‘Potter’ series bridges gap between ages

Jennifer A. Wells

By now, millions of Muggles around the world have entered Hogwarts for another exciting year with Harry Potter.

The latest installment of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, set record numbers. According to the New York Times, Amazon.com received more than 900,000 pre-orders on its U.S. Web site for the sixth book. Worldwide, the site had 1.5 million requests.

Then there were the millions of people who stood impatiently in line for hours waiting to be amazed by Rowling once again.

When you were waiting, did you look around and notice the wide variety of people in line? Sure, some were getting books for their sleeping children, but I would bet that several older buyers were snatching books for themselves.

That’s the great thing about Harry Potter — he unites people of all ages and races.

In fact, it was my aunt who first introduced me to Harry years ago. She bugged me for months, claiming this was the greatest book series on Earth. Yes, I was a stubborn teenager, not wanting to listen.

It’s often difficult for teenagers, wrapped up in their world of music, clothes, new gadgets and friends, to find something in common with their grandparents, who quilt and watch the 700 Club every day. But because of Harry that gap has tightened.

How many things does the Greatest Generation and Generation X have in common? Not many. Our grandparents lived through the depression and Hitler. We’ve gone through Sept. 11 and terrorist threats. But it’s just not the same. The hottest new invention of their time was color TV. Ours, the iPod.

Did you know that, according to the American Library Association, J.K. Rowling is one of the most frequently challenged authors? She is listed among Judy Blume, Stephen King and John Steinbeck.

It’s disturbing to think that a book that encourages millions of young children to read, instead of watch sex shows and kill on Xbox, is so hated.

Last week, it was reported that the even the Pope disliked the Harry Potter series. In 2003, then-Cardinal Ratzinger denounced the Harry Potter series, saying they were “subtle seductions.” He said they are capable of corrupting young Christians’ souls before they are able to properly grow, therefore preventing them from being able to determine good from evil.

Good and evil, eh?

Does playing a video game that graphically shows the bullet from the gun you shot kill someone teach children what is right?

Books take imaginations to be fully comprehended. Every person who reads Harry Potter has a different vision of the book in his or her mind.

It’s the lessons that parents teach their children that makes them learn from right and wrong.

Before anyone condemns the Harry Potter series, they need to look at what it does for the world. It is tightening a growing gap between today’s youth and elders. It encourages millions of youngsters to pick up a book. It allows for imaginations to grow. There are many worse things I could think of that corrupt today’s youth.

Anyway, right and wrong should be taught by humans, not words on a page. So if today’s youth was properly educated about evil, then they would know that Harry Potter’s world is a fantasy world.

Jennifer A. Wells is a senior newspaper journalism major and a columnist for the Summer Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].