Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Dark Side

So years after they were published I've decided it's time to read Harry Potter the series. I finished the first two yesterday and kicked myself a bit because I didn't bring books 3 or 4 home from the library. Alas, it will give me some easy reading for the next week or two. The first two had a similar style and were (obviously) an easy read. I can see a bit about why some people might think they aren't ok for kids to read, however, a kid reading is better than one who is not in my opinion. Kids that already have a tendency to look for the misfit, odd, dark, or otherwise counter culture could find it here, or in any other number of ways. I do appreciate in the first two books that the characters, as kids, were able to actually act like kids and not hyped up over-sexed pre-teens. I'm guessing that pattern won't continue as the pre-teen becomes a teen.

Overall the first two had a similar plot sequence, and book two spent a fair amount of time re-stating information from book one. Helpful for the casual or forgetful reader, annoying for the reader closing book one while opening book two.

Obviously a quotable line from the end of the 2nd book is when Dumbledore informs Harry that "It is not our abilities that show what we truly are. It is our choices." Though Harry has many similarities to Voldermort, his desire and choice to pursue the good and not the evil distinguishes him. I think this could be key for kids as well as adults to understand. The most brilliant mind, unused, is useless. And the person who seems the least able, with the passion and desire, can become great with the choice to try.