Morning Meanderings… Good Bye Harry Potter

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Good Morning!  Happy Banned Book Week Tuesday!  I am having such a blast and there is more to come each day!  I have a sticky post on the top of the blog this week for the banned book posts and giveaways that fellow book reviewers are posting about the banned!  Please check it out as that will have the full list of those participating – great posts and great giveaways too.

Today two more posts go up from:

Tracy at Uncharted Parent is talking about The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and there is a giveaway!

Jennifer at The Book Den talks about her experience reading The Great Gatsby!

 

Please show both of these reviewers comment love, as well as the other that are linked to Banned book Week (top sticky post on Book Journey).

 

Harry Potter.  If you read me… you know.  You know of my unquenchable love of these books and my constant gushing about Dumbledore’s logic, Harry’s capacity for friendship in the worst of situations, JK Rowling’s brilliance from book one to book seven… every time I read them I pick up on something new and clever that ties in later down the story line….

Did you know the Potter books are banned books?

On a website I was reading called info please, I thought they put it very well when they said:

The most prominent objections to Harry Potter fall into three categories: they promote witchcraft; they set bad examples; and they’re too dark. Let’s take a look at each of those.

The Trouble with Magic

One school to ban Harry Potter was St. Mary’s Island Church of England school in Chatham, Kent. Head teacher Carol Rockwood explained that “The Bible is very clear and consistent in its teachings that wizards, devils and demons exist and are very real, powerful and dangerous and God’s people are told to have nothing to do with them.” She added that “I believe it is confusing to children when something wicked is being made to look fun.”

Rockwood is not alone. Her opinion is shared by others who believe that real witchcraft exists, and that all witches are evil. They fear that any books which have good witches or good magic—like the Harry Potter series—will lead people not to take the threat of real witchcraft seriously, and possibly lead them to take the Bible’s teachings in general more lightly. They might even lead readers to become witches themselves.

Others disagree. Some point out that Harry Potter is a fantasy, not a true story, and claim that even children know the difference between the two. Whether or not there is such a thing as evil magic in real life, it has nothing at all to do with the made-up spells and potions found in the books. As an editorial in Christian Century put it, “…critics are right in thinking that fantasy writing is powerful and needs to be taken seriously. But we strongly doubt that it fosters an attachment to evil powers. Harry’s world, in any case, is a moral one.”

Setting a Bad Example

Some people find the Harry Potter books to be inappropriate reading because of the way Harry and his friends behave. Some note that Harry “lies, breaks rules, and disobeys authority figures, including the professors at Hogwarts,” and that he ends up being rewarded and praised for his actions. They feel that heroes should be entirely good people who do as they’re told and respect others.

Others feel that Harry’s rule infractions are part of a long tradition in storytelling. A bit of rule-bending is necessary to get to a story outside of the ordinary, they say, but children can understand that behavior that makes a good story is different from behavior that’s good in general. They also point out that Harry’s rule-breaking does not go without any punishment. And some note, as Mike Hertenstein does in his review of the first Potter film, that “much of Harry’s rule-breaking… involves the principle of disobeying a lower law to keep a higher one—not to say he’s Rosa Parks, but who could criticize Harry’s violation of the no-fly rule to broom his way over a bully and stand up for his friends?”

Finally, some believe that even heroes aren’t perfect; Harry and his friends may do some things wrong, but they are positive role models on the whole, working selflessly for all that’s good and noble.

Scary Stuff

Some people think that the Harry Potter books—especially the later ones—are too dark and scary for children to handle. The series begins as Harry is orphaned, and he soon learns his parents were violently killed. There are intense battles. Good people die, suddenly and horribly. This, some say, is the stuff of nightmares, not something to be handed to kids as entertainment.

Ahhh…. Harry.  What they do not mention of course is how many kids came to love books and reading because of these books.  Both of my boys read the books.  I read the books to see what my boys were reading and soon, as the series went on – we had three copies of each book in the house as we could not wait to read them.

 

My favorite Harry Potter story is when we were reading the final book, I was ahead of my son Justin but wanted so badly to be able to discuss the book with him as soon as he read significant parts….

So…  I went through his copy and put a post it note on the next page of each BIG MOMENT with something like “Oh wow!  Can you believe she just said that?”

 

When Justin arrived at the first post it note he looked at me (we were both still reading) and said, “Did you do this through my entire book?”

 

I had.

 

No Harry Potter books.  No super cool memories like that one.  I am just saying 🙂

 

The year that final book came out I had a contest here for someone to sing a song about the ending of the series.  I can not sing… but I can write.  SO I wrote the words, and put it out there for someone to sing it.  Danielle responded to my plea:

 

I still love that….  that sums it up.  Harry Potter was for many of us the books our kids read, the books we read… the books we loved.  They are the new classics… and I for one, am so glad I was part of the first generation of Potter readers.

 

Banned shmanned.  You can not put a label on that.

 

Thanks for letting me rant and rave.  Any Harry Potter memories for you?  Your kids?  Your grand kids?  The crazy neighbor next door who looks a lot like Snape?

 

Pretty sure I am re-reading the whole series over the winter.

 

Comment on this post as well as any of the banned book related posts here this week and you will be entered into my giveaway for the week.  One chance per comment.

About Sheila (Book Journey)

Bookaholic * Audio Book Fan *Bike Rider *Rollerblader *Adventure Seeker *Runner*Coffee lover *Fitness Fan * Movie junkie

Posted on September 23, 2014, in Banned Book Week, Meanderings and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. Ha!!! I missed the song the first time. How fun is that??? Danielle did an awesome job.

  2. As a Christian reading the Harry Potter books I started out being a little wary of them. I think however that as long as you read them discerningly, knowing it is just fantasy, they are tons of fun and actually make great books for discussion. I have always really enjoyed them and I have probably re-read that series more than any other.
    http://youmeandacupofteablog.blogspot.com/

  3. I have a co-worker who won’t let his children read Harry because of the witchcraft element. I asked him if he realized they were about the dangers of racism and the power of love and family? He didn’t really know how to respond to that one.

    To this day, I’m an avid HP fan. I love the books and my husband is putting up with our wedding anniversary trip being to Universal Studios in Orlando. They teach amazing lessons and the characters are great role models. Book ban shamed for sure.

    • I have a friend too who refused to go to one of the movies with me saying it was Wica and bad…. then we must feel the same about Lord Of The Rings, Wizard Of Oz, and all things Narnia… they all present a bit of magic…. its funny how we can justify one thing and point the finger at another 😉

  4. Hubby read the Harry Potter series years ago. He read them in succession EVERY WAKING MOMENT except when he was working, sleeping, or taking a shower. It annoyed me to no end. I have not read the series yet but I definitely plan to at some point.

    My daughter(9) finished the series. As she finished reading each book, we watched the film adaptation.

    I love Snape’s voice. We recently watched Alice in Wonderland starring Johnny Depp and recognized the same voice as the blue caterpillar.

    I enjoyed the video 🙂 I can’t sing either.

  5. I remember taking a family trip to the beach with 1 copy of one of the Harry Potter books and the 3 of us fighting over it! lol

  6. I reread HP every June! I just finished my annual reread last month 🙂 They are just as good today as when I first read them. This year I listened to the UK version–it was different but Stephen Fry did a good job!

  7. They’re such good books! I came to the series late, after the last one had already been released, but I so enjoyed reading them.

  8. Gisela Hafezparast

    Harry Potter not only made my son from a boy who could read, to a reader with an enduring passion of reading, but as we read them aloud in turns and his younger sister listening, made it a total family experience. My husband at some stage felt so left out as the books and characters came up in conversations all the time, that he read them too. For adults, especially for those of us living in the UK, you can detect the clear societal references, which marks out JK’s adult writing.

  9. Haha! We also had three copies of each book in our house because my brother, sister, and I didn’t want to have to wait for each other to finish (If we’d only had one, I would’ve gotten it last since I am the youngest). It’s such a fantastic series, and it’s true, it is definitely what got me into reading! Great post 🙂

  10. I posted about Harry Potter this morning, specifically about the (local?) practice of pasting handwritten warnings in the front of them explaining what they’re actually about… The point being that people who want to ban it, and many other books, do so without the slightest knowledge of the actual books! They just see “magic” and they’re off.

  11. I bought books 1 – 3 at Costco but didn’t read any of them right away. Once I did, I talked them up and both kids started them. Youngest read book 1 in about two weeks (during school). Then book 2 was read faster (still in school) and book 3 was finished in less than a week (during finals week!). He was very disappointed he had to wait for book 4 (not too long) and extremely disappointed that it was a year until book 5! He’s now read them all at least three times

    I knew I could get the newest at Costco but wasn’t sure when I’d get there so I did amazon same-day delivery. I showed up a church the following day under protest, I still had 100 pages to go!

    Luckily we can all read in the car. One trip I read one book on the way there and youngest read it on the way back.

    Book 8 was hard. All three of us were ready to read it and we didn’t want to have multiple copies so we made due with three bookmarks. I’m grateful I wasn’t working and could read while the kids were sleeping 🙂

  12. I collected the whole series in hardcover during my pregnancy. I cannot wait to share these with my daughter! I hope they help her to become as passionate about reading as I am. Great post.

  13. I have not read any of the Harry Potter books, not have I seen the movies. But I think it is my age more than anything else. I have plenty of family and friends who are ardent fans. I am so glad that I can choose!

  14. OK, I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan (the books) and I’m a Christian. There were/are a few things in the books that made me cringe because they’re the type things kids would believe in (tarot,fortune telling,ouija) and readily have access to, but it doesn’t take the HP series to do that.

    Most people know the difference between reality and fantasy and keep “magic” in its proper (in my opinion) place–in fantasy or left alone as something of evil origin. Yes, the setting and world of Harry Potter is based on magic, both good and bad types. It allows for the fantastical which simply can’t happen in reality. I have my beliefs about the real people in this world who practice “magic” and I’m definitely not going to get into that. I actually knew a young woman, very smart and heading for college who told me when she was reading the series as a young person (maybe 12?) she sincerely wanted to be a wizard because of the series. She BELIEVED she could be one. I know of other instances where intelligent young people have actually come to believe—seriously believe—in worlds and ideas that stem from fiction, movies, TV, video games and the like. I also know, for a fact, that violent video games DO affect people with disorders and we’ve seen the results of all these influences, so yes, there IS a real threat.

    Now, with all that said, I still feel it comes down to the parents, hopefully observant teachers, friends, associates, etc. to know when someone is susceptible to these influences. IF a person has a strong belief system and sees things like “magic” as evil (which, if practiced, I agree), if they don’t want their children influenced by it through fiction/fantasy, it is up to the parents to instill the “right” beliefs in their children.

    As parents we all live with the fear that our children will be affected in a bad way by the bad things in this world, and there are a LOT of them. Trying to protect them through things like banning books like the Harry Potter series is not where the censorship belongs. It belongs in the home or made clear to the schools that they forbid their kids to have access to those type books. In reality, as we all know, it is impossible to control what our kids are exposed to and how they will behave.

    Anyway, it is ignorance that has people seeing the HP series as evil. They simply don’t know the books. What they SHOULD be doing is making sure that IF their kids read them, they discuss the aspect of it that concerns them so they can know what their kids do or don’t understand and what they will or won’t be influenced by. Banning the books is not the answer, for sure. The REAL lessons and morals “taught” through those books are the type lessons any parent should embrace, in my opinion.

    I’ve read the entire series 3+ times, spent countless hours (over several months) on the BNU boards theorizing and discussing the books (some of the best fun I’ve ever had), and learned a lot about writing craft. In this respect, I feel people are going about it wrong. And just yesterday a great video was posted on the net by Dav Pilkey. It’s PERfect!

    http ://mrschureads. blogspot. com/2014/09/a-message-from-dav-pilkey-and-cbldf. html

  15. I love the Harry Potter books and it makes me sad when people still think of them as “evil”. Book banning in general is just silly.

    The Harry Potter series really did touch so many people’s lives and it did get reluctant readers to pick up books. I think the controversy helped make the books popular too. Young people are more likely to read a book if they are told not to 🙂

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