The Harry Potter series is truly a phenomenon in the area of exciting children and adults alike to read with passion, yearning and pure joy. I’ve heard both argument on whether younger elementary students should or should not read these books. One one side we have the educators who have the outlook that if something is going to excite the children to read then go for it and be thankful. On the other hand you have spiritual people who are scared that the Harry Potter series will turn their kids into witches and warlocks. In reading these wonderful books, in which some have over 900 pages no witch craft tendencies have been brought forth.
Children who have read and experienced these books can take many different themes and apply them to their own life. If handled properly these books can be used as a resource by parents and even Sunday school teachers. It is a stretch but you have to use the resources you have and what the children are interested in to get their attention. Themes from these books include friendship, leadership, going to older, wise adults for direction, good vs. evil, and searching for happiness even in bad situations. All in all the books are about love. This love isn’t a romantic type of love but a love that is built on trust between friends, and love from people outside of your bloodline who accept you into their family.
Yes, there are some scary parts concerning good vs. evil which is wonderful, especially when spells are put together using frog parts but if you talk this out with your children or students you can use it as a science lesson instead of a witchcraft lesson. Mixing ingredients and laughing with them when you show them what happens in real life when you mix two of the wrong ingredients. Green slime or puffs of smoke with bubbling liquid always gets attention no matter how old the student.
Having children and adults around the world anticipate a book which could take several days to complete in its entirety is a blessing and not a curse. If a child is taught early to hunger for knowledge through books, or entertainment through books it will open the door to many different libraries for him/her to walk through. Instead of shrugging books off as being a bore, they will start talking more about them, looking for ones that catch their attention and even once in a while learn something by accident. What kid wants to really learn something on purpose? In wanting to read, understanding and communicating with others about the book about the fun gross parts of mixing ingredients for a curse to what it truly means to be a friend encourage them to be better readers and communicators for the rest of their lives.