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Harry Potter

Books, movies, quotations, overview

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The latest books:

bulletBook 5: "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." Read thousands of book reviews and/or order it from Amazon.com Readers give the book a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
 
bulletBook 6: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." Read over 3,000 book reviews and/or order it from Amazon.com Readers give the book a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
 
bulletBooks 1 to 6 in a boxed paperback set are available from Amazon.com for $35.87 -- less than six dollars a book
 
bulletBook 7: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows." This book -- the last in the series -- was released on 2007-JUL-21. It can be safely ordered at Amazon.com Readers give the book a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
 
bulletBooks 1 to 7 in a boxed paperback set are available from Amazon.com for $52.16 -- less than eight dollars a book
 

The latest movies:

Amazon Screening Room's "DVD Editors" said:

"In late 2006 and early 2007, the Harry Potter DVDs will be going on moratorium. This means that Warner, like Disney often does, won't be producing any more new copies of these movies. You'll still be able to buy them from Amazon as long as we have copies in stock, so be sure to get yours before they're gone."

bulletMovie 1: "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" (2001) Read thousands of movie reviews and/or rent or order it new or used from various sellers
 
bulletMovie 2: "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets" (2002) Read movie reviews and/or rent or order it new or used from other sellers
 
bulletMovie 3: "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" (2004) Read hundreds of movie reviews and/or order it from other sellers
 
bulletMovie 4: "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." (2005) Read hundreds of movie reviews and/or order it or rent it from various sellers
 
bulletMovie 5: "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (2007) Read hundreds of movie reviews and/or order it or rent it from various sellers
 
bulletMovie 6: "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince." The movie was released to theatres on 2009-JUL-15. It is not yet available on DVD However, you can sign up to receive an alert when it can be purchased.
 
bulletMovie 7: "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" Filming has begun. This will be released in two parts: the first on 2010-NOV-19, and the second on 2011-JUL-15.

Quotations:

bullet"...tampering with the occult is potentially far more dangerous for children, often leading to spiritual confusion, psychological problems and, in all too many cases, suicide...The Potter books, under a cloak of innocence, are infecting the minds of millions....I believe the Potter books represent something dark and sinister under the guise of entertainment for children." Daniel Zanoza 1
 
bullet"The world of imagination and fantasy can help pass on to the child cultural and social messages [and] function as a way to experience vicariously things an individual could not do first-hand." C. Aminadav, International Journal of Adolescent Medicine & Health. 1995 APR-JUN, 8: Pages 103-106.
 
bullet"The Bible is clear about issues such as witchcraft, demons, devils and the occult...they are real, powerful and dangerous. Throughout it insists that God's people should have nothing to do with them." Carol Rookwood, Principal, St. Mary's Island School in Kent, UK
 
bulletComments from kids about the fourth volume:
bullet"I like the books because they're magical, with things that don't happen in real life. Most books aren't like that." Lauren Crane, East Islip, LI. (Aged 12)
bullet"Intensely awesome." Nick Pesce, Golden's Bridge, NY. (10) 
bullet"It was really mysterious at the end of the first chapter. It made me want to read more." Lily Applebaum, Golden's Bridge, NY. (9)
bullet"I'm glad it's so long. There's more to read." Michael Zhang, Greenwich Village, New York, NY. (10) 2

Overview:

Harry Potter is a fictional young wizard. He is the hero of a series of books written by a previously little-known British author, Joanne (Jo) K. Rowling. The full set of seven books cover Harry's life from aged 11 to 17; the last book was published in 2007. As of 2009-JUL-15, six movies have been released. The seventh and final movie will be made in two parts.

These books have been enormously popular. They are something of a publishing sensation.

bullet

As of 1999-SEP: "...the first two Harry Potter books have sold almost 2 million copies in Britain and more than 5 million in the U.S. The novels have been translated into 28 languages, including Icelandic and Serbo-Croatian." 3

bullet

By mid-2000, over 35 million books had been sold worldwide. 4 The print runs in the U.S, Britain and Canada for the fourth book in the series total 5.6 million copies. Amazon.com and FedEx organized a massive program to deliver volume 4 on the day of issue: 2000-JUL-8. Chapters.ca in Canada scheduled a most unusual Saturday delivery with Canada Post. Many bookstores will open at one minute past midnight on Saturday morning for clients who just can't wait to get their personal copy. 

bullet

On 2000-JUL-3, Amazon.com listed the first four books among their five most popular books, from among the over 1 million titles that they sell. They were at the top of the New York Times best seller list for 38 weeks, as of 1999-SEP. Harry even made the cover of Time, Newsweek and Maclean's. 5 "First, the Scottish Arts Council gave her a grant to finish the book. After its sale to Bloomsbury (UK) and Scholastic Books, the accolades began to pile up. Harry Potter won The British Book Awards' Children's Book of the Year, and the Smarties Prize, and rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic. Book rights have been sold to England, France, Germany, Italy, Holland, Greece, Finland, Denmark, Spain and Sweden." 6 Rowling has won the 1997 National Book Award (in the UK), the 1998 New York Public Library Best Book of the Year, and Parenting Book of the Year for 1998. Droves of young children, who had previously been poor readers, have excitedly read the Potter books and asked for more. 

A description of the four books and sample chapters can be read at the American publisher's web site. 7

However, because of some of the themes in the book (spells, Witches, Witchcraft, sorcery, divination, etc.), some conservative Christians have raised objections to these books. According to the Boston Globe:

"The American Library Association placed the 'Harry Potter' books at the top of its list of the most-often challenged books last year, saying that critics had sought to ban the books for occult, Satanism, and anti-family themes." 8

These attempts at censorship do not seem to have been particularly successful in North America. In fact, they may have added to the books' popularity.

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References:

  1. Daniel Zanoza, "The danger of Harry Potter," Chicago Tribune, 2000-JUL-13, at: http://chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/voiceofthepeople/
  2. Matthew Creamer & Thomas Hackett, "Kids, booksellers wild about Harry," Daily News, 2000-JUL-9.
  3. Paul Gray: "Wild about Harry: The exploits of a young wizard have enchanted kids and adults alike and brought a new kind of magic to children's literature," Time Magazine, 1999-SEP-20. See: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/articles/
  4. Audrey Woods, "At the heart of Harry," Associated Press, reprinted in Toronto Star, 2000-JUL-7, Page E14.
  5. "Harry Potter banned from school," 2001-JAN-26, Religion Today, at: http://news.crosswalk.com/religion/item/
  6. Paul Gray: "A primer on Harry's world," Time Magazine, 1999-DEP-20, at: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/articles/
  7. "Harry Potter," at: http://www.scholastic.com/harrypotter/books/ 
  8. Pamela Newby, "Harry Potter Controversy," CBN News, at: http://www.cbn.org/newsstand/stories/991020b.asp

Site navigation: Home page > "Hot" religious topics > Harry Potter > here

Copyright © 2000 to 2009 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2000-JUL-3
Latest update: 2009-JUL-15
Author: B.A. Robinson

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