The Boy Who Lived: A True Story of Harry’s Magic

Healing Words for a Premature Child‘ is a story that ran this morning on the front page of The Roanoke Times in Virginia. Long story short, an English teacher has a baby boy ten weeks premature (all of 3 lbs., 1 ounce). She decides to read to him, a barbie doll strapped in an incubator and to multiple tubes, and chooses a 4100 page series of books she’s always wanted to read but hadn’t had the time. If the results don’t move you, I suggest you seek counseling.

A more objective reader than myself, say that rara avis who has not read about or heard of the boy wizard, might say (a) it wasn’t Harry but the mother’s presence and love that helped the little guy and (b) other books would have done just as well. I will yield on the substantial part of (a) — mommy and her sacrificial love are the magic here — but (b) leaves me scratching my head. I cannot think of another book or series of books that would have engaged mommy and fostered her already overwhelming care for baby as the Harry Potter novels obviously did.

Narnia? The Lord of the Rings? Little Britches? Little House? C’mon. Ms. Rowling, writing as a mother about children, love, and death, has written a classic for all of us that I think must have special resonance for the hearts of readers in neo-natal emergency rooms.

Your comments and corrections, please.

The Hogwarts Professor Is In: Do You Have a Question for Ms. Rowling?

Thank you, Robert Trexler, for filling in for me here the past few weeks while I have been touring the West Coast, moving my family for the second time in three months, settling into a new routine, unpacking the library, and waiting – and waiting – for the home computer to go on-line. I have a bunch of thank-you notes to write tonight and tomorrow to my friends at Biola, Pepperdine, Church of the Mediator, and points East, West, North, and South before I can put up some Dante notes here and re-open Deathly Hallows for discussion. I am very flattered that folks have been writing regularly in my absence and am grateful to Bob for freshening the page with something new every few days when I couldn’t post. It’s great to be back.

I am putting together a list of 20 Questions this week that, in my dreams at least, I hope someday to ask Ms. Rowling. I cannot afford the time or the ticket to see her at Radio City Music Hall, but, on the off-chance that her house-elves surf Harry Potter fan sites (and that they haven’t given up on this one!), I want to post here the literary questions from serious readers that reporters won’t ask her and fans consumed by ‘shipping and their concerns about Ron’s future employment neglect. Please feel free to join me in putting together this list!

I doubt I would open with this question, but here’s a sample of what I’m looking for:

Question 1: The last three Harry Potter novels feature the deaths of characters named, sequentially, ‘Black’ (Sirius), ‘White’ (Albus Dumbledore), and ‘Red’ (fRed Weasley). The stages of the alchemical work are often distinguished by colors, which, sequentially, are black, white, and red. You commented in 1998 that you’d read a “ridiculous amount” of alchemy before writing this series and that alchemy set the “magical parameters” and “internal logic” of the books. Should we as readers play close attention to the colors you use in the Harry Potter novels with the attendant alchemical meanings of these colors?

Okay. Your turn. More tomorrow from me on other subjects, God willing.

Grateful John, delighted to be back with the HogPro All-Pros

Harry Potter in Durham

Here is a podcast from England. You should be able to click on the link below and then click on the center of the “UTube” box to view the podcast.

Of course, if I knew what I was doing, you wouldn’t have to see all this hodge-podge of words and symbols – but, if it works at all, I’m happy. The podcaster is a priest by the name of Father Roderick. Seems like a fun sort of chap to go sightseeing with.

Church Fights Witchcraft?


This article from Zenit news service would lead you to think the Church is fighting witchcraft in Africa, right? Well, when I read the article it seems to be saying almost the direct opposite. They are fighting a “belief in witchcraft.” The German bishop “noted that belief in witchcraft is heightened by a prevailing fear in society.” How to overcome fear and superstition? He says, “the first battle is convincing family leaders of the need for literacy.”

One thing’s for sure, if they can’t read and they don’t have movie theaters, then Harry Potter can’t be blamed.

To read the whole article . . . .
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More MacDonald

Yesterday I promised some poems from The White Page Poems which was “inspired” by MacDonald’s daily poems The Diary of an Old Soul. Zossima Press also sells the most complete CD version of MacDonald’s unabridged works: Ever Yours, George MacDonald $10 (pictured below – click on the picture to enlarge).


This CD contains 48 out of 49 unabridged books in both MS Word and PDF format.

Now, for some sample poems – – – the first will be the poem by George MacDonald for a particular day of the year, followed by Betty’s poem for the same day:
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