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!


  1. revgeorge says

    That’s a very lovely story, John!

    Of course, I do have an imagine of you sitting in a 12 step group saying, “Hi, my name is John, & I’m a Harry Potter pundit.” 😉

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this, John. As a mom, these are the kind of Harry Potter stories I confess I love most of all!

  3. Elizabeth says

    My son Nathaniel and I have just started reading Sorcerer’s Stone. He is 8, and I have been dying to take him to Hogwarts since he was an infant. I was terrified that I would fall asleep and drop him while feeding him in the middle of the night, so I tried reading very engaging books; that’s how I found Harry! (Though of course, Nathaniel was in elementary school by the time Deathly Hallows came out!) The other night, he made a comment that reminded me very much of John’s Zossima noting the floating eyeballs in CS. He apparently liked Dudley’s interest in the “man-crushing pythons” at the zoo(it is a fun turn of phrase), but then he put it together with the spiders in the cupboard, basically saying something along the lines of all the nasty things Harry had to encounter even in the Dursleys’ boring world: spiders and man-crushing pythons. When I heard them together like that, I suddenly saw the connections: Nagini and the acromantulas playing central roles in the battle of Hogwarts, all our acromantula and snake/basilisk action throughout CS, Nagini trying to kill Harry at Bathilda’s house, etc. etc.— and there they are, right at the beginning, referenced in tame little Whinging! Nathaniel was very excited that he had said something so brilliant. He also has super self-control: though he’ll go back and read through the chapters we’ve already read, he’s done very well with not reading ahead! Now he’s trying to see what other great insights he can discover!

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