Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Harry Potter

I wrote a little piece on Harry Potter and my son John’s enthusiasm for the first volume of Harry Potter some four years back. He is now fifteen, and waited impatiently for the recent volume. Got it on midnight that Friday, started reading it immediately and except for the necessities of life, read until he finished. I think he finished it on Tuesday morning. Becky, our eighteen-year old, did the exact same thing (we bought two copies). They are now re-reading all the other volumes from start to finish. (I think it will be fifth time for the previous volumes). All this, of course, is extraordinary even for bookish kids. I applaud it. They can talk about the stories in extraordinary detail, the way some of my friends have conversations about the Xenophon’s Education of Cyrus. I asked them why are they going to re-read the whole set, once again, from start to finish? Will that not be boring? Becky said that it will not be because, one, she will have forgotten some things in them, and, two, she will now understand some things in the previous volumes that were too nuanced heretofore, that the following (and especially the last) volumes help make clear. I believe all this is a very good thing for children, and I applaud it. Praise to the author.

Discussions - 9 Comments

Peter, you must be sure to read Young Potter Fans See Hero Maturing With Them from yesterday’s New York Times (Yes, I know it’s the dreaded NY Times, but do yourself a favor and check it out nonetheless.

It is, at times, a bit of a puff piece, but it offers a great look at the impact that the Potter books have had on children everywhere. The author of the article seems almost suprised that Harry has "matured" at basically the same rate as his readers, but I seem to recall the author saying some time ago that that was her plan all along. (And it’s definitely why the film versions are on the schedule that they are on.)

The article stops short of calling "Potter" this generation’s "Star Wars," but that’s very much what he has become.

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