I loved the Redwall books by Brian Jacques, but this has to be the Harry Potter books and I will make no apology for that! Each book absorbed me totally and I was on tenterhooks throughout, with just the right amount of good humour to balance that out.
I was twelve when I read the first Harry Potter book, and if it hadn’t been for the careful drip feed to increase demand release policy, I would have gone through school in the same years as Harry and co. I fervently wished that I could go to Hogwarts. There’s been a lot of criticism of J.K. Rowling for drawing on elements of mythology and other children’s fiction in her work, but have you ever seen it done better?
I read a blog recently where someone was criticising the Harry Potter books for being really badly written, but they couldn’t explain how they were badly written beyond they didn’t like that Snape had been portrayed as a villain only to turn out to be good. Personally I thought that was quite powerful, and if there isn’t the opportunity for a character to change in children’s books then you are teaching them a very bad lesson.
Yes they are a bit cheesy, and to some extent simplistic, but let’s please remember that they are fundamentally books for children. I don’t have time for the pseudo indies who won’t read books because they are “too mainstream”. How incredibly arrogant to refuse to read a book because lots of people like it and therefore it won’t fit your estimation of what is good. Silence little people, your intelligence is clearly inferior to mine. I don’t even have to read the book to know that your opinion of it is wrong, because you are a prole…
I think Harry Potter is a very rare example of a book series which deserves the hype.