Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Down among the Muggles

Predictably enough, excitement is already building for the next Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6), even though it's not due out for another six or seven months. No sooner had J.K. Rowling made the announcement that she'd finished writing the thing than offers started popping up in my e-mail box from Amazon and Barnes & Noble and Borders, imploring me to hurry now and reserve my copy. And we thought it was bad when people used to line up for movies days in advance. Now you have to buy a book in January that's not being delivered until July? Is there any actual danger that they're going to run out of this thing? I don't know, we're definitely not on the Harry bandwagon at our house; my daughter hated the first one, which she was forced to read in fourth grade, and hasn't gone near them since, and my son has expressed no interest when I've brought the subject up. The hot read at our house these days appears to be There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar. My son recently asked to read it with me for a third time, and that's being interrupted by my daughter's first time through. It's the kind of book that hurts my heart to read, highlighting as it does children's inhumanity to children -- but maybe for that same reason, it strikes a chord in my kids, who know from being misfits. It's short on wizards and spells and fantastical monsters, but sometimes the monsters you meet every day in the school halls are terrifying enough.

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