Millions of children, even Christian children, are reading the mega-selling Harry Potter book series and are exposed to the Harry Potter movies. John Granger, a devout Christian, teacher of classic literature, and father of seven children, first read the Harry Potter books so he could explain to his children why they weren't allowed to read them. After intense study, however, he became convinced that the books are underestimated as literature--and reflect important Christian truths. In Looking for God in Harry Potter, Granger gives parents and teachers a roadmap for using the Harry Potter books to teach Christian truth to children.
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This production is an effective synergy of writer and reader. While a few of his interpretations are contrived, for the most part, John Granger approaches the Harry Potter novels with focused intelligence, scholarship, and wit. This wit, along with Granger's personal asides and the illustrative quotations from the novels, is what narrator Nick Sandys builds on to make his delivery a delight. Sandys enters fully into Granger's perspective, sounding first dubious about Harry Potter's moral importance, then gleefully surprised. Sandys knows how to evoke individual characters well through shifts in tone, and when to linger, as both Granger and J.K. Rowling do, for emphasis. G.T.B. © AudioFile 2006, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, MaineFrom Publishers Weekly:
Granger (no relation to fellow brainiac Hermione), a homeschooling Christian father of seven, initially resisted when a friend encouraged him to read the Harry Potter books. But Rowling's novels, sprinkled with literary allusions and strong biblical values, won the classicist over quickly, and he became an avid spokesperson for the series. This book transcends the responses of some other Christian writers (those in support, like Connie Neal, or in sloppy accusations, like Richard Abanes) to offer a serious literary and Christian appraisal of the first five books. Granger begins with the thesis that all humans are "wired" to respond to "stories that reflect the greatest story ever told," including that of Harry's struggle against evil. The best part of the book is Granger's lucid commentary on Rowling's use of language—the insights into character names alone are worth the price of admission—and his keen awareness of word play. Although some arguments are a stretch, and there are a few tiny mistakes (in a footnote, for example, Granger claims that the hero of James and the Giant Peach was named James Potter, like Harry's dad, when it was James Henry Trotter), this is obviously a painstakingly researched book. It is easily the best examination to date of the spiritual legacy of "the boy who lived."
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