Well, I knew attempting to read the entire Harry Potter series in one month was a bit ambitious. (And why did I pick the shortest month of the year?)
I only made it through 4½ of the 7 books. I’ll need to start March’s book club selection, Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, soon. But I’m going to see if I can finish the series by reading it here and there, before the release of the final movie installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2, this July.
I’ve really enjoyed the series so far. I don’t find J.K Rowling’s prose very artful (although it’s hard to follow up with anything after reading To Kill a Mockingbird last month!) But it’s not dreadful either, and she is a master story-teller.
For years I’ve wondered what all the hubbub over Harry was about. And now I get it.
I’ve written before that I believe all great stories are great because they echo The Story…the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And Harry Potter’s story is no exception.
I remember when Harry Potter first became popular over a decade ago, there was a swirl of debate among the Christian community about whether the books were appropriate for followers of Christ. I can understand why a believer might not approve of the books—and I am a strong advocate that every person needs to decide for themselves and their families according to conscience. But I personally find the books quite compelling and even inspiring.
My 7- and 8-year-old boys have been asking to see the Harry Potter movies because many of their friends have seen them. I don’t think they’re ready for those for several years—some of the imagery is just too dark and intense for my little guys. (As a reference, they’ve seen Episodes 4-6 of the Star Wars saga, but not Episodes 1-3.)
But I told them they could read the books (or at least the ones I’ve read so far!) In my opinion, far too many of today’s male pop culture role models are goofballs. I love the idea of them reading about someone who’s not much older than they are, but is truly a hero.
My 8-year-old is really into the first book, and we’ve had some great discussions already. My favorite was about the significance of Harry surviving Voldemort’s death curse because his mother sacrificed her life for his. It’s not often I get such a natural transition to sharing the gospel with him
So who else has read the Harry Potter books? Did you enjoy them? What kind of decisions have you made for yourself and/or your kids about the appropriateness of the series? Who wants to go see Deathly Hallows, Part 2 with me in July?
Join me in reading March’s Book Club selection, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan!