Saturday, November 3, 2007

Harry Potter VII

My daughter read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows within 48 hours of its release - and then started going nuts because I hadn't read it and she couldn't talk about it without spoiling the story for me. She has been after me ever since to read it, even switching the dust jacket on another, equally fat book she knew I was reading. I was waiting until I could take a full day and read it all in one go, and it took a while to get that day, between kids' activities and trips to Lewistown. But today, I finally got a full day, and my husband agreed to do all the kid-driving so I could stay in my chair and read; my daughter even made dinner for me. I read it in 12 hours start to finish.

One of the things I like best about JK Rowling's writing is that she makes Harry act and think like a kid instead of a short adult. In the first books, his view of the world is pretty simple and her writing reflects this; as he gets older, his view and the writing both get more complex. In the last book, he acts just like a 17 year old, complete with self-absorption and a one-sided view of the world; it is only at the end that he gains real maturity and realizes that other people have reasons of their own for what they do, reasons that may have absolutely no connection to him. Her insights into how kids think makes the books much more interesting as Harry and his friends evolve through adolescence.

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