Oh yes, Harry Potter. If you’re a fan, you’re probably squealing along with me, frantically reading and absorbing everything HP the Internet has to offer. If you missed the trend, here are my top 5 out of 1,346,793 reasons why I love Harry Potter.
1. Harry Potter is amazing literature.
These books are modern-day classics. They are both fun and well-written. J.K. Rowling is a master at weaving beautiful scenery, full characters and an intricate plot into these 7 books. And they are way too good for a parent to miss out, so don’t just pass them along to your kids; it’ll be your new favorite topic at the dinner table.
2. Harry Potter Engages Our Imaginations.
Imagination is one of my favorite details in how God created humans. Our imagination helps us see other perspectives and understand a spiritual realm we cannot see. Our imaginations encourage us to hope and create, to strive and to dream. Diving into a world of imaginative fiction is a beautiful way to enjoy this gift God gave us. Are you exercising your imagination in your life? HP is an easy way to escape into a wonderful world.
3. Harry Potter is a Humble Hero.
I would be careful about dismissing the Harry Potter series because of its use of magic, witches and wizards until you’ve read it and decided for yourself. Beneath the wands, capes and spells, are characters full of integrity, courage, kindness and great humility. I love what CS Lewis says of fiction: “Since it is so likely that (children) will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. Otherwise, you are making their destiny not brighter but darker.”
4. Harry Potter is a great way to connect to our world and pop culture.
Knowing about Harry Potter is like learning a foreign language; you never knew how much it can connect you to other people until you start to understand it. Harry Potter is my children’s ticket into conversations with my adult friends, peers at school and their teenage babysitter. Now that their vocabulary includes Quidditch and Basilisks, they’re always only a few steps away from connecting with other readers.
5. Harry Potter enforces themes we are addressing in our homes.
Having courage, standing up for (and to) friends, valuing strong and smart females, respecting elders and even working through discrimination are all addressed in this series. Stay alert for teachable moments; the books are chock-full of them.
6. It is too good.
One problem with J.K. Rowling is she is too good; her descriptions are vivid, her characters are so engaging and her scenes are so suspenseful that for a young child, the books can be scary. Second and third grade seems to be the recommended ages to begin. Book four introduces the Death Eaters, and just like their name, they’re chilling characters. Even book one can push the limits of a sensitive child; it introduced the main villain, Voldemort, after he kills a unicorn, for goodness’ sake. These books are wonderful, but you need to know the appropriate time to read them to your children. Don’t rush a good thing.
Get ready for children flying on broomsticks, best friends exploring together, young kids with great courage and loyalty to their peers, professors who respect and value children, giant feasts and flying cars. There is so much reward in this series waiting for young readers, even those sensitive to the darker aspects of the books. You are in for a wonderful adventure.