Many classic children s books (including Where the Wild Things Are, Matilda, The Paper Bag Princess

, Noddy and the Harry Potter series) have been banned, abridged or quietly removed from the library shelves. In short, children s literature is always vulnerable to censorship. Research the banning or conflict surrounding some of the banned texts and discuss the relevance/validity of these criticisms. Contrast with the positive aspects you consider to be found in the texts. Children s literature will al ways be a matter of controversy as it deals directly with teaching a child the morals of the society, how to interact with others and other general life skills. Many books have been censored and banned because they have been deemed inappropriate by parents, schools, and religious groups. All of the time these allegations a one sided and if the book was explored more thoroughly the real morals and values would become apparent. This case is exactly what has been happening with the Harry Potter series since publication. The Harry Potter series, since before its publication, has always been under fierce speculation. Publishers were unsure of printing it as no other book of its kind was available to children, whereas now the book has become so popular many par ents and religious groups are calling for it to band. It has faced such opposition due to the fantastical elements of magic it employs. Other successful children s stories such as the Narnia series also use magic and elements of witchcraft, but because it can be portrayed in an allegorical light it has been deemed appropriate for children to read. Harry Potter, on the hand, has not as the main characters all use magic as part of everyday life. Parent s main concern with this is that children may become d rawn to witchcraft, Satanism and the occult by reading Harry Potter. This view is most often upheld by religious groups and families, especially Christian ones. This has led to certain private schools banning the books from libraries and bookstores, claimi ng the book may be harmful to developing children. This is quite the opposite in fact as the series is full of morals such as teamwork, equality, mateship and above all love and respect. These morals are often and almost always overlooked by those against the series as they can only see the magical elements of the story and not the message behind it. J.K. Rowling, the author of the series, has given this remark to the Washington Post to oppose conservative Christian efforts to censor her books: If you ba n all the books with witchcraft and the supernatural, you ll ban three -quarters of children s literature. I positively think they are moral books. I ve met thousands of children, but I ve never met a child who has asked me about the occult. She has countered the magical elements in her books with strong morals and life lessons with the magic acting more as an imaginative tool to bring her world to life. It is shown consistently throughout the books that love and sacrifice is stronger than any magic, with Harry s mother sacrificing herself to protect him, and thus protecting him from magical harm. Rather than promoting the occult and the use of magic to solve problems Rowling uses teamwork and quick thinking to rescue the characters from issues and problem s. This is shown through the final series of challenges at the end of the book. Although the main characters use magic to eventually overcome these challenges they can only do so by first

By not condemning a certain race or human trait Rowling has been able to demonstrate how cruel and harmful racism is without angering any real world minorities. For example Erikson s Theory of development shows that the children go through a few crucial stages of growth and awareness which are learning to function in society. . A great example of this is in the character Hermione Granger who is described and shown in the book as the brightest young witch of her age despite the fact that she is a mudblood. This promotes and teamwork and lateral thinking rather than trying to solve a problem by yourself. This teaches children that everyone is equal no matter what their origins and past may say. learning independence and support. Throughout the story characters who do not c ome from a pureblood wizarding family or who are born to humans are referred to as mudbloods .working together and using each other s strengths rather than rely o n magic. Draco Malfoy who is rich and snide because of it and Harry who owns a small fortune but is good hearted and chooses not to look down on Ron. responsibility and the reali zation that one s behaviour may be different to that of others. The distinictions of class is outlined in the characters Ron Weasly who comes from an extremely poor background yet is content. either to accept others or to be accepted themselves Not only are the books full of morals and life choices but are also key to por traying child psychology. One of the other greatest morals the series holds is that of racism and class which go hand in hand. This theme also alludes to the issue of acceptance that all children struggle with.

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