A few months ago, I started reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone to my son, Ben. When we finished, I thought that we could go back to smaller, more manageable books. But Ben was adamant: “Daddy, let’s read the next one.” So we did.
During scary parts, I would pause and ask Ben if he was scared and if he wanted me to stop or continue, to which he would usually reply, “I’m not scared. Well, maybe just a little scared. But keep reading, Dad. Keep reading!” So I kept reading. And reading. We just completed book 6, The Half-Blood Prince, a couple weeks ago.
The books were such a joy to read to him, even though at times I wasn’t sure if Ben was old enough or mature enough to hear about what was going on in there. I did skip over little bits of the book, The Order of the Phoenix, because Harry’s incessant whining became intolerable to me and all the characters’ use of words such as “stupid” and “bloody hell” was not something I wanted to repeatedly inflict on my son. And I had to be especially careful during those times when Lucy would come into the room from time to time for her three-and-a-half-year-old dose of Harry and friends. All in all, though, the books were surprisingly suitable.
Ever since we started the series, Ben has, perhaps understandably, become obsessed with all things Harry Potter — listening to the books on CD, playing with Harry Potter action figures that his Auntie Tash got him from Good Will, watching the movie versions of the first four books. He even borrowed a costume from his older cousin and plans to go trick-or-treating as Harry Potter. (Lucy is still trying to decide between Hermione and a princess).
On a completely unrelated note, I’ve decided to start writing my own novel. I plan to call it Harvey Porter. In this totally original book, a young boy grows up with his mean neighbors after his parents die in a suspicious murder until one day he gets a letter at age 12 telling him that, as a superhero, he is invited to attend a special school for superheroes. Astonished by the news, he walks through the kitchen wall, soars thirty feet into the air and trains his x-ray vision on his next-door neighbors’ house to see if the children who live there are playing some kind of practical joke on him. Seeing that they are safely ensconced in their beds, he floats back to earth, throws his few belongings into a duffle bag, and strikes out to Pigfarts school of superheroism and gallantry. And that is where the adventure begins.