Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Book Review: The Mystery of Harry Potter

The best tribute I can give this book is to say that I don't need to be convinced that it is ok for kids to read Harry Potter ... and yet I read the entire book, with interest. I originally picked it up thinking that I could look it over with a mind to recommending it to friends that are wary, as are many Christians, of the magic found in the stories.

Brown has many sensible recommendations to ease parents' fears and to help them evaluate whether the books and motives are right for their children. Perhaps the greatest accomplishment is that she has written a passionate defense of the necessity of fantasy for both children and adults. It is that depth that makes this book much more than a single subject "Harry Potter" book. Moreover, she manages to go beyond quoting the "usual suspects" of C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton. She has done her homework. For those who are leery of Harry Potter and his gung-ho supporters, I must add that Brown comes from the stance of one who was equally leery and forbade her children the books ... until she began investigating them, which in itself is an interesting and instructive tale.

Easy to read, this book is also a bit addictive as I kept picking it up after long absences due to the distraction of other books. I thought I would only glance through it, and then would find myself sucked in to read yet more. Highly recommended even if you don't have any problems with the Harry Potter books.

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