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OSPREY, Fla., Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Unlike other children's fads, Harry Potter can be used to help educate young people, according to historian Elizabeth D. Schafer, an expert on children's literature.
"Parents and teachers can use Harry Potter to teach kids about history, science, geography and many other subjects suggested by the Potter books," says Schafer, author of "Beacham's Sourcebooks for Teaching Young Adult Fiction: Exploring Harry Potter" (Beacham, $24.95, available Sept. 15).
"It's amazing how many ways parents and teachers can open doors for young minds simply by working with Harry Potter," says Schafer, a Ph.D. in the History of Science and Technology.
Among the fun and educational activities Dr. Schafer recommends:
* Learn about the criminal justice system: Stage a mock trial and put Harry's archenemy Voldemort on the stand.
* Visit an arboretum to see willows, oaks, and other trees that figure prominently in Harry's world.
* Create a Hogwarts yearbook or prepare an oral history of Hogwarts from the perspective of characters fifty years from now.
"The Potter books contain references to mythology, literature, history, and so much more. Exploring these references is a great way to help kids discover more about Harry's world -- and their own," Schafer asserts.
"Elizabeth Schafer's book will help enrich the Harry Potter experience, and that is a very good thing," says Stephen King, best selling author of "The Green Mile" and a confirmed Harry Potter fan.
"Exploring Harry Potter" helps readers understand and appreciate Harry Potter's themes, characters, settings, science, language, and history. Chapters cover the history of magic and alchemy, parallels between the Potter novels and mythology, the origins of Rowling's clever character names, and more. The book also includes a timeline relating Potter characters and situations to real people and historical events.
Although not approved by J.K. Rowling, "Exploring Harry Potter" is the first comprehensive study of Harry Potter and his world. "Beacham's Sourcebooks for Teaching Young Adult Fiction: Exploring Harry Potter" by Elizabeth D. Schafer is available Sept. 15.