Many children around the world can proudly say that the popular Harry Potter series are the best books that they have ever read. However, because of the recent controversy from some parents and several Christians, children might not have the chance to read or watch Harry Potter. They believe that it teaches witchcraft, which is extremely absurd. Harry Potter does not teach witchcraft, it actually gives children characters to relate to and learn from, it expands their imagination, and it helps them to read more.
J.K. Rowling’s characters are realistic and many children can understand and learn from them. The main character, Harry Potter, illustrates to the reader how anyone can be a hero without the significance of his or her appearance. Although Harry is physically small and scrawny, he is able to defeat the all-powerful enemy, Voldemort. He is capable of doing this because he believes in himself and has bravery. Harry shows bravery not just in his dangerous adventures, but when he stands up to bullies, which is a major problem to most kids during that age. Children can learn a great deal from Harry because he is an extraordinary hero that is identical to their age. In addition, numerous kids today know the experience of growing up without parents. Orphans know of the jealousy that Harry feels towards Ron and his enormous family. Harry is also an orphan and many foster children can have a character that they can relate and comprehend. His best friend Ron is also another character that many can associate to. Ron comes from a family with financial problems and he is always left with hand-me-downs from his older brothers, which causes him to be a laughing stock at school. Several children in this world are familiar with this experience and through Ron, they can see that they are not alone. Ron also helps children with economic difficulties to learn that family is much more important than material needs. Hermoine completes the circle of the three best friends. Her special trait is her knowledge and her willingness to learn. Her character is one that everyone knows as “the nerd”. Hermioneбпs role proves how important knowledge can be and especially useful in hard times. She also shows that there is nothing bizarre about wanting to learn. Her motivation and the way she uses her knowledge is so powerful that she can inspire others to go out to educate themselves. These characters resemble the people that one sees in everyday life. They offer children familiar experiences and many beneficial morals.
During the early years of one’s life is when one has the broadest imagination. Harry Potter helps expand that imagination even greater. Even though Harry Potter has witches and warlocks doing witchcraft, it is all just fantasy and is like any other fantasy movie or book, except better. Things like a three-headed dog, a flying broomstick, and an invisibility cloak allows the reader to leave the reality world and go into a different world of their own.
During the peak time of the Harry Potter booksбп popularity, a mother decided to read the series to her six-year old daughter who was going through cancer. The child, named Catie Hoch, fell in love with the books and became a huge fan. This is probably because of the storyбпs magic and how it lets oneбпs mind go off into fantasy. There is no doubt that the books gave happiness to this little girl during the hardest point of her short-lived life. J.K. Rowling actually got in contact with Catie and even got to read to her from her fourth book, which at that time was not yet released to the public. Sadly, however, she died before Rowling could finish reading the book to her. It is stories like these that the anti-supporters of the Harry Potter books should know about.
Lastly, in a period where technology rules the earth, it is difficult for children to get their eyes off the TV. “Reading Harry Potter was more fun than watching TV or playing video games” (Kwon). If a child would prefer to read a book then watch TV, then the book must be very well written and extremely interesting, Harry Potter is just that. Although there are now Harry Potter movies, many can say that they have read the book and “the book was even better than the movie”(Kwon). By having children read rather than watching TV, it can help them to be better readers and writers which will help them in the future, while watching TV will just make them obese and lethargic.
On the other hand, many believe that the Harry Potter books do nothing but show people how to do witchcraft. One pastor claimed, “The books are going to destroy the lives of young people” (Locals’). The churchбпs Herculean opposition is nonsense. In December 2001, the Harry Potter series were among the books burned in a church’s “holy bonfire”.
Many Christians explain: “God says in Deuteronomy that witchcraft is an abomination” (Gibbs’). Although they are right about God’s saying on witchcraft, Harry Potter was not written to teach people to be witches and warlocks. Its main point is to entertain people. The author of the books said almost sarcastically: “I have met thousands of children and not even one time has a child come up to me and said: “Ms Rowling, I’m so glad Iбпve read these books because now I want to be a witch” (Potter’). One can tell that she is not serious about this topic, so why should we even be arguing over this ludicrous issue? Why can we not let children read books that they love and enjoy?
Although some churches and priests are strongly against Harry Potter and tell people not to read it, it can actually be a good sermon topic. A conservative Vanguard Church in Colorado with 1,100 members actually used Harry Potter to teach Sunday school for the children. “The teachers were dressed as wizards, and the church was entirely decorated, with darkened rooms and glow-in-the-dark props” (Gibbs’). They had the children put on the Sorting Hat that decides the fate of the young wizards in the book. “The children were all put in the Slytherin House, the house of evil Voldemort; the way out, they were taught, could only come from following what God teaches” (Gibbs’). If other churches were more lenient and understanding, they would see, how using Harry Potter can be a beneficial way to learn.
In conclusion, Harry Potter books do not teach people witchcraft and they do not encourage them to become witches or warlocks. The books actually give characters for children to learn and relate to, expand their imagination, and allow them to read more. If one could just try to be more considerate, they can enjoy and actually learn a few things from the books.