Thursday, July 26, 2007

AL Direct: Harry Potter link

American Libraries Direct is an email newsletter from American Libraries, the official magazine of the American Library Association. Yesterday's issue, arriving in my mailbox after I left for the day, includes a link to a Booklist article by Ilene Cooper (who also penned Booklists Deathly Hallows review). Posted online and in the June 1st issue of Booklist, Cooper discusses Harry Potter, the cultural phenomenon; Writer's and Readers: The Trouble with Harry. The article concludes with:

"Time will tell whether knowing if Harry dies will significantly taint the experience of reading the series, but one thing is certain: with all the attention and accolades Harry Potter has garnered, his biggest claim to fame is the way he has charmed children back into reading. The deliciously detailed books possess that rare ability to transport readers to another place, one where they are happy to linger, and that pleasure will remain, even for those who know how it all comes out. So while we can expect the books to lose a bit of their luster for a while, I suspect that ultimately they will make a comeback, especially after Harry’s original fans grow up and want to share him with children of their own."

"But, finally, there is one irrefutable point. In literature, as in love, there can only be one first time. Aren’t you glad you were there for it?" (Cooper, Booklist, 7/25/07)

My introduction to Harry came during my library science coursework in the fall of 1999. Fulfilling a book-talk assignment for a children's literature course, one of my classmates book-talked Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. In closing, she mentioned a student had recommended the book and that they were excited about the story presented.

While I missed the Beatles introduction to America, I did indeed have the chance to participate in this particular cultural phenomenon. I have enjoyed it immensely.

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