Wednesday link: On Harry Potter and children

So, I don’t have my usual Wednesday links post for you today. I’m not sure why that is, exactly; I just didn’t seem to find any advice articles that struck me as “must share now” this week.

That isn’t to say I didn’t find anything worth sharing, though.

Over on Book Riot, there’s an article entitled The Folly of Child-Proofing Harry Potter. The article is a response to a recent New York Times article entitled Child-Proofing ‘Harry Potter’. You should go on and read both articles, but I’ll summarize them here for you, too.

The New York Times article isfrom the point of view of a mother who has been reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to her five-year-old son. She tells her readers about her experience with it, and how she has chosen to “pinkwash” (that’s the word she uses) parts of the story. For example, saying that Voldemort tried to hurt Harry rather than kill him.

The Book Riot article, on the other hand, discusses why such “pinkwashing” may not be the best plan of attack. The writer here says that it would be better wait to read the book to the child (or not read it at all) until the parent is more comfortable with the child learning about the subject matter. Otherwise, the child may read it later and not fully understand everything, but be hesitant to discuss it with the parent. There’s a bit more to the writer’s argument than that, but I’ll let you read it for yourself.

After reading both articles myself, I’d say that I agree more with the Book Riot article. Generally, novels are written they way they are, and include the subject matter they do, for a reason. Essentially censoring that subject matter results in a different story. And it could result in repercussions down the road for the child it’s being read to, as well. I think it’s best to wait until you feel your child can handle the subject matter before reading it to them, or allowing them to read it themselves.

So, after reading both articles, what do you think? Is censoring a novel in this way something that you would do, if you were reading to your child? Or would you rather wait for the child to be ready for it?

2 thoughts on “Wednesday link: On Harry Potter and children

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    1. That’s exactly how I feel. I also think that the writer of the New York Times article realized early enough in the novel (within the first chapter, if I’m remembering correctly) that she didn’t want her son exposed to its themes, so she could have stopped the reading at that point. Yes, her son may have been disappointed, but he likely would have accepted it and moved on soon enough. I think that would have been the better option, to be honest.

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