blow them out of proportion.

    FACT: Harry Potter has been one of the most popular book series ever. FACT: I read all of the first 6 books, and I am not corrupted. Harry has not convinced me to take up the dark arts. I still go to church. FACT: These anti-Potter people need to get lives!

    And HALLELUJAH that kids want to READ!! Readership for kids in the U.S. is probably very low. Partly, because of the video game craze, computers, etc... Also, I think the amount of reading they are required to do in school affects a child's desire to want to read for recreation. I did not read a single book from 7th-12th grade that was not required from school (besides Harry Potter, I started after I graduated), partly because I was so sick of reading. If it weren't for the Harry Potter books, I would not be reading in my spare time. Now, I am not only reading HP books, but also The DaVinci Code, Prey - Michael Crichton, and many non-fiction works. So THANK YOU J.K. Rowling for getting a college student interested in reading again!!