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 harry potter 
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Today in class we discussed banned books. The Harry Potter series was one of the books we discussed. I remember my 7th grade teacher reading Harry Potter to us in our reading class. I don't ever remember the book being controversial to me. I think as long as the teacher explains to the students it is a fiction book and that they understand that, the book won't be so controversial. I understand that it may offend some people, but to me I see no reason why at the appropriate age students can't enjoy Harry Potter.

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Tina Dellinger


Tue Mar 24, 2009 11:46 am
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I agree with Tina about as long as teachers stress to students that Harry is fiction and the reasons why it is fiction, there shouldn’t be a problem with the series. I personally would not read the Harry Potter series to my students aloud because I feel as though it wouldn’t be very relevant to the curriculum. In my opinion I don’t believe we should ban a series that so many children and adults enjoy as long as they realize that it is fiction. On another note, someone mentioned to the class about how the series grew with students and how from middle school to high school the level of maturity is very different. This would be when a teacher could step in and control which books in the series should be available to students and which should not.

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Christin Jones


Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:23 pm
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Harry Potter is fiction and fiction is meant to indulge the readers imagination, to take them to an unknown world. I read Harry Potter for the first time while I was in college and I think they're wonderful! We can't keep children from experiencing something new because it involves magic. Kids watch magic shows and perform magic tricks, so I don't understand why reading a book about magic is any worse.

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Amanda Jackson


Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:38 pm
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I agree with Tina. Harry Potter started to be really big in middle school and high school for us and I can't remember anyone having a problem with them. I agree that as long as the teacher explains that it is fiction and a good book for imagination that it is fine to have in the classroom. The books are a little to long to read outloud but I def. think that for students to have them to read individually when they want would be okay.

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Elizabeth Anna Hicks


Tue Mar 24, 2009 4:37 pm
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I love everything about the Harry Potter series. However, I realize that prior to introducing it to a classroom, one would have to be sure that the students are at a certain level of maturity. I wouldn’t teach these novels any earlier than late middle school. I just think the themes are too complex for readers much younger than that. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to younger children reading the series, but as far as teaching the Harry Potter books goes, a little older would be more appropriate. I think it’s totally ridiculous that this series is banned, but then again I think banning books in general is stupid. Children should be able to read what ever they want and interpret that text how they see fit. By depriving children the right to have such great books to choose from in schools is a tragedy.

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Maggie Carol Hinshaw


Tue Mar 24, 2009 5:22 pm
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When Harry Potter came out, my parents were very against it. I could never really understand where my parents were coming from, especially since I have watched other movies that were full of witches and magic. I love my parents but I think they are a little crazy sometimes. My brothers read the books because when my brothers wanted to read them, it became "ok". I agree with what everyone is saying about students are capable of understanding the fact that the books are fiction. I completely agree with Amanda about fiction is suppose to take the reader to the unknown and use imagination. Students are full of imagination especially the younger ones. They love pretending and being in the unknown world. They are very capable of understanding the concept of fiction.

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Megan Cockrum


Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:57 pm
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I think like many people have been saying before that banning these books is kinda dumb. Harry Potter first came out when I was in middle school and I finished them whenever the 7th one came out when I was already in college. Our generation matured with the books but that is not the same case for the younger generation. All of the books are available to them at a young age, but I do not think that you should restrict them from reading them. You see a lot worse stuff on tv and movies what is the big deal about a book. I think books are here to entertain us, especially fiction books. They are not here to inform us of our life decisions. As long as children know that Harry Potter is fictional and it just an entertaining story I really do not see what the big problem is about them reading it. I would make the whole class read it because of differing religious views, but banning it seems to go a bit overboard.

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Megan Nicole Hales


Wed Mar 25, 2009 4:50 pm
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I love the Harry Potter series. Like was mentioned in class, they grew up with our age group. The latest novel is not fit for sixth graders, but the first one is (was). I was in 6th grade when I first read Harry Potter. I can see where people would find it controversial, but then I would wish to bring up Halloween and how people allow their children dress up or eat candy (in some celebrate with their peers) and I wonder how is that different? Usually, it's all in fun and hasn't hurt anything. Or what about what Tara said in class about Disney movies? They are fraught with magic and there are bad guys to be defeated and just because it's a cartoon doesn't mean it's that different. And a lot of people might say they don't or won't let their children watch or do those things, but a lot of times, the children will without their consent. I don't know what I am really trying to say, but I agree that it's harmless fiction and in the end, Harry and his friends are the good guys and fight the evil ones.

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KAELA HODGES


Wed Mar 25, 2009 7:02 pm
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I am ab extremely conservative person so I am going to have to disagree with all of you (but that's what Dr. Turner wants us to do, right?!). I read the first 5 Harry Potter books and I really did love them. However after some research I do believe that the author is a wiccan. This fact changed my whole view of the books. I know they are fantasy (to an extent) and I know that it is all about the good guy beating the bad guy but these books are really dark. I can't help but wonder if it is all as fictional as we think. I know nothing about witchcraft and I have absolutely no desire to learn about it because I believe that it is evil. I know that there are disney movies about witches and believe it or not, I don't watch them. I just don't want to listen or read about that stuff at all. So, I would not teach these books to my classroom. I doubt I would even have a set in my library just because the content is completely against my beliefs. However I would not tell the students that they should not read the books. That is their choice. I just prefer not to.

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Hannah Hempel


Thu Mar 26, 2009 10:47 am
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I personally have not read the Harry Potter series because I started reading the first one for my banned books class and I honestly didn't care for her writing style very much. I, therefore, would probably not teach this series in my classroom, but I would definitely have it available in my classroom library. I think that getting kids to read anything is great, so I want it to be there in case it fits the interest of one of my students. Depending on the grade, I would limit which books were available due to mature content though. In regard to Hannah, I personally do not understand the concept of rejecting books that you once loved on the basis of the author's spiritual affiliation. To me, that's kind of like meeting someone and becoming friends with them, then finding out that their spiritual beliefs are different than my own, and deciding that although i enjoy their company and they've been a good friend, i can't speak to them anymore. It's just a concept that I cannot comprehend. I definitely do appreciate that you said you wouldn't tell them not to read the books or that they were bad.

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Sara Cottrell


Thu Mar 26, 2009 2:08 pm
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In my classroom library that I will establish one day, I will have all the classics in there, including Harry Potter because I personally don't care what my students read as long as it's appropriate for their age. If I want children to read but restrict the types of books they can read, it's not going to motivate children to want to read. If I want my students to read, they should be able to read anything they choose, whether I like it or not - just as ong as it's appropriate. Harry Potter can be used in a health class to learn about death and loss and the process of accepting it and moving on. There are some books that definitely deserve to be on the banned book list but Harry Potter isn't one of them.

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Amanda Jackson


Thu Mar 26, 2009 3:31 pm
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On this topic I have to disagree with pretty much everyone. I might be a little bias on this issue because I really do not enjoy any fictional books. Personally I am not into Harry Potter and for me it would have been torture for me to have to read this book in any classroom, and I probably would not have read it. I know enough about this book to know that I would not recommend this book to anyone, but I do not judge anyone who reads it. As far as it being a banned book, I believe it is fine for students to read it on their own time at home, but definitely not in the classroom. It goes against my beliefs by involving witchcraft and other imaginary things. As for me being a physical education teacher, I will not be choosing books for my students or will have any input about what they read.

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Bradley Stephen White


Thu Mar 26, 2009 7:16 pm
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I agree with most of what has been said. I had to read Harry Potter in the 5th grade for Battle of the Books and I absolutely loved it! In my classroom library, I will have books such as Harry Potter because I believe as long as kids enjoy reading it then we should let them. I believe it is a little ridiculous to ban these books. These books help take children to a far away, imaginary world and that was a wonderful experience for me. It is great to sometimes get out of reality and find yourself in an imaginary world full of surprises. We should not take these experiences away from children!

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Heather Johnson


Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:43 am
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Harry Potter books are so much fun to read and can really spark a child's imagination. The only problem would be if the child believes he or she can do witchcraft or believes that the stories can actually take place. I don't understand why people pick on the HP books and not the other thousands of magical stories out there. I think people do it because they are so popular and people like controversy. There is nothing wrong with Harry Potter. I think it teaches about courage and standing up for what is right in a world full of wrong. How do we expect children to think creatively if they aren't allowed to read imaginary stories?

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-Nicole Reid


Mon Mar 30, 2009 1:33 pm
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I hate to read but I honestly have to say the Harry Potter books got me so interested in reading. Those are the only books I stayed up for reading the whole thing in one day. Anways I think it is stupid to ban the books from the classroom. I wouldn't want to force anyone to read them if they didnt want to but I think it's good to have some fantasy books in the classroom to get the childrens imaginations going! :shock:

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Eva


Tue Mar 31, 2009 3:37 am
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I personally have not read the Harry Potter series, but my daughter began reading them in late 3rd grade. She is dyslexic and is hard to get to read, but she loves them. She hasn't finished all of them and that is fine. It is her choice. However, my dear friend loves them and I told her about a professor in the English dept here that actually taught a class on the Harry Potter series and she ended up taking it as an independent study. She is a religious person and she was amazed at how many religious references there are in this series. This professor has basically dissected the series and researched them in depth. The one thing that I remember from her class and our discussions about them was AbraCaDabra actually means "The Father, Son and Holy Ghost". Although they are fiction, there is some interesting information in them if you do your research.

I probably will not teach them in my classroom, only because I feel that there are many other books to teach, but I will not discriminate against them. If the students know that they are fiction, like most all books we read, then they will be fine. Why can't they read them for entertainment purposes? It isn't like the books are trying to cross children over to witchcraft.

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Martha Martin


Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:05 am
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I love harry Potter.. I think that the book invokes imagination, not to mention it is a fun book for kids to read, and there are good popular movies about it. Students might be more interested in reading about something that is so common to society right now. I was talking with some of the other girls in the class and if the witchcraft debate came up ti can easily be disputed by the many religious underlying meanings. I agree that there are many other controversial books that may enlighten a child better that Harry Potter, but I do not think that the book should be banned. The children relate to other children even in the magical realm. Beyond the magic there are teens struggling with friends, who they are, and who they want to be.


Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:30 am
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I am a HUGE fan of Harry Potter...but i do understand how they could be controversial. The first two books i think they are ok to read to middle schoolers, but after that they aren't as appropriate. Books are supposed to inspire and with this list of banned books they are taking out all of the literature that gets the reader thinking.

Also I never saw the Chronicles of Narnia on the banned books list...unless i missed it... and it has a ton of magic in it...but then again it is based off of stories from the bible.

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Charles John Michael


Tue Mar 31, 2009 10:18 pm
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Whoa.. Charles you hit the nail on the head.. I never even thought about the Chronicles of Narnia.... Hmmm.. Why ban books?


Wed Apr 08, 2009 9:55 am
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I totally agree with Maggie. I don't think books should be banned to begin with. If children are reading then great! I will definitely have these books in my classroom library.

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Kayla N. Sizemore


Wed Apr 15, 2009 2:12 pm
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