I usually read classics. You know, books published one hundred or two hundred years ago. Somewhere in the that bracket, anyway. Books by Jane Austen, the Brontë sisters, William Thackeray, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Books that are realist, are political, are commentaries on society. I have a long TBR list and a tall stack of books by Dickens, C.S. Lewis, L.M. Montgomery, Harriet Beecher Stowe.
That’s right. I caved. I read a book that I’ve never really wanted to read.
I’ll be honest. I wasn’t expecting much.
Certainly, I had heard from many readers and non-readers alike how fantastic the Harry Potter books are. But, I’ve also heard a lot of literary minds talk about how poor and simple the writing is. I’ve heard religious and faith-based organizations talk about how J.K. Rowling wrote the novels as part of a plan to pull people away from faith in any type of god.
I don’t know how much stock to put into all of these “things I’ve heard”. Perhaps the religious leaders were just afraid of the power and influence a fad can have. They’ve banned quite a few valid books throughout history for similar reasons. And the literary minds, maybe they were just being a little bit stuck up.
What I can tell you with certainty is:
I enjoyed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
The story is intriguing. The protagonists, are likeable and realistic. They have strengths and they have weaknesses. The antagonists are interesting and have reasons beyond being bad for how they act.
Yes, the language and sentence structure are quite simple. It is after all a book for kids. And if you take into consideration that most adults nowadays are reading at a grade six level, it fits right into that key reading-level demographic.
I love the literary books of the past. I enjoy the rich language and the sometimes-biting social and political commentary. I like being encouraged to think when I read and after I finish reading.
Most of all, I like being entertained when I read.
Harry Potter entertained me. So in my mind, it’s a good book.