WRock: Roy Orbison A Capella on a Firebolt

Some of you may have seen the young man in the creative YouTube feature lip-synching the Moosebutter four part a capella tribute to John Williams and Star Wars. You should know the same singing group did a Harry Potter song before the release of Deathly Hallows with remarkable verbal percussion — and that it is really delightful (if you’re an Orbison fan, at least). Enjoy!

Stuart Little, Harry Potter, and Allegorical Satire

I missed The Lion and the Mouse: The battle that reshaped children’s literature (Jill Lepore July 21, 2008) when it ran this summer in The New Yorker but I recommend it to you for two reasons: [Read more…]

Name the Famous English Woman Writer!

• She is a best-selling author of children’s stories who has sold over 400 million books, some say as many as 600 million books.

• Children when polled as recently as 2008 chose her as their favorite author (Costas Book Awards).

• Though famous for writing boarding school stories, she was never a boarding or public school student herself. But she was chosen as “Head Girl” of the school she did attend.

• After school, she was a teacher, had a failed marriage, but remarried with custody of the first marriage’s offspring.

• Her best books are about the adventures a group of children have, stories that involve a mystery, boarding school life, or a magical event or ability. All of them have a firm moral or Christian message.

• She had a problematic relationship with her father; her mother was no longer part of her life after she left home.

• She developed a unique way of communicating with her readers without newspaper or media intermediaries.

• Despite the Christian element in stories, implicit or explicit, she was not religious in a devotional way, but remained a member of the Church of England.

• Her books set records for number of translations (more than 90 foreign languages) and are famous and beloved by children and adults around the world, especially India, Japan, and Germany.

• The girl hero in her best-selling adventures is a swotty tom-boy the author admitted was modeled after herself.

Two ‘Deathly Hallows Lectures’ Reviews

One in the US, another in the UK. I hope, if you are a Deathly Hallows Lectures reader, that you, too, will write and post your thoughts at the book’s Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com pages. [Read more…]

Guest Post: Anamnesis elements in Harry Potter

A guest post sent to me by Dr. Patrick Fodor of John Woods Community College in Quincy, Illinois, whom I met at my talk there last month. It’s not for the faint of heart or for anyone not familiar with sacramental Christianity but it rewards attentive reading. Thank you, Dr. Fodor! [Read more…]