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Harry Potter

A classic tale of good versus evil

​I'm a die-hard fan, but I wasn't at first...

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone: 
The Illustrated Edition
By J.K. Rowling Illustrated by Jim Kay
Scholastic Inc. (2015) $15.99
Age: 8+
Fiction, fantasy adventure, middle-grade, young-adult, new-adult, adult interest, Harry Potter, magic, witches, warlocks, good vs. evil

Harry Potter Coloring Book
Produced by Insight Editions
Scholastic Inc. (2015) $19.99
All ages
Includes detailed pages for coloring, photos of the cast and movie, possible posters, plus thick paper that should handle markers in addition to colored pencils.

Jim Dale
On Narrating the Harry Potter Books

I was not a Harry Potter fan from the beginning. I started reading the series after book three was released. At the time, my husband was teaching high school, and one of his students was reading Prisoner of Azkaban. The student told my husband, "It's really good." So my husband got book one and read it, and then he want out and bout books two and three. 

All right, I decided. I had to read it and find out what all the hype was about. From there the rest is history. I am a die-hard Harry Potter fan forever! Besides the fact that it's simply a great story, as a writer I'm extremely interested in the writing of these great books and their publication story. In my opinion, Harry Potter has become its own genre. It's publication changed the industry. Publishers learned from this that younger readers can and will read longer books, and gatekeepers are willing to spend the money on books for their children. 

As a reviewer, I picked up my galleys of books one and two and set them aside in my of "Of Interest" pile, as in "Books I'd love to read but probably never will have the time." Over the course of the Harry Potter years, those galleys were lent out. Somewhere, out there, someone has my Advanced Reviewers Copies of the first two books. (Those are worth money, if you happen to ever read this.)

I love to debate controversies over Harry Potter with my extremely conservative, born-again, hard core Christian dad. Hey, I'm a Christian too, and these are simply great, great stories! Is it glamorizing witch craft? I compare it to The Wizard of OzSleeping BeautySnow White, etc. Parents, if this concerns you, this is an opportunity for you to talk about this with your kids as you read, which is what I did. As in, if parents are going to bash it, they need to read it too. Trust me, there are far worse books out there. 

(Spoiler) I would also discuss the underlying Christian themes (they celebrate Christmas), and in the end, Harry sacrifices himself, as in dies, for everyone, which is why Voldemort couldn't hurt anyone in the end.

In the end, Harry Potter is simply a well-written, richly developed story about a group of kids who battle evil to save the world. Harry Potter has become a classic, in the tradition of the best-told fairy tales that have stood the text of time. A tale of good-versus-evil, which can be enjoyed again and again.