Call it fiction addiction I am hooked on Harry Potter. I have all seven books. I’ve listened to all of them through the voices of actor Erik Sandvold on Talking Books for the Visually Impaired. I have five of the movies, so far, on videotape or DVD.
Of the thousands of books I’ve read, I’ve bumped the series to the top of my favorite books list.
I get a fix on July 15 with the movie release of the penultimate Potter - “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” - then will await the telling of “Deathly Hallows” in two final films.
Those who would scoff at the commercialism of the Potter phenomenon apparently haven’t read the books. The genius of J. K. Rowling is that she took a children’s story and allowed it to grow up with its readers. When the story takes its dark turn at the end of book four, it introduces young teenagers to trials which parallel their own and teaches them that forces of good can prevail.
I am today finishing a book chosen because Entertainment Weekly named it the No. 1 nonfiction work of 2008. The book is “Beautiful Boy” by David Sheff. Had its subtitle been listed I probably would have avoided it altogether: “A Father’s Journey through His Son’s Addiction.”
Experiencing this book has been a painful retrospective into the death of my own son Michael from suicide at age 17. Twenty-seven years of the bitter and the sweet have taught lessons.
One is certain. Better that children be hooked on a world of magic and imagination and comforting resolution than on anything drugs have to offer them.
Thank you, Ms. Rowling, for taking them through their teen years.