Harry Potter and the Protective Parents

Harry-Potter

The Harry Potter series is one of the biggest hits in our world today. It has been read the world over and kept bookstores in business for another ten years. J.K. Rowling, the author, has become extremely rich and need not ever pick up the pen again. This happy story has a seemingly sad lining. Many parents have seen the back of the book, seen the words “witchcraft and wizardry”, and deemed the fantastic series inappropriate for their children.

This is one of the saddest true stories in the history of books. I even have a friend going into high school who says her parents won’t allow her to read them. The reason this story is so sad isn’t just because they’re missing out on the wonderful, moral books about Hermione, Ron, and Harry. The saddest part is that these children have not been introduced to reading in the unique way that authors such as J.K. Rowling and Rick Riordan present it.

You see, when I was seven years old, my father read me the first book in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I was so delighted with it that I promptly read the second book. And the third. In fact, by the time I finished fourth grade, I’d finished the whole series… multiple times.

The point of this anecdote? The Harry Potter series caused me to fall in love with reading for the first time. It made me want to be an author. Thanks to Harry Potter, I started writing fanfiction and short stories, and discovered what would become my passion and dream: writing children-to-young-adult-level novels… just like my heroes, Rick Riordan and J.K. Rowling.

Now, I am a Christian girl. My parents are very devout. But they read the whole series and knew that it wouldn’t cause me to become a real-life, demonic witch. They knew that it would foster in me a love of reading, and it did! It made me look upward and onward, going on to read books in elementary school that kids in middle school would hesitate to crack open. Harry Potter did this. I have J.K. Rowling to thank.

So, please, please, parents, if you’re reading this, give Harry Potter a chance. It’s a moral, wonderful book that’s totally clean even on Catholic standards (which isn’t always easy to reach, believe me!) that won’t teach your children to worship demons. Some lessons in this series include: Don’t focus on yourself. Be selfless. Think of others before yourself. Be a good friend. Don’t kill people (an obvious one). If you treat others the way they want to be treated, most likely they’ll treat you with respect. Justice is good, but mercy is important too, even if you don’t always get something from it.

Harry Potter made me turn to my parents eagerly, and ask, “What else can I read?” One of the best moments, I’m sure, in parenting, is fostering a love of something good and beautiful, such as reading. Do your children a favor and let them read Harry Potter.

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter is set in New England during the 1600’s; a place with strong Christian beliefs and customs. The book starts off with the main character, Hester Prynne, being brought out of the prison and up on to the scaffold. A scaffold is a wooden platform that has been raised about 4 feet off the ground. It is used for public shaming and embarrassment. What led to these events was that while Hester’s husband, Roger Chillingworth, was in England she became pregnant and gave birth to a little girl named Pearl. Because of this, Hester was sentenced to stand on the platform for committing adultery. While on the scaffold, Hester sees her estranged husband standing in the crowd. Chillingworth does not reveal his and Hester’s relationship to the town and is instead known as a renowned physician. The main plot of this book is Chillingworth trying to figure out who the father of Hester’s baby really is.

I really enjoyed this book because of the intertwining relationships of seemingly unimportant characters and how it portrayed the morals in that time period. I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who likes classic novels, drama, secrecy, and very strong female characters.

 

How to Train your Dragon (the book series!)

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Now, I know some of you are wondering if I’ve gone off the deep end, because everyone knows How to Train your Dragon is a MOVIE. But there really is a book series, written by Cressida Cowell, and it was the “inspiration” for the movie. I say quote-inspiration-unquote because the book series is much, much better than the movie, not to say that the movie was actually bad...

In the books, the Vikings never, ever killed dragons unless they attacked first. They actually keep dragons in their homes, for hunting, fishing and generally doing all the things your average dog does, except that your average dog doesn’t breathe fire. And as a rite of passage for the young Viking boys, they have to go into the dragon nesting caves and steal their first dragon. And, when Hiccup goes into the cave to get a dragon, he ends up with the smallest, weakest dragon there is. Go figure. So, now Hiccup has to figure out how to train his sarcastic, stubborn dragon, avoid the jerks (I’m looking at you, Snotlout), and also save the town from not one, but two terrifying giant dragons.

And that’s just book 1 out of 12. In the other 11 books, there may or be not be the really smarmy Alvin the Treacherous, shark dragons, giant deserts of red sand, a pirate’s treasure, Skullions, and the Library of (Nearly) Certain Death.

This series is packed with great books to read. It has excellent character development and you are really rooting for the ever- so-slightly sarcastic Hiccup and his pals. I still think the books and the movies have equal validity as INCREDIBLE, though. (Just like the Hobbit!)

Mocking Jay Part 1

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    Mocking Jay Part 1

Mocking Jay is the last movie in the series Hunger Games. Part one is the least violent movie in the series. It includes only three attacks that have bloodshed but a few others are included. The beginning to the movie is when Katniss Everdeen wakes up in district thirteen, yes it exists after the bombing. However, there was a horrible event that included the burning of her own district, 12. She is put in a hospital room in the underground district thirteen and is most of the time kept under surveillance. Although when she is not she often escapes from her room and hides, she will try to sort herself out. She will say facts about herself. This and sleep helps to keeps her from thinking of Peeta who was taken by the capital when the games unexpectedly ended. After she became heathier President Coin realized she needed to speak with Katniss about being the mocking jay. Originally she says no, but after coin agreed to certain arrangements, Katniss agreed to it. She would have videos of her in some districts which sided with 13 and Katniss put on the video for President Snow to see along with the other districts. Snow and his people put on videos of Peeta too, but he was told what to say as Katniss believed. Eventually Katniss got tired of waiting for Peeta to be rescued. They sent out a crew to get Peeta back and the mission was successful. However, when Peeta saw Katniss he acted as if she had been the capital. After reviewing that the citizens of 13 realized he had been hijacked by the capital making Katniss a nightmare. No one knew how to fix him.

– 6th grader Erin

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

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“The Sea of Monsters” by Rick Riordan is the second book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. This book details the adventures of thirteen year old demi-god Percy Jackson and his friends. Percy’s Mom is human and his father is Poseidon, God of the Sea. This book takes you on the journey to find the golden fleece in order to save Camp Half Blood. Camp Half Blood is for half human and half god like creatures which are called Demi-Gods. The magical boundary of Camp Half Blood is weakening as Thalia , the daughter of Zeus, the girl who became a tree to protect the camp has been poisoned. Percy and his friends go off to find the Golden Fleece which can heal Thalia and help to protect the camp from Monsters. In their travels they run into a few problems. Luke and his crew plan to release Kronos. Kronos is an evil God, the sea of monsters, also known to humans as the Bermuda Triangle. So Percy and his friends not only run into Luke who is trying to release Kronos, but they also run into Polyphemus who is the Cyclopes that protects the Golden Fleece. Do Percy and the gang retrieve the Golden Fleece and are they able to save Camp Half Blood? Read “The Sea of Monsters” by Rick Riordan to find out how the adventures of Annabeth, Percy, Grover, and the Golden Fleece conclude.

By Erin
6th grade