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  1. sereda008
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    sereda008 Senior Member

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    How many of you think harry potter is childish?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by sereda008, Aug 26, 2010.

    Not that I haven't read it, but it seems for me that many people believe the series to be for children only. This I find annoying as the closer it got to the end the more horror-like it became and some material was absolutely not suitable for children.
     
  2. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    Having grown up reading Agatha Christie, classic childrens books and watching Dr Who not sure why the darker stuff is unsuitable for children. Anything too dark will go over their heads until they are ready for it. I have read the series to my kids 6 and 3.

    It is a great fairytale, I enjoyed the books immensley. I enjoyed the WW2 type themes. I think like any good fairy tale, pantomime type story its suitable for every level and you get the level you are ready to understand.
     
  3. sereda008
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    sereda008 Senior Member

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    ok then, It just seemed to me that a snake making its way through a womans neck was a bit unsuitable.
     
  4. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    no scarier than women chopping bits off their feet so they can try on shoes, eating talking pigs, boiling wolves, cutting granny out of the stomach of a wolf, step mum thinking she is eating the internal organs of her stepdaughter:) I was told the original tales before I got Disney. But then I got into trouble at my daughters nursery for teaching her 3 little pigs complete with bone crunching and wolf soup lol
     
  5. sereda008
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    sereda008 Senior Member

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    God you had a nice childhood! I was watching horror movies until 4 am the last 2 months to recap on all I have missed. lol
     
  6. John Horace
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    John Horace Member

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    Meh, it's all right. Not my cup of tea, though.
     
  7. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Harry Potter is no more childish than The Bible, if I'm going to be fair.

    As for me, I've read the first 4 books when I was a teenager and I didn't really like them that much. I was always more interested in other, better books.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The series was meant for children who were growing up at about the same rate as the character. There are certainly themes in the seventh book that are not particularly appropriate for or relatable to a ten year old.

    But although there are childish elements to the series, it is certainly enjoyable to an older crowd. It is accessible to younger readers, but there are interactions, motives, and themes that can be appreciated by adult readers as well.
     
  9. Eunoia
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    Eunoia Contributing Member Contributor

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    I couldn't even get into the books at first, and I had to listen to the first three on audio tapes, and then I read them a few years later when I was older. The themes aren't that childish, although there are childish elements, so I don't really consider it that childish. Also, I don't think it was written in a particular childish style either.
     
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    Annûniel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Seconded. It was a young adult series, but often young adult series can also be written in such a way to appeal to adults as well.
     
  11. sereda008
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    sereda008 Senior Member

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    I find that strange as I prefer actual books. Usually I do not get some things that are on the tape and they do not give any time to catch up. A book is a lot more controlled.

    As for the replies on this post, thank you for your feedback but the only thing that I still don't understand is why when Was reading a book in school someone smirked and said 'He's probably reading harry potter or something.'
    Please, forget about my age if you checked it.
     
  12. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm 34 and I still read Harry Potter, but then I also still read the Chalet School, Tom Brown's School Days, Just William, Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew lol For me if its a good story its worth reading.

    Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter. ~Mark Twain
     
  13. Manic Writer
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    Manic Writer Member

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    I'm 63 and I thoroughly enjoy the Harry Potter series, especially the earlier books in the series.

    The writing is a bit childish, especially in the earlier books but it is an easy read.

    I would be happy if I could write just half as well as JKR!
     
  14. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    There are a lot of good books out there classified as YA, or for teens, children, etc. Philip Pullman is good. I liked C.S. Lewis. Susan Cooper, Robin McKinley, Ursula K. LeGuin, and others. I wouldn't worry too much about whether they're called "children's books" or not.
     
  15. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    In general, if a reader enjoys a book, he/she shouldn't be concerned about what age group the book is targeted toward. A lot of adults like YA fiction and a lot of young adults like adult fiction.
     
  16. kaylynwrong
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    kaylynwrong Member

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    The Harry Potter series happens to be one of my favorites. I don't think it's childish as all. Like another poster said, there are childish elements (it's about teenagers-duh! :p), but the content is very mature. Even as early as the first novel, Harry fights for his life, Hermione experiences the racism on the magical side of the border, and Ron deals with problems based on his family's socioeconomic status. Not one of these is a childish issue.

    I feel like people brush off the series as being for the kids only, but when I really stop and think about it, there is some HEAVY content matter, especially when one gets into the class systems and blood status in the magical society-purebloods, halfbloods, mudbloods, squibs, half-troll, veela, etc. It's really quite disturbing, but since it's all "silly" words, people don't take it too seriously.

    Honestly, I could spend the entire day talking about why I think the Harry Potter series is fascinating. But I could also spend the entire day talking about reasons the magical world is totally messed up.

    :)
     
  17. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    Before the series was finished, I read a transcript of an interview with JK Rowling where she addressed the whole Harry Potter being classified as children's literature. I'm paraphrasing, of course, because this was years and years ago, so I have no idea where to look to re-find the transcript, but she basically said that first of all, she hadn't written Harry Potter with any age bracket in mind, she'd just written it for herself, and second of all, that she thought it was a little odd that everyone classified it as children's literature when the entire store started with a double murder.

    So...JK Rowling doesn't think it's children's lit.

    I don't either. But I don't really dig classifying anything as a certain age bracket of literature...
     
  18. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say this discussion in general is childish. It seems there is always someone who has to hate everythingmerely on the principle that it is well-known.

    *sigh*

    That's sad, and you are living an unfulfilled life. That is not to say that if you disagree with my opinion, you are factually wrong... opinions should be respected and cherished, but from my experiences most Harry Potter haters either havent read / viewed the series or have read the series looking for flaws.

    Harry Potter was intended by JK Rowling to be a YA series, because it deals with the trials and triumphs concerned with growing up, but Rowling has skillfully integrated the 'fun' teenage ordeals with adventure and other universal subjects like death, racism, socio-economic status, good and evil of all extremes, and the profound power of love.

    I call those universal subjects because all humans will experience these topics firsthand, your age has no influence on your experience with or understanding of them.

    Anyone who calls Harry Potter childish has probably read (or who knows, perhaps not read at all) the series with a narrowminded, irrational, critical eye, or has convinced themselves that it must be childish because so many YA literary phenomenons have a reputation for being vapid.

    I dont think that many YA novels are childish. A credible author who writes fiction for young adults respects teenagers and wont be condescending to them. They respect the fact that teenagers can read critically and can understand concepts more challenging than boy likes girl likes boy.
     
  19. Islander
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    Islander Contributing Member Contributor

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    I'm 38 years old, have read all the Harry Potter books, and didn't find them childish at all. I think they would be enjoyed by any adult who likes speculative fiction.

    Given the hype around them, I was surprised by how well-written they were. I think there are some weak points (many of the plot twists and explanations seem contrived), but also so much that's good about them: The large number of well-developed characters, the vivid description of English boarding schools,the sense of adventure and wonder, the way Rowling deals with mature issues like death and the British social class system...

    There are some people who look down on speculative fiction, and consider it childish. Perhaps it's those people who consider Harry Potter "for children only".
     
  20. sereda008
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    sereda008 Senior Member

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    Why do you think I disagree with you? I never thought a bad thing about Harry Potter myself, just wanted to know what other people think. Thanks for the reply.
     
  21. Zane
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    Zane Contributing Member

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    I grown up watching to Harry Potter. I was a really big fan.

    Nowadays, when I look back to the first movies that I used to love, I still like them but, it´s different. It just doesn´t feel the same.

    I also prefer the books.
     
  22. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    You're welcome, and I wasnt speaking to you directly. I was speaking to a more general 'you.' It just bothers me that so many people (no one here in particular, just... you know... people) have this strong desire to tear down and criticize that which is popular. It's one thing if you dislike it... it's why people dislike it. It's like Twilight. Is it a good book? Mmm, it wont win any truly distinguished literary awards, but people love to make fun of it... primarily people who have not read it.

    Blah. I guess if I didnt have anything nice to say, i shouldnt have said anything at all.

    *disappear*
     
  23. Peerie Pict
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    Peerie Pict Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Mercurial in a way but I can see why the question was originally posed.

    What gets to me is why people think a coming of age novel/series won't appeal to adults. Every single person who has had the fortune to grow up and reach maturity will have experienced many trials and tribulations in their teenager-to-adult journey. So, for adults, surely it has more to do with nostalgia more than anything. At least, for me, it was sentimental because it reminded me so much of my school days, especially with the school's obsession with sport and houses. Hermione reminds me so much of my bossy big sister.

    Another thing people don't seem to recognise is how much humour is evident in the book (unless I'm just very easily amused). Children love humour but it is, of course, universal. I thought the quintessentially British names (Dudley) and turns of phrase were lovely and I was glad Rowling celebrated our values/customs.

    It's an insult to children to imply that what appeals to them is inferior. Kids are extremely emotionally engaged and have high expectations.

    I dunno. I'm just a big kid I suppose.
     
  24. Elgaisma
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    Elgaisma Contributing Member Contributor

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    I agree with Peerie, I find the language and the discussions are really intellegently drawn. Even the English title of the Philsopher's Stone which aludes to alchemy. It is amazing how many people don't notice the English, Russian, French connection in Goblet of Fire.

    Also being ten years older than myself and coming from the UK I can reasonably assume she was exposed to things like pantomime, Carry On Films, Dr Who as a family show etc Within those shows cultural phenomena (sp??) the idea is there is something for every level. I am pretty sure I laugh at different things in a panto to my kids:)

    For me it is very much a modern fairytale type story designed to entertain and teach us all on things that concern our society.
     
  25. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    They should have kept the English title for the American version of book 1.
     
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