Actor Daniel Radcliffe plays Harry
Potter in two films about the wizard
Harry Potter mania reaches a peak this weekend as author JK Rowling’s fifth book in the series goes on sale on Saturday in Britain, the United States and other English-speaking countries.
The eagerly awaited arrival of “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” has again put the spotlight on how the writer has been able to produce a series which, translated into 55 languages, has enchanted millions.
“She deals with themes that are very important for children. It’s about growing up, about going to school, about friendship, about good and horrid teachers,” said lecturer in English Studies at Warwick University Hilary Minns.
Minns, who specializes in teaching aspiring primary school teachers, said the Potter books contain “all those themes that are important in children’s lives”.
The action “takes place in the fantasy world but children can relate to it as part of their own reality of day-to-day living,” she said.
“This is about the power of stories to really broaden children’s experience, to give them a foothold and let them explore their own lives with the safety of the book,” said the Warwick professor.
Like its predecessors, the fifth instalment in the Harry Potter series recounts the magical adventures of Harry and his wizard school friends and their struggle against the evil Lord Voldemort.
“They are books of quality and real page turners,” said Minns. “I’ve quite unashamedly got mine on order.”
Harry Potter has enchanted adults
as well as children
Other experts point out that Harry is not only trying to make sense of his magical surroundings but life, which is why children latch on to the wizard.
Fans among adults
Experts said Harry Potter books have cast a spell on adults as well because they assert the power of love.
Rowling makes it clear in her books that Harry’s triumphs are due to love, including the love of his mother, who died to save him and made him invincible.
Experts believe this unconditional love and the security it brings is what children and adults alike yearn.
Rowling is one of the richest people in Britain, due to her tales.
But not everyone has been swept by Harry Potter. Paul Magrs, the author of two children’s books, says Rowling’s books are “well-plotted and repetitive and therefore addictive”.
“Each one takes us through the same school year,” he said.