Tuesday, July 03, 2007

immersed in Harry Potter

Time for a break from all the seriousness.

Like everyone it seems, we are anxiously awaiting the 7th and last Harry Potter Book. My daughter has been an addict (almost literally) since we read the first one out loud when she was about seven years old. The first three we read out loud to her, but starting with the fourth, she has read them all herself. And read them and read them. I think she was twelve when the fourth one was published, and she plowed through all 700+ pages in two days.

But it's not just her. My spouse and I are almost as hooked as she is, and our nine-year-old has read them all, too. They're great stories-- lots of adventure and funny, lovable characters, plus some really really bad guys-- some of the "love to hate them" category and some of the truly evil category. We're so involved that we argue about them over dinner. (We mostly agree that Snape will turn out to be a good guy, although there is some dissension about this.)

I would encourage you to read them yourself, but there's a problem with that if you've never read any of them. I'm so loyal to J.K. Rowling that I kind of hate to say it, but the first one is really not well written (it was her first novel). The story is good, but the writing is so marginal it is hard to read if you're not used to reading children's books. The second is better, and by the third she had turned herself into a decent writer. I thought the most recent one was really beautifully written, given that she isn't even trying to write in the "literary" style. So if you can manage to get through the first one (which won't take long, it's also the shortest one), you're in for a lot of fun. You can also skip reading the first one and just get the idea by renting the movie, but unfortunately the child actors in it are so bad (it was their first movie) that it is also difficult to get through-- though they did a great job of creating the visuals of Hogwarts and Diagon Alley.

That's my plug for the day. I decided not to re-read all six in preparation for the 7th (as my daughter is doing)-- I just started with the fourth. I think I posted a pretty long review of the 4th book when the 4th movie came out, if I can find it, I'll post it, too.

18 days and counting.

Aunt BeaN
(who really wishes she could use Alohamora in real life)

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