Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Read it. Need to think about it some more...

Last night I finished the new Harry Potter. I started it on Thursday on the way to Oregon. I don't think it's the best in the series - I'm still partial to #3 - but it was pretty good. Dark, depressing, and very sad, but good. I'm still nervous about how it's going to end, but I have some ideas. I don't think it'll be as bad as I once thought, but there will definitely be a whole bunch of dark stuff going on.

I've been thinking about how I'll approach these books with my children. They are wonderful stories, they are well-written, they have a lot of stuff about friendship, but in the end they're still about witches and wizards. I'm a little on the fence about them, where once I used to jump to defend them. I don't know. Something about them just makes me nervous, even though I like them. I suppose once they're finished and I don't have any more questions about how they'll end I'll be able to make up my mind. Also, this book had a lot more swearing and kissing than any of the others. I know the characters are growing up, but really, why do kids books need to have "damn" in them!?

I'm interested to hear what other people think - about the book itself and Harry Potter in general (and Steve, if you read this, I'd like to hear your opinion). I don't think it'll change my opinion, I'm just curious.

4 comments:

Mom Underground said...

I'm not familiar with the storylines in the Harry Potter books. However, regarding witches and wizards ... what about C.S. Lewis? Do the Chronicles of Narnia make you nervous? I think as long as a child is mature enough at time-of-reading and has an understanding of these things as make-believe, I'd be more concerned about the language and sexual content. Those things are more of an immediate threat to a kid these days than the idea of witches and wizards.

Katie said...

And therein lies my problem. Narnia is an obvious allegory; Harry Potter definitely isn't. I also think that, although you are right about a more immediate threat of sexuality and language, we brush off the witchcraft too quickly for precisely that reason - there are other more pressing issues at hand. I think it's easy for things to creep up on us when we're preoccupied.

Bob said...

However katie, there is always a distinct difference between good and evil in the books. It is always made clear, and there are consequences for when the kids break the rules and do things they shouldn't be. As to the kissing, I think that its a part of life for kids around the ages of 16, which is highschool for us in the states. I think that we forget that Harry and co. are really older than we remember just because he has gone to the same school for 6 years, which we in the states do not do. I think that the best part of the series taking so long to be published is that as the books were published with a year between them, the kids who were reading them grew up as well. Now that they are all but one done, younger kids can read them all at once, which may be too much. I think that while the first three books were definatly kids books, the later ones tend toward young adult/teen books. And in that regard they are very tame for teen books, and they deal with real life issues like dating and growing up in a pretty good way. I'm not saying I think a 9 year old should read them all at once, but maybe they need to be read as the kid himself grows up. I don't know, just some thoughts...

Mary Jo said...

Katie: I enjoy Harry Potter for the story line. There is good and evil in this world and the author has chosen wizards as her medium. If you guide Luke as he reads them, emphasizing they are make-believe, the true value of the series can be seen. Just my thoughts.