Monday, September 26, 2011

Harry Potter...yes or no?

Question: What are your thoughts on the Harry Potter books?

I am just finishing up the first book in the series to see if I think it's appropriate for my almost 13 year old daughter, and frankly, I was surprised at how much I liked it. I didn't think the magic was any worse than any other fantasy book out there...but honestly I don't know if I trust my own judgment on this, because I tend to not be super-strict about this sort of thing. I keep thinking of how I watched Bewitched as a child (even though I was very sheltered from many other things such as secular music, ect) and I turned out just fine...

So, I'm just coming to you guys for your opinions and/or advice. Have you read the books? Have you let your kids read the books, and if so, at what ages? Why or why not?


  1. Missy,
    Nate and I haven't read the books, but we saw the first movie. It seemed very dark to me. I've heard that each book gets worse and worse (or "more and more mature"). I guess I can't give much of an opinion, but I just figure there's so much good stuff out there to read that it's better to stay away from the stuff that's very questionable and/or controversial. (And in light of the verse that I told you we judge our television programs by: Whatsoever is true, noble, etc., etc., think on these things. We ought to fill our minds with the "good".)
    Just my two cents.

  2. Missy,
    I read all seven books before letting my daughter read them. I enjoyed them. There is an overall theme to the books that doesn't become clear until the last book, and it is about love.

    Having said that, I refrained from reading it for a long time because I was also concerned about the "darkness." The bad in the books is unquestionably very bad. People die or get seriously hurt. As they do in the Bible! (I just finished the OT in my second attempt to read through the Bible chronologically! Yea! Now on to the Good News!!)

    But they did in Lord of the Rings, too. I decided to let my daughter read them and then had discussions with her about it, focusing on the choices the characters made at different times.

    My daughter read them when she was 11 and 12. The later books are more mature in that the characters develop crushes on each other. There is kissing, but nothing else.

    My advice is for you to read the entire series or just book by book (if you like it and feel comfortable doing so in your spirit), and then pray and let God show you if it is okay for your daughter.


  3. I held off until my kids were teens but they've now seen all of the movies and I'm pretty sure my son has read all of the books (my daughter read most I think). They really like them. I personally don't have a problem with them. :)

  4. Has she already read The Chronicles of Narnia, the Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy?

  5. Thanks for your thoughts everyone! I love that I've gotten comments on BOTH sides of this. :)

    Shauna, She has read Chronicles of Narnia, but not the Lord of the Rings books, ironically because I was always taught that those weren't appropriate for Christians either!

    I'm so frustrated by the lack of appropriate reading material. The older she gets the harder it is. SO many of the books in the teen section are absolutely FULL of sexual content, or 'gossipy' type things, and frankly I'd prefer the magical stuff to those things. Gabby just isn't a huge fan of classic literature (although I have SO tried to make her one!) so I'm really struggling to find books she'd enjoy enough to read without me forcing her to do so.

    Still thinking on this one!

  6. Hmm, that's a tough one, Miss.
    I read classics to the kiddo, or else just the first few chapters to get her started. Otherwise she would never pick them up. We also tend to read a lot of nature books: My Side of the Mountain, Bambi, etc. But then, she's a Nature-girl, so that's easy.

    Funny, I've never heard of a Christian who disapproved of the LOTR series. Definitely for a more mature audience than Narnia. They both contain good and bad magic, but the authors' Christian viewpoint comes through.

    I think the reason we're so drawn to fantasy/magic is that we were made for more than just this life, and our spirits identify with and long for the supernatural. The thing is to steer that longing in the right direction, ya know?