Thursday, July 14, 2005

Harry Potter

I must confess, I am one of those adult Harry Potter fans. The first book was read in secret. Before it was THE book to read. Before it was on the best seller list. Before JK Rowling appeared on any talk shows. In fact, she was a single welfare mother before Harry's success. I'd heard about it, don't remember where, and saw it on the sales table at Sam's. We were going on a road trip so I bought a copy to read in the van. Me reading a children's book, not that unusual, but this was a "boy's" children's book. WRONG!

Seriously, forget all the hype, JK Rowling has a wondrous imagination. As I read "Sorcerers Stone," it was as if a movie was playing in my head. The words flowed vividly and swiftly. Made up words that I managed to understand. Terms that made no sense made perfect sense as she wrote them. An amazingly adult story and yet designed for children. I was hooked.

That road trip was to visit my in-laws in Virginia. One of my husband's cousins has three lovely daughters. All quite bright, home schooled, avid readers. I offered my book and gushed about the fabulous presentation. Their mother had not heard of the book and asked about the story. When she heard the words wizard and magic she politely said no thank you, they don't read books like THAT. I wasn't picking up what she was putting down but dropped the subject nonetheless. Later I asked another family member why she wouldn't let her girls read my book. Witchcraft is the work of the devil, I was told, and so my book was evil. I was shocked but they are Southern Baptist so figured it was something a Methodist would never understand.

By book two, "Chamber of Secrets," the frenzy was in full swing and I was one of those people who pre-ordered. Each book even better than the one before it. More, I wanted more. The movies, though condensed versions of the story, represent the books quite well. The images on the big screen were just like the ones that played in my head reading that first book. Another trip to Virginia and the word on the street was that the church my in-laws attended had even had a sermon denouncing Harry, his professors and friends! The family was firmly against any of their children reading the stories and yet not one adult had read the book to form their own opinion. Neither had the minister, and though a very nice man, he should have at least read the book instead of condemning it sight unseen. I was incensed and felt under attack because I was a Potter fan. SINNER! Is the Wizard of Oz evil? Star Wars? They are both based on the old good vs evil theme same as Harry Potter.

Today I read on line that though the Vatican previously appeared to approve the new Harry Potter book, the current Pope has written a couple of letters supporting a German writer who's done a book condemning the stories. It seems the Pope wrote to this person, "... the Harry Potter books subtly seduce young readers and "distort Christianity in the soul" before it can develop properly, according to comments attributed to him."

Ya think the Pope has read any of the books written by this most talented author? I am just thrilled that she's making a TON of money for it! She's singlehandedly gotten this generation of kids all over the world reading again. And, reading BIG books full of wonderful words to boot. I say, good for her. Enjoy your money and your fame JK, you've earned it and I can hardly wait for my next installment coming out Saturday!


At 8:37 AM, Blogger sttropezbutler said...

Good post Ms. CJ....I still haven't read any of them...but funnily enough was thinking about them on my walk this a.m. I might just start with the first one and see what is what.

At 10:50 AM, Blogger ConnieJane said...

Do it!
Read them in order.
The first introduces the characters quite well and tells a good tale. In each installment thereafter the "plot thickens" so to speak.
You won't be disappointed.


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