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Banned Magic?

Hermione

by Jordan Nearly everyone these days has heard of Harry Potter, and most of them have read it. I, myself, am a huge Potterhead. I’ve read the series several times through. I have at least thirty Harry websites on my Favorites list. I’ve seen the first movie four times. So, you can imagine my reaction when I heard someone was trying to ban my beloved Harry! I was positively outraged. Why would anyone want to take away the thing that got millions of kids reading? I did some research, and what I saw made me even more irate. Some adults think the books are bad for kids’ brains. There are two major views: Harry Potter goes against Christianity and teaches kids to join the Occult. (The former isn’t nearly as extreme as the latter.) The books are way too violent and the characters don’t follow rules. Most of the negativity towards the Potter series has to do with its magic content. Some parents must really believe their children are the dumbest creatures in existence. These parents even tell the media that kids, after reading the books, will get it into their heads that they can turn teacups into three-headed dogs, ... Read More »

What Harry Potter is to me

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by Brittany Kramer To start it would help to know a little background on myself. I am seventeen. I love to read. I am a Christian. Although I have known for a long time that I want to be an author, I never realized how much until I read Harry Potter. When the Harry Potter hubbub started in the United States of America (where I am from) I did not want anything to do with it. I am not one to like the “in” thing. I did not care if Harry Potter was branded a “children’’s” book, I still read such beloved classics like The Berenstein Bears (for those of you who do not know what those are, they are children’s picture books), in other words, that did not keep me from reading the book. It took me until last fall in November to give in. On the Wednesday a week before Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was released, my friend’s boyfriend and I got into an argument about Harry Potter. He liked it, I wanted him to shut up about it. The argument ended with me agreeing to borrow his copy of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. ... Read More »

Harry Potter and the Radical Christians

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by Matt Tarrant “Burn the books. They’re preaching Satan’s message to our children.”“Witchcraft is the work of the devil. Protect yourselves from this new evil.”“J.K. Rowling is clearly a witch because her stories contain black magic which is all real.” OK. Like you, I have seen what the Christian radicals have had to say about this and other fantasy novels (note the word “fantasy” guys!). Mostly, this type of preaching comes from individuals who have only ever experienced Harry Potter through a third person perspective. We all read the much publicized book burnings in Mexico which included Harry Potter. To my mind, this was some guy calling on the media to sell his brand of radicalism free of marketing costs. Yes, a child may innocently say to his or her parents: “I want to be a wizard,” or “I want to play Quidditch.” In my day I wanted to be a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, but by the miracle of puberty and early adulthood (not to mention a better understanding of genetics), I had grown out of that phase. My point being that young people today may well like to imagine themselves living in Harry’s world, casting their spells and pretending to fight ... Read More »

Why Everyone Should Read J.K. Rowling’s Masterpieces: The Story of a 19-Year-Old Skeptic

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by Dan Being a nineteen-year-old male college student, the things that are most on my mind are friends, grades, and girls. Far from it are wizards, witches, brooms, goblins, etc, and nowhere near it are eleven-year-olds running around in maroon sweaters and black robes. So when a friend of mine, who is also a sophomore in college, offered me the Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone DVD, my reaction was basically this: “There is no way in Hell I’m going to watch that stupid kiddie movie.” I’d heard of the movies and books before, and I remember all the fuss about the Goblet of Fire book being released (although I recalled it simply as the “green book”). I have loved reading my whole life, but this was not what I considered to be a worthwhile two hours. However, he forced me to take it, so I did, and I left it on my kitchen counter for three days. Every time I walked by, it haunted me…I was interested, intrigued you may even say, but I wasn’t about to follow the route of countless teenie-bopping fanatics (another false belief I held). Finally, on a Friday night (November 8th) when I had ... Read More »

Where is Book 5?

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by Priya I recently read the editorial Is Book 5 Done? by Russ Ullman, and I totally agree with his message. J.K. Rowling is definitely done with book 5. But where is it? Probably locked in a cupboard under one of J.K.’s stairs. I believe the reason for this is not the Sotheby auction or J.K.’s way of proving she is in control. My reason for believing it’s not the Sotheby auction is because she could just as easily have given us clues for book 6 had book 5 already been published. And on the subject of control…well, all Harry Potter fans know she is in control anyway, and she doesn’t want to have to make us wait. I think the reason book 5 is unpublished is because of a carefully thought out plan to capitalize on the Harry Potter franchise. Let’s take a look back at the franchise history. Books 1 through 4 were released approximately every year. About one year after Goblet of Fire was released the first movie was released, and exactly one year after that the second movie was released. In 2004 the third Harry Potter movie will probably be released (according to Warner Bros.). This, however, messes up our annual Harry Potter “experience” which means 2003 is ... Read More »

Is Book 5 Done?

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by Russ Ullman I have no proof, no smoking gun. I have only the multitude of news stories and interviews to pose my opinion that J.K. has finished book 5 and is sitting on the manuscript. She is waiting for the auction to conclude to see what the final tally is before she releases book 5 to Bloomsbury. Let’s start with the fact she admits all seven books were outlined. This gives her the basis to complete each edition in relatively timely order. J.K. is already nearly two years behind from her initial date she told Bloomsbury it would get the manuscript. The first four books were published in years 1997, 1999, 1999, 2000. That would have made book 5 a 2001, possibly 2002, publish date. If this is the case, then book 5, which is now supposed to be a hair longer than Goblet of Fire could have been done this past summer. We are now looking at 2003 for book 5. Now getting married can throw things in turmoil. But a good husband would have kept her focused to finish it. Newlyweds or not. It has been intimated that the lawsuits she was embroiled in caused her to delay book ... Read More »

True Fans

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by Beverly I know everybody (well, most) consider themselves hardcore Harry Potter fans. But I have seen, heard and been a part of things that made me question my rank, and other people’s, on the “biggest fan scale.” For example, when I was only a youngin’ in the Potter world, I went to a release party for Goblet of Fire at my local bookstore. Basically, the party started at 10 p.m. and at midnight they would start selling the books. There were people, like me, who were so clueless they forgot to dress up or thought no one else would, people who kinda sorta dressed up with an occasional scar or wand, then the die-hard fans who went all out from all Harry Potter clothing to Harry Potter written on their faces. They had one trivia game that I watched. It was an adult versus a child and the questions were on random, thoughtless facts from all three books. The little girl, who might’ve been 9 or 10, WHOOPED the adult, and got maybe one wrong while the adult got a maximum of two right. I was watching in awe of the whole thing. Second, I’m sure most have you gone to www.harrypotter.com. And if ... Read More »

Harry Potter and What’s All the Fuss About?

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by Matt Tarrant I was lucky enough to have been introduced to Harry Potter not long after Philosopher’s Stone was released in the UK, during which time the HP phenomenon was still a twinkle in the eye of the literary world. At that time, I remember thinking that the book was OK, but nothing to cry home about. The snob in me refused to allow J.K. Rowling’s book a place with the other fantasy classics such as Lord of the Rings. In my honest opinion, I thought the book was rather dull. It became nothing more than a paperweight on my desk, such was my opinion about it. But then something happened. A veil of ignorance lifted itself from my eyes and through the persistence of some of my friends and the sudden media interest in The Boy Who Lived, I decided to re-read Philosopher’s Stone two years after its release. Now, call it brainwashing or subliminal suggestion, but the buzz that was now floating around in my mind made me see the book in a completely different light. I got into the story, the tragedy of Harry’s orphaned upbringing, the unbreakable loyalty of his friends and the sheer attention to detail J.K. placed in her writing. ... Read More »

Harry Potter Goes to the Movies

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by Matt Tarrant The greatest gift of any novel is its ability to capture our imaginations, bringing us into the story in a far more rewarding way than any film can manage. With that in mind, imagine my look of horror when I read that J.K. Rowling had sold the rights to her books to Warner Bros., knowing full well how much Hollywood likes to change a story on the basis of “creative license.” Months after she had sold the rights, the media speculation about the look and feel of the movie was as varied as the after-show party of an Elton John concert. Lots of colorful ideas and exclusives, but no real word from Warner Bros. or J.K., aside from the one liner: “It will be true to the books.” That held little water for me as that could have meant that Warner Bros. planned to keep the name Harry, but change the rest of the story. In the UK, the rumor mill was rife with talk of a “Beverly Hills 90210″ style film featuring Haley Joel Osment as the title character and Steven Spielberg leading the teen high school story of Harry Potter. Nooooooooooooooo! Run for the hills! ... Read More »

Why We Need to Thank J.K. Rowling

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by Jeff Stoyanoff I believe that all of us Harry Potter maniacs, and the rest of the world whether they like it or not, owe a great deal of gratitude to J.K. Rowling. The difference that Harry Potter has made in each of our lives is immeasurable. I am not saying that this difference is noticeable everyday, but I am saying that this difference is inside each of us all the time. J.K. Rowling has helped us believe again! She has helped us dream, she has helped many of us regain our creativity, and she has brought new life to the fantasy genre in literature. Harry Potter has been the little spark of creativity and imagination to get kids around the world to turn off their televisions and video games in exchange for a book. Reading is fun again! Kids want to read, and after reading the Harry Potter books, they want to write too! The number of Harry Potter follow-up compositions, commonly known as “fan fics,” has been unprecedented within the past decade. The best thing about J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series is that it appeals to all ages. No matter what age, Harry Potter has a certain appeal to all of us. Harry Potter is not merely a children’s book series! Many teens ... Read More »

The Best Harry Potter Book

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by Matt Tarrant After reading all four of the current Harry Potter books, I believe it is safe to say we all have our favorites. Many of our favorite lists may look the same, yet many may look different. We all like different things, can connect with different things, and see things in a different light. The following is just my personal list of favorites. 1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban PoA is my favorite because it introduces my two favorite characters in the series: Professor Lupin and Sirius Black. The plot is excellent with an ending that no one could expect. We learned so much about Harry’s past as well as his parents. We learn a great deal more about the rest of the wizarding world, including the Ministry of Magic. 2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets I think CoS is great because of the complex mystery involved and all the clues surrounding it. Many people overlook this book and may put it last on their list, but I loved it. I was shocked by the new information about Hagrid and Voldemort that was uncovered towards the end. 3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire I enjoyed GoF because ... Read More »