Is the Harry Potter phenomena reviving children's love for books or creating a new generation of occult followers?

Essay by Alex499High School, 10th gradeA, February 2007

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Do books that involve witchcraft or other forms of "evil" harm children? Or, does making the most of literature that interests and encourages them to read help the youth of today? With the Harry Potter craze sweeping the world, concerned parents, teachers and religious leaders ask the previous questions and stir up great debate. Thoughts, ideas and criticisms have been generated on whether it is acceptable for a wizard to be the hero of a children's book.

The advent of Harry Potter onto the literary scene in 1998, heralded a phenomenal success. There have been over 300 million copies sold worldwide and it has been printed in 62 languages. In the first 24 hours of publication, the latest Harry Potter book (Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince), sold 6.9 million copies in the USA and over 10 million throughout the rest of the world. The books have also been made into hugely popular, blockbuster movies.

And with this extraordinary success came the critics. Books have literally been ripped off the shelves of libraries and schools and there have been many book burnings across the U.S.A, so violent and passionate has been the objection to the content. There have been various books published that attempt to prove Harry Potter is of the occult and that J.K. Rowling is brainwashing the children of today.

The main complaint against Harry Potter is that children will try and imitate the characters portrayed. In the same way that the Peter Pan stories lead children to jump out windows, in the naïve belief they could fly, children are now imitating Harry potter. The aspects of Harry Potter that are being portrayed are not dangerous or life threatening. A child picking up a stick and chanting "lumos" will not cause the tip of the...