Some days I wonder what it would be like to fly or walk then I think, “If only I knew someone with some magical abilities who could make it happen for me…” Mrs. Edwards has mentioned that she knows some really good wizard books and the spells could work, except I’m a fish and don’t have a wand (or any way to hold it). Apparently, these books are pretty controversial, and even banned or censored in some libraries. After doing a little research, I learned that some parents believe the books allegedly promote witchcraft and the occult, as well as having a propensity for violence and promoting poor family values. I just thought they were fictional books about a boy who discovers he’s a wizard.
The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling is number 7 on the ALA’s list of the “100 most frequently challenged books of 1990-2000” and number 1 from 2000-2009. The large dilemma with these books is a great many people felt that they were/are propagating witchcraft and Satanism. But when readers get into these stories they quickly realize that, aside from the characters being witches and wizards, the characters face many of the same emotional and interpersonal conflicts as any teen may face.
Harry Potter is a turning-eleven-year-old boy who lives, literally, under the stairs in a coat closet at his aunt and uncle’s house. His parents suffered a horrible death when he was just a baby, and he was mysteriously thrust with the only living relatives he had, the Dursleys. His aunt, uncle, and cousin, who were the only family he had ever known, treated him like a nuisance, and were completely despicable to him. On the days preceding his eleventh birthday, strange and inexplicable things start happening to and around him. Letters begin arriving addressed to him, and his uncle becomes unusually cruel about it. From here, Harry is thrust into the world of magic and Hogwarts, the School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.
Aside from the people who stick to their firm belief that this is a negative book for kids, it is actually a very powerful read for so many. It has carries the themes of bullying, orphans, being an outsider, coming of age, and friendship. There are so many areas where we can have teachable moments and ‘what-if’ situations. This is a fantastic series for kids of any age!
Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone. www.pluggedin.com. JPEG file.
Harry Potter and the sorcerer’s stone book trailer. (2012, Nov 1). Retrieved from <https://youtu.be/bZezS6XM1t4>.