Harry Potter

"Is Harry Potter Too Wicca for Kiddies to Read?"

by Rita Delfiner ("New York Post," September 26, 2000)

Phenomenally popular Harry Potter has cast a spell on the best-seller lists - and now the child wizard has also popped up on a list of books people would most like to see banned from libraries.
Author J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series ranks 48th on the American Library Association's list of 100 most frequently challenged books from 1990-1999.
The list is released as part of Banned Books Week (Sept. 23-30), a celebration of the freedom to read, sponsored by the ALA, publishers and book sellers.
"Banned Books Week is about choice and respecting the rights of others to choose for themselves and their families what they wish to read," said Chris Finan, president of the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression.
"Book banning and challenging has a domino effect. If we stand by quietly and let the first book come off the shelf, we run the risk they all will come tumbling down."
A "challenge" is a written complaint by parents, library users or others who cite various reasons for asking a book be removed from public library or school shelves.
Complaints about Harry Potter "generally focus on the belief that if children read these materials, they are going to become believers in the religion of Wicca, the religion of witchcraft," said Judith Krug, director of the ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom.
"Children understand the difference between a story and reality, and these are stories," she said. "It's a wonderful way for children to use their imaginations."
Number one on the list of most-challenged books of the decade is the "Scary Stories" series by Alvin Schwartz.
"The complaint is they're too scary for children, to which I respond, don't read them to your children," Krug said.
The Material Girl rated 18th on the list with her book "Sex. "
"It was an entire book of nude photos of Madonna ... it was the cause celebre of the year," Krug said. "Those libraries that did buy it, had people flocking to see it," she said.
"Libraries are there for choice she said. "You have the broad spectrum of ideas and information, so people can choose what they want to look at or listen to."
We at CESNUR cover the Harry Potter controversy as a matter of general interest. We reproduce these articles but do not agree with their content. Our personal feeling is that the Harry Potter books perform a valuable educational service and should be welcome by Christians for their teaching of sound moral values.