Afraid Of Harry Potter
"For the past several years, parents and politicians alike have complained that our schools have not managed to make all our students fluent, eager readers. Doesn't it seem strange, then, that when books come along that kids read eagerly and pass on to their friends, adults try to ban them from schools and libraries"(Block 9)? Critics of the Harry Potter series have attacked the content of the books, attempting to ban them from school. Has the series been made out to be more than just an entertaining novel, which has brought kids back to reading? Is this controversy regarding censorship for the sake of Christian morality necessary? Many Christian groups attack the series calling it "anti-family" and "evil." They fear the possibility of witchcraft and paganism. Others say it doesn't teach their children good values. Is banning the books from school libraries the answer to all of this nonsense? JK Rowling is an incredible author who has brought children all over the world back to reading. Her books should stay in schools. JK Rowling simply wanted to write a good story. A good story has to have conflict. Usually conflict involves a struggle between good and evil. The evil contained in this book drives the good of the story. Rowling exaggerates the evil in order to glorify the importance of good conquering evil. Ever since the brilliant ideas developed in her imagination while on a long train ride, she was determined to get her ideas down on paper ("About the Books: Meet JK Rowling"). Harry Potter is about a young orphan boy trying to succeed in school. The story takes place in a magical society parallel to the "muggle" world. A muggle refers to anyone who does not possess magical powers and is unaware of any sort of magic taking place around them. In Harry's world, magic and wizardry constantly interact with his life in the muggle world. Due to his parent's deaths as a baby, Harry lives a dual life. His parents were wizards killed by the book's antagonist and evil wizard Voldemort. Harry was placed with his muggle aunt and uncle until he was ready to enter wizard school. After each school year Harry returns to them for the summer break. When he goes off to his wizard school called Hogwarts, he enters his magical world. All wizarding children leave home for the school year and live in dormitories. In this world everyone possesses magical powers. Harry takes classes such as Potions, Defense Against the Dark Arts, Care of Magical Creatures, Transformations, and Spells. After seven years at Hogwarts he will be a trained wizard and allowed to use his magic in the muggle world. By no means is any wizard allowed to use their magic in a negative manner. This rule is stressed strongly in the book. There are harsh consequences for misuse of magic. The people in the wizarding world want to remain as inconspicuous as possible with little impact on the muggle world. In no way is there a battle between wizards and muggles. They are meant to coexist. Having read the books, I find it funny that someone would call them a work of the devil. They are a fun filled fantasy, which sparks my imagination and expands my creativity. Harry Potter land is a place I can escape to, when my world seems overwhelming. Harry has so many close friends that he has genuine fun with. He also has many role models that he looks up to who give him confidence in himself. For example, one of his teachers named Hagrid is portrayed as more of a friend to Harry than a teacher. Harry always goes to him in times of need and in times when he is looking for a buddy to hang out with. Hagrid was the one who came and rescued him from his aunt and uncle, therefore Harry really looks up to him and considers him one of his best pals. I see very positive child to adult relationships in the books. The strongest positive surrounding the story of Harry Potter is the constant battle of the wizard world...
Cited: "About the Books: Meet JK Rowling." Scholastic. 12 Sept. 2003
Block, Marylaine. "Afraid of Harry Potter." Library Talk vo.l 14 March/April 2001: 9-11.
Blume, Judy. "Is Harry Potter Evil?" New York Times 22 Oct. 1999: A27.
Cannon, Angie and Adam L Cataldo. "Muggles vs. the wizards." U.S. News & World Report 21
May 2001: 28.
"A Good Scare." Time Europe 6 Nov. 2000: 80.
Harmon, Melissa Burdick. "JK Rowling: The Real Life Wizard Behind Harry Potter." Biography
Sept. 2003: 82-86.
Zimmerman, Jonathan. "Harry Potter & His Censors." Education Week 02 Aug. 2000: 44.
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