Saturday, April 22, 2006

Death-Eaters Amok in Georgia

Death Eaters on the March... or book-banners on the rampage?

This current episode of Hating Potter is really nothing new, but it's still too sad for words

Laura Mallory wants to put an Avada Kedavra curse on the Harry Potter book series. ... The working mother of four admits she's never read any of the six books published thus far in the seven-book series by J.K. Rowling. The books are "too long" (book five alone was 870 pages) and she works a part-time job, Mallory writes on her "appeal form for instructional materials." She hasn't read them, yet she wants them off the shelves of the Gwinnett County Public School system libraries.


We find it interesting that while she's wild about Harry, she suggests replacing the Potter books with the "Left Behind" series. Her appeal form doesn't indicate whether she's read those publications.

(Item: according to this article,, she actually wanted the "Left Behind: for Kids" series, instead. I don't know which scares me more: the suggestion, or that there's a kids' version of those books.)

The hearing was held:

Harry Potter teaches children and adults that witchcraft is OK for children," said Laura Mallory, a Loganville mother whose complaint led to the hearing.

But Lisa Eickholdt, a reading specialist at Freeman's Mill Elementary, said the books encouraged many children --- especially those who struggle in school --- to read. Children enjoy the books' themes of friendship, courage and good fighting evil, she said.

"The Harry Potter series of books are not the kinds of books that need to be removed," Eickholdt said. "If anything, they are the kinds of books we need more of."

No decision was made at the end of the hearing, which lasted a little more than an hour. The hearing officer, retired DeKalb County school administrator Su Ellen Bray, has five days to recommend to board members on whether to keep the Potter books on library shelves. The school board then will have 10 days to decide whether to remove the six Potter books, which have sold millions of copies worldwide.

A decision is expected no later than May 11, Associate Superintendent Cindy Loe said.

Courtesy of the YALSA Book List, I've heard from one of the media specialists in that school district. She says the head of media services is more annoyed than nervous, given that it's highly unlikely the books will be pulled from the shelves.

She also says - and I agree - that you shouldn't be able to bring forth a complaint about a book unless you've actually read the damn thing. The mother who brought the complaint said it would be "hypocritical" to do so, but I'm not buying that one. I think she just doesn't feel like confusing herself with the facts now that her mind's all made up.

Bloody Death-Eaters.

edit: Here's a hysterial essay about whether Harry Potter and D&D really teach kids magic. Thanks to Laura Cory for the link!


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