Best ‘Half-Blood Prince Week’ Urls!

Please share your favorites as well as your thoughts on the film if you’ve seen it! Here are a few links sent to me by friends around the country: [Read more…]

What Would Dumbledore Do? Nothing Showy.

Here is a little something I wrote today for the Harry Potter Alliance website, which activist group became the subject of a Harry Hater’s editorial the day after I became a member (H/T Perelandra). Go figure. Thanks in advance for letting me know what you think! [Read more…]

What My Children Taught Me About Harry Potter

Something I wrote for the Barnes and Noble ‘Letter Blocks’ web page for the week they have featured Harry Potter’s Bookshelf; enjoy!

The Reading Magic of Harry Potter

From the Washington Post this June, the story of a High School graduate with learning disabilities whose life as a student was going nowhere until he met your favorite boy wizard:

A major breakthrough came in middle school. Thaller’s mother would read him chapters from the Harry Potter series at night. He was so impatient for her to get to the next chapter that he started reading ahead, pushing himself to understand the vocabulary and follow the story.

After years of unsuccessful attempts, he could read. “From that point on, he blossomed,” said his mother, Kate Thaller.

Now he loves to read. A plush chair in his room is his favorite spot to thumb through science-fiction novels and history books. “I could sit here for hours every day,” Josh Thaller said.

He continued to struggle mightily with math and science but he graduated “on time” and has been accepted at Lynchburg College, where he will major in history, his passion.

What’s your favorite Potter Reading Renaissance and Rebirth story? Please share it here, especially if you are the subject of the story or know the reader turned on to a life of reading by Harry Potter. The theme of Harry Potter’s Bookshelf is that these books are the Gateway to a Life of Edifying Reading; the real world makes the case as forcefully as does my survey of the Great Books Behind the Hogwarts Adventures.

Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: Why Buy It?

With the publication of the paperback Deathly Hallows, the release of the WB Half-Blood Prince film, and the summer’s biggest Harry Potter convention all in the next few days and weeks, we are beginning to see the Harry Haters crawling out of their dark hiding places appearing in the news. My favorite was this piece about the Harry Potter Alliance website, ‘What Would Dumbledore Do?’ (H/T to Perelandra). I was shocked to learn there was a Same Sex Agenda hidden inside the Hogwarts Adventures. I have to dread the inevitable exegesis of Daniel Radcliffe’s sophomoric “coming out” as an atheist. You know how important the faith position of a 20-something actor is for understanding the meaning of the drama in which he plays a thespian’s part…

But there is something positive, edifying, even intellectually challenging and stimulating you can read while you wait for the stock players to come out this month to sing the songs they always sing at public Potter events. You can pick up a copy of my Harry Potter’s Bookshelf: The Great Books Behind the Hogwarts Adventures (Penguin/Berkley, 2009) beginning tonight at midnight if you’re lucky enough to be living near a bookstore having a Midnight Madness party (I think there is a 24/7 B&N superstore in the Florida Keys doing something like that). Why is Bookshelf worth your hard earned cash to purchase and your valuable time to read? Here are three reasons: [Read more…]