Friday, September 18, 2009

Jacqui Reads Her Children Even More Books Other People Think Are Bad For Them

Week 3: Harry Potter and the Sorceror's Stone

In which I outwit my daughter for once, in the name of my Banned Books Week project.

Tinkerbell was dying to read the Harry Potter books when she was five. I wouldn't let her; I wanted her to appreciate them in all their glory and I knew she'd be terrified. Then everyone else she knew started hearing parents read them and raving about them and Tink, who hates to be told what she should like, rebelled.

"I don't even want to read the stupid Harry Potter books," she announced. "I am never going to read them."

I breathed into a paper bag and held my tongue.

Then, last week, after the Five Chinese Brothers disappointment, I casually mentioned that some people didn't think the Harry Potter books were good for her.

"Really? Why?" she asked.

"No good reason," I teased.


"Eh, because there's magic. And stuff like goblins and flying broomsticks and I guess some people don't think people should read about a SCHOOL FOR WIZARD KIDS WHO CAN DO REAL MAGIC."

It worked. We started this week. We're taking turns reading aloud* and she is totally hooked. As any good book lover should be.

I did go back and have another conversation in which I explained carefully why some people are opposed to books about witchcraft, etc. Tinkerbell pondered it.

"No," she said. "I can believe in magic and still believe in God," she announced. "Now, keep reading."

* And let me tell you: it turns out I do a painfully bad fake British accent, so I have had to branch out to differentiate the book's, what, 3 million characters? Tink is going to be somewhat surprised when she sees the movie and Hagrid's "drawl" is not from West Virginia.


Elise Murphy said...

I read HP aloud to my eldest for the first time when she was 3 months old (I think it had just come out then). I do a passable Hagrid but the rest are all American West Coast.

Yeah for Tink!

Jacqui said...

Elise, we read one of the aloud to Tink when she was an infant too, but I think we were too sleepy to act it out!

cath c said...

brilliant maneuver, i must say.

i started them years ago with my oldest, who stuck in for a couple of books, but was a bit young for them. #2 was never interested, and insists vehemently that he even hates when i drag him to the movies, tho he sits rapt. #3 needs to speak more english before i read her chapter books. i however was and am, an hp addict, who while working in an educational toy store as they came out, preordered and was reading them in the back room before the midnight sales...reading them every waking moment i could, first go, then went back to read again...then sobbed my way through the final book.

the trick is to just sound american snooty.

Diane T said...

You better hope no one ever explains the term "reverse psychology" to Tink, you will lose any edge you have with her. :)

That's a trick, to make all the voices in the HP books sound different. Ever listen to the Jim Dale recordings? He's amazing.

Tabitha said...

You are brilliant, Jacqui, but we already knew that. :)

I started reading to my oldest when he was two weeks old, but it was Harold and the Purple Crayon instead of Harry Potter. :) He just turned six, and has an overactive imagination, so HP would scare the pants off him, and terrorize him with nightmares. So we'll have to wait a couple years. But I'm looking forward to sharing those books with him.

Rosalind Stone said...

Lol! I followed you here from the blueboards after I saw your post title! That's hilarious - I did the same thing to one of my siblings who never really liked to read. It's amazing what saying "you can't/shouldn't read this" will do...

Jacqui said...

cath c, I tried (with the accent)! But then Tink asked me, "Why is everybody snotty?"

Diane, I know. I dread that day, and the one when she figures out I have no idea what I'm going to do if she doesn't do it by the time I get to five.

Tabitha, thanks!

Rosalind, welcome! Exactly. Sadly, telling her she "can't" do something has the same result in other areas (you "can't" put that tutu on your brother...).

Mary Witzl said...

I had a heck of a time doing Hagrid for my kids too, years back. My kids have real British accents (or at least they can put them on when they want to). They rolled their eyes and told me not to bother.

Amber Lough said...

I just spit out my tea when I read about Hagrid's WV drawl.