"Oh Mark, I am sorry to tell you that I haven't stopped thinking about the end of the book."
But since you slow-pokes out there haven't finished it I'm not allowed to talk about the end of the book.
So instead I've been focusing on an extraneous matter - the debate among my peers over whether the books are appropriate for Christian children.
Before reading the books I witnessed a very vocal and passionate debate at the jewelry store I worked at. Two of the mothers in the store were fans but one father (a fellow creeker) said the books were inappropriate for children because they glorified witchcraft. I stayed out of the argument but my curiosity was piqued. Finally, after seeing the first movie, and hearing a christian teacher talk about her interpretation of the book, I decided to check it out for myself.
What I found was a book far more steeped in tradition and morals than any of the books I had been reading when I was Harry Potter's age. I fell in love with the rich and complex universe Rowling had created, as well as her halting, brave little heroes.
I also decided that when I had kids they weren't going to read Harry Potter too early. I knew a mail man who was reading the books to his 6 year old daughter and I winced to think of this little girl hearing about the more gruesome acts of Lord Voldemort. The content of each book matures with Harry, so while the first book might be okay for a 7 year old, I wouldn't give the sixth book to anybody under 11 or 12.
As more and more Christian adults are checking out the Potter books for themselves the tide of objections seem to be shrinking, according to this article from the South Bend Tribune.
Harry dropped off the top-10 list of the ALA's most protested books last year.What's caused this shift in perception?
He...credits the Harry Potter films for the apparent change of heart. "I think the movies illustrated how much Christian theology has in common with the message of Harry Potter. Without the movies, we would still have a huge uproar."
And an increasing number of Christian writers are going further. Connie Neal, John Granger, Gina Burkart and John Killinger -- a former youth pastor, classics teacher, creative writing professor and Congregationalist minister, respectively -- are making a case to their faith community that Harry Potter is a parable.
Their theory? That instead of leading children down the path of the occult, J.K. Rowling is using magic in the way that Christian authors C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien did, as a way of enchanting children into hearing the story of the Gospel.