Debbie Ridpath Ohi reads, writes and illustrates for young people. Every few weeks, she shares new art, writing and resources; subscribe below. Browse the archives here.

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Wednesday
Nov101999

harry potter

Head-thumpingly busy this week, trying to get the office ready so we can move in this weekend. Doug has already moved in; he and Jeff had their first client meeting in the office a couple of nights ago. We have a fridge! A friend of ours in the building let us have their office fridge for free. Jeff put a blue light inside, very X-Fileish (and makes day-old pizza look pretty interesting). I've stocked it with fruit juice and chocolate.

Here's another article about the Harry Potter protest. This article is titled, "Harry Potter: The Language of Children? Or the Voice of Satan?" It just floors me that all this fuss is being made over these books being "dangerous". I love the Harry Potter books. I admit I started reading them with a high level of skepticism (because of all the hype), but couldn't put them down once I started.

I've heard of other instances where parents preferred that their children read only "realistic" stories, and feel incredibly sorry for these poor kids. No Narnia books? Alice in Wonderland? E. Nesbit? Susan Cooper? Parents claim that they're afraid of their children not being able to distinguish reality from fantasy. Rubbish, I say. Sure, as a child I remember wishing, deep-down, that there was such a thing as magic. I'd find a battered tin box in the attic and imagine how wonderful it would be if it could grant wishes, even half-wishes (remember the Edward Eager Half-Magic series?). But I also knew that jumping off the roof of my house would be a bad thing, no matter HOW hard I wished I could fly with that "magical" tin box in my coat pocket.

I feel very strongly about this topic and could rant and rave quite a while about it, but I will spare you. :-) Instead feel free to post opinions in an Inkspot discussion forum I've created on the topic. What do you think about the Harry Potter books? What do you think accounts for their success? And what do you think about the recent flurry of protests from some parents who denounce these books as being "dangerous"? Post your comments here

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