Thursday, August 02, 2007

Harry Potter: Sales & Censors

Publisher's Weekly is reporting sales figures for Harry Potter:

"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold 1.7 million copies in its first full week on sale through outlets that report to Nielsen BookScan. The additional sales, for the week ending July 29, brought total sales through BookScan retailers to 6.9 million." (Publishers Weekly, 8/2/07)

And with what could be termed both an unfortunate and natural progression of the books popularity, ALA's I Love Libraries site has a well timed article on censorship and Harry Potter. In Harry Potter and the Censor's Flames, Judith Krug, director of ALA's Office for Intellectual Freedom, discusses the downside of Harry Potter sales and the continuous challenges school and public libraries face. She also makes an interesting point about this process:

"I believe, in fact, that what some parents and adults find most threatening about the Potter series is what engages young minds and fires the imagination of young people- Rowling's willingness to deal with the truth that adults in children's lives can sometimes be unthinking, authoritarian, and even evil. The best books always have raised questions about the status quo - and are the most threatening to censors who want to control what young persons read and think about. Like the tyrannical Defense Against Dark Arts Professor Dolores Umbridge, who insisted on providing a "risk-free" education to the young wizards at Hogwarts, they would limit education and information to facts so incontestable that they arouse no controversy at any level, thereby leaving young people unequipped to think about and address larger questions about the nature of our society." (Krug, ALA, OIF, 8/2/07)

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