Harry PotterINCLUDES SPOILERS
Posted 20 July 2005 - 01:28 PM
After a very fine start, I found the book a bit flat as a read, specifically -- and this is a warning to adult readers -- because it really did live up to its nickname of "Snogwarts." But I'm not the target audience for adolescent romance For the first five, if an East Coast friend had called me at midnight with 50 pages to go, I would have said, "Is this an emergency?" "No?" "Gotta go," but instead I spent an hour and a half chatting about the Tour de France before finishing the book, and it wasn't because I wanted to savor it.
I think this book at its core would make a really fine opera, though. Rowling has built in enough arias, duets, and revelation scenes to build to a great climax.
Posted 21 July 2005 - 07:51 AM
Posted 21 July 2005 - 08:39 AM
I read the first half of the first book. I saw that first movie so I'd be Harry Potter-literate. I've skimmed through a couple of the other books just to check the writing style in hopes of being able to move through the first book to get to the others but it's SO not my cup of tea that I dread the thought of reading it.
Friends whose opinions I value have almost uniformly loved the series so I think my lack of interest - truly, my growing anathema to it - must indicate some kind of glitch in brain function....mine, not theirs.
Posted 21 July 2005 - 09:04 AM
These books are expensive!!
Posted 21 July 2005 - 09:19 AM
The "BIG SPOILER" was great. I knew it was going to happen but was amazed at how it did. This is a woman who has put a lot of thought and planning into her books. I really appreciate that.
I also thought the potion drinking scene was very well written.
My biggest qualm is that this is not a childrens book. I would not let elementary schoolers (maybe a mature fifth grader) read it. I feel very badly for the parents who are going to have to tell their children they can't read it yet because it is just to mature.
Posted 22 July 2005 - 09:49 AM
Posted 22 July 2005 - 10:24 AM
Skittl1321, on Jul 21 2005, 11:19 AM, said:
I have to disagree. There are much worse things out there corrupting children than a harmless book. To me, it is still a children's novel that people of all ages can enjoy. Sure, there's romance, a bloodied nose, more bullying, death, and even a bit of "mead" drinking, but there's no cursing, sex, extreme violence, drunkenness, or drugs involved. I guess someone could dispute that there is violence, particularly at the climax of the novel, but what could it influence children to do? Throw around spells and hexes at each other? Better waving wands than waving guns. Besides, what I love most about the Potter series is that Rowling teaches us that the most magical and powerful thing in the world is love, not how one can yield a wand.
Posted 22 July 2005 - 10:53 AM
Many kids are already aware of the politics and psychology on some level, because children are the cruellest masters. I suspect more have been in Snape's category than they'd care to admit.
Posted 22 July 2005 - 01:17 PM
Helene, on Jul 22 2005, 12:53 PM, said:
No, but then again I don't think too many 8 and 9 year olds are reading Pippi Longstocking anymore. When I was in elementary school, all the kids were reading Goosebumps ("dark" material) or Babysitters Club and the Sweet Valley series (which always dealt with relationships of that sort). Sure, some kids may go "eww, gross" at all the snogging involved, but it's nothing that they can't handle and they'll just get a good giggle out of it. It's not going to stop them from reading HP, either. Children these days are maturing a lot faster than we're used to thinking they do.
Posted 22 July 2005 - 05:10 PM
I also think it is just to dark for the youngest of the harry potter fans. I have heard a few parents who decided their rule of thumb was if the kid could read the book on their own, then they could read the book. Those who are still read-a-longers will have to wait. It would be up to parents to decide if they could handle it, but I know multiple children who have nightmares from Pokeman!
I don't have my own children so I couldn't make this decision. As a teacher I would not have this one or the previous one on my bookshelf because they are just a little to dark. I would be worried about parent complaints. (I ignore the ones about witchcraft in general for the first 4.)
Posted 22 July 2005 - 08:40 PM
Skittl1321, on Jul 22 2005, 07:10 PM, said:
That suprised me a bit, too. But I doubt many kids under the age of 10 today, at least in America, would recognize what mead was, unless they were really good at reading context clues.
Editing to add: No matter what people think of the contents in the Potter novels, reading them is still a more suitable and healthier pastime than playing videogames (which, sadly, are taking over the toy industry) or watching the latest trash on television.
Posted 25 July 2005 - 04:29 AM
(I went to sleep the night I read HP 6 and kept having to wake myself up so my dreams wouldn't get scary. That is part of the reason I would worry about a young child reading the books. Most kids can't control their nightmares yet. But if the kid can handle it, and a parent would know, then let them read!)
Posted 01 August 2005 - 07:46 AM
PERHAPS SPOILERY - MODERATORS - PLEASE DELETE IF THIS IS TOO SPOILERY -I also wasn't as moved by the death in this book as the ones in Book 4 and 5. That means I wasn't dripping in tears at the end!! However, I think that has as much to do with the age and lifelong achievements of the person involved (compared to the very young death in Book 4 and Sirius Black's new found reason to live in Book 5) as anything else.
Regarding the suitability for children - I am unfamiliar with Valley High style books (I'm not even sure if that's the correct term), but Judy Blume's juvenile books are far more explicit. I actually thought the 'relationship' parts very sanitised and even coy in a way. The 'magic' scenes felt much more real to me than the 'relationship' scenes.
OTOH I appreciate the fact that for the large part, the series does develop. Unlike Enid Blyton's characters, and even the Narnia children, the children and adolescents in HP definitely develop and change. Again, I'm not familiar with most of the current young-adult literature, so maybe this isn't as significant as it seemed to me. Old Fashioned - you are much closer to that demographic. What say you?
Lastly, I'm not sure that the youngest fans are reading the books. I kow a couple of self-styled Star Wars fans aged 6 who haven't seen the latest movie, as their parents don't think it age appropriate. The kids just have all the merchandise. If you are reading the book to or even with a child, it would be possible to cut some passages.
Posted 01 August 2005 - 08:56 AM
In case you didn't read the subtitle, this post contains:
Enter only if you want to be surprised or have read the book.
I agree with you -- I didn't find Dumbledore's death as moving as Black's for the very same reason: Black had found a reason to live.
There are a lot of theories on the Internet that Dumbledore didn't really die at the end. The big emphasis in magic teaching in this volume was on non-verbal spells. While Snape did say the Avada Kedavra curse, in one of the earlier books, it was explained that the curse only works if the recipient believes it -- kind of like the Evil Eye -- and all of the other victims had their eyes open, but Dumbledore had his closed. One theory goes that Snape was sending a different non-verbal curse, while speaking the Avada Kedavra out loud to be witnessed.
Also, all of the portraits of the dead headmasters line the office of the headmaster, and they have their say at will. So even if Dumbledore either died or had some mitigated alternate state -- like the Lilac Fairy's mitigation of Carabosse's curse -- I can't imagine that he'd be silent in his portrait. (That would be a sign of something different having happened.) The trick may be to get Harry to return to Hogwarts, since it isn't clear he'll be returning to school in Book 7.
It's amazing how carefully die-hard fans read the books and find clues. I never would have thought of any of this on my own.
My own theory of the books is that Snape may turn out to be the heroic character: a flawed and resentful man who is hated -- not always without cause -- mistrusted by both sides, and insulted, but who in spite of this, does the right thing in the end and gets qualified credit for it, like Roger Maris' asterisk.
Posted 01 August 2005 - 10:08 PM
Helene, on Aug 1 2005, 04:56 PM, said:
I don't know about the baseball metaphor, but I do agree about Snape -- I think he's being set up either as a stellar turncoat or as a twisted hero.
Personally, I think Dumbledore is dead, but I've been wrong before. I was struck by his asking Snape for help at the end -- I think he didn't want Draco to have to kill him, that even at the end, he was trying to protect a child from the evil in the world.
0 user(s) are reading this topic
members, guests, anonymous users
Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases: