To Melanie’s two part “Share My World” — How do I feel about Harry Potter?
I’m grinding slowly towards the conclusion of our refinance. As of this morning, we have cleared all the hurdles. They needed this month’s mortgage payment information, a copy of the last bank statement (I sent the wrong statement, oops). Meanwhile, I’ve got some big bills lurking in the near future so this needs to be finished.
I think it’ll be another week to 10-days before it’s completed. Worrying about money is the pits. I can’t quite let it go, though I try. It sits in the back of my brain and gnaws at me. To top it off, I have a toothache and I may need to cancel something else and get this seen to because it really hurts.
About Harry Potter.
I wasn’t a wild-eyed fan of the Harry Potter books. I liked some of them — especially anything about Quidditch because I always wanted to fly — but I didn’t like the relationships and I downright disliked a lot of the people. The books were cleverly written. I appreciate wit. The movies were more fun because they left out annoying details.
There will always be bullies and victims and Harry certainly had his share of being victimized. But I didn’t care for all the sneaking around in the Potter books, eavesdropping, and rumors perpetrated by the so-called “good” guys. Maybe there’s a teaching moment in there, but I didn’t see it. All I saw is that when confronted by bullies, victims can then use any means to get back at them.
I had never given any serious thought to the books. They were light entertainment. The problem is, these questions forced me to actually think about the series. I know it was supposed to be good fun, but when you have to think about the books, there’s a lot of nastiness and meanness. It didn’t bother me because I read them at super high speed and forgot them pretty much immediately The teachers were more interesting than the kids. I still want to know Dumbledore’s motives. Other teachers were downright kinky.
The Potter books don’t hold up well compared to many other good children’s sagas. I doubt I’ll read them again. Other series, like the Narnia books, “Little Women,” “The Black Stallion” series and other books about young people learning how to become adults have much stronger messages. The Hobbit has a more stalwart sense of honor and ethics. The “Little House” books are wonderful a hundred years after publication. To give children a sense of ethics and morals, the author needs to have to have a grip on them too. To convey meaning to kids, the writer has to be invested. In none of the Potter books did I get anything more than a sense of fun. But I liked Quidditch.
I’ve read the Narnia series half a dozen times and once during the past 6 months. I think they are better now than they were when I first read them. I’ve read “Little Women” so many times I can recite it. I reread “The Black Stallion” a couple of months ago. Even “Pollyanna” had a sincere message. But the Potter books don’t. To be fair, I’m not a fan of “youth fiction.” There’s a lot of it being published and most of it isn’t worth the time. It’s no different than reading comics and some of them had more principled characters. I always believed in Superman, The Lone Ranger, and Hopalong Cassidy. Those were GOOD guys.
Are the Harry Potter books fun? Yes. If your goal is to find something that your child will read, these books might accomplish that. Anything that gets kids to read books is by definition a good thing. Just don’t tell me really think about them!